Fansites Beware!

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You know those websites full of celebrity pictures? Recently, according to the Wall Street Journal, photo agencies like Getty have hired companies to create digital "fingerprints" of their photos, so that they can be searched across the Internet for incidences of unauthorized reproduction, non-Fair Use, and opportunities for cease-and-desist letters. Soon, hopefully, Melanie Griffith will sue herself.

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  1. Wow. I think that’s the first celeb web site I’ve visited. Are they all that bad? I feel dirty.

  2. Coincidentally, when I was at the dentist yesterday, I was reading an article dealing with this issue in a photography magazine. Some pro or semi-pro photographer found an image of the Sydney Opera House that he had taken and had placed in his own website’s image archive being used by a travel website. The article covered methods by which photo rightsholders can protect their rights, including just that kind of digital fingerprinting or watermarking.

  3. digital fingerprints are easy to remove. just open it in an editor and change the color depth. resizing does it, too.

  4. Do I have to take down my web site devoted to carpet humping guy?

  5. Worship me, Tom. Your devotion nourishes me! You will join me in a deep shag paradise!

  6. Melanie Griffith, in response to some chick writing in about her alcohol addiction in “Melanie’s Addiction Forum”:

    Also think about the families of the victims of the WTC and perhaps you will stop feeling sorry for yourself.

    Get this woman her substance abuse counselor certification, stat!

  7. digital fingerprints are easy to remove. just open it in an editor and change the color depth. resizing does it, too.

    I think that’s digital watermarking, where you imbed the watermark in the photo. Digital fingerprinting is a different process involving coding the whole image.

    And while the celebrity photo angle jazzes the story, it’s actually about photographers getting paid for their work. I like the “let’s do business” approach. Others could larn from this.

  8. What about changing color modes, say from RGB to CMYK or LAB?

    Seems like it’s really nothing more than a primitive form of Steganography

  9. So can I still download porn or not?

  10. Larry A,

    I have a friend who is a professional photographer. Its a meat and potatoes issue to him.

    ___________

    There goes the blog, BTW.

  11. Wow. I think that’s the first celeb web site I’ve visited. Are they all that bad? I feel dirty.

    Bad in what sense? Melanie’s site looks very well done to me. I understand that you aren’t interested in the minutia of what it means to be ‘The Griffith’. I’m couldn’t give a flying flaming fuck or a rolling donut either, but that’s what a fan site is for. They are shrines where the faithful go to pay homage. My website (click my name) is pretty much a shrine to myself. And it’s a lot like me, there’s some interesting stuff, but the first impression is not that great. You got to take some time and effort to find the good parts. But I digress, the point is, if you wanted to know what goes on behind the eyes of Melanie Griffith, there is a website you can go to find out.

  12. Its a meat and potatoes issue to him.

    Actually, the real meat and potatoes issue for him will be fair use. It will be interesting to see how fair use plays out in the context of amateur blogs and other non-profit-seeking websites. There will be some interesting balancing to be done. GOOGLE Blogs, Inc. V. Getty Images Ltd. Should be a fun case if it ever comes up.

  13. Seems like it’s really nothing more than a primitive form of Steganography

    You mean like that Jurassic Park movie?

  14. Wow. I think that’s the first celeb web site I’ve visited. Are they all that bad? I feel dirty.

    ling, are you referring to the “hard-to-find-acress” site? That seems like it’s a commercial site, trying to sell you a Sex Key ID or whatever it’s called so you can see the naked pictures. The photos in the public area aren’t very high quality, and probably most of them were “borrowed” from some other Web sites. It has a sleazy feel to it.

    I’m not really familiar with commercial sites like this, because they suck, I have other things to do with my money, and if you really want good, non-semi-pornographic photos of your favorite actor/actress, there are many other superior sources on the Internet for free. (See below.)

    Or are you referring to the official site of Melanie Griffith? I lost patience with it just waiting for the front page to load. But in my experience, and actor’s/actress’s own “official” Web site usually only has a few small boring photos.

    If anyone has a real hankering to admire photos of their favorite actor/actress, their best bet is find an unofficial site run by an obsessed fan who has built an online “shrine” as a labor of love (and might possibly not have much of a life). There are many, many such. Just as an example: http://www.christina-applegate.net/

  15. The pattern matching algorith that they use for finding images is very different from what happens in watermarking or steganography. Like the article says, the process is somewhat resilient to cropping, resizing, or making superficial color alterations to the image.

    Basically, if an image found by a web spider “looks” enough like an image that someone wants to protect, an alert can be sent to the interested party.

    Companies like Disney use the process to scan the web for web pages where folks are posting pictures of say, Mickey Mouse, without permission.

  16. Jeez..what a godawful cheezy ass website Melanie Griffith has – that’s all I can think to say here..er…the rest seems irrevelant now..

  17. Ah yes, but the MG also has a cheezy career, so isn’t it better to have a website that matches?

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