July 21, 2006 —Picture Archive Council of America's Executive Board approved the release of PACA's Metadata Standards version 1.0 last week. The Board directed PACA's technology committee to develop a metadata panel based on these standards. Pressing industry developments including SAA's recent “Metadata Manifesto” led PACA President Roger Ressmeyer to release the organization's official metadata standards in its latest newsletter.
The “PACA Distributor” XMP panel will power the consistent entry of embedded text about a picture's distributor, model releases, etc. into image headers which are viewable in Photoshop's File Info screens. It will complement existing IPTC and future PLUS licensing panels. By mid-October of this year it should be available to download for immediate use from PACA's website: www.pacaoffice.org.
PACA's technology committee will set up a mechanism for periodic input into these metadata standards by PACA's membership, and for the generation of updated releases when required.
There are many benefits to embedding metadata within the electronic structure of every digital image. In the case of professional Rights Managed (RM) pictures, easily-accessible distributor, rights, model release and caption information makes images easier to sell while also protecting RM's topmost pricing levels.
T he increasingly functional tools for embedding metadata are being utilized by vast numbers of photographers, stock archives and customers. Last month, Alamy announced the insertion of metadata into every one of their image files. Recently, Getty Images added metadata to online image previews. These and similar advancements in embedded metadata are reshaping the universe of stock photography.
With the adoption of PACA's metadata template and other technological changes, images will no longer end up on customer servers without data indicating whether they're RM, RF, subscription-based or public domain. Customers who've renamed their image files can still track back to the original licensor, making it easier to renew old licenses or to purchase new ones.
PACA believes the slide of RM image valuations can be arrested and reversed with the help of today's metadata efforts by PACA, PLUS, CEPIC, SAA, UPDIG, ASPP, ASMP and other organizations. With PACA and these groups working together, the rapid adoption of global metadata standards becomes possible. Such standards can protect distributors' and creators' interests alike while also supporting the intrinsic value of professional images.