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EXIF.co is a new service offering photographers paid photo hosting that automatically applies smart watermarks and other protections to images uploaded to the platform. It aims to allow photographers freedom to embed and share their images on the web while limiting the risk of someone re-using their work without attribution – or flat-out stealing it.
EXIF.co enables customers to share their photos using an embed feature or to share it with others directly via a sharing tool. Anyone who tries to download the photo will be blocked, presented with copyright information, and/or a watermark will be automatically applied to the saved photo, depending on the photographer's preferences.
Users can opt to apply 'smart watermarks' that appear when someone tries to download or screenshot an image, add photo credits, block embeds on websites, enable sharing with websites and track the number of online views each photo receives. The service appears simple to use, requiring customers to first upload their images, then add details to them such as credits. The user sets the permissions they want for each image, then saves it to their account.
You can see it in action below:
The service is free to sign up for, and it is priced on a per-thousand views basis. The rate for 10,000 to 99k views is $0.30 per 1,000 views, the 100k to 499k rate is $0.25 per 1,000 views, the 500K to 999K is $0.20 and the 1m or greater rate is $0.15. For example, EXIF.co says 10,000 views of a photograph will cost the subscriber $3. Individuals who sign up for the beta service will receive 1,000 credits for free.
The company acknowledged in a blog post yesterday that it's service certainly isn't foolproof. It stresses that its goal is to 'add some friction' to protect against casual theft. Would you find a service like this valuable? Let us know in the comments.
On Monday this week Nikon initiated legal action against the Dutch company ASML Holding NV, which is one of the market leaders in the field of semiconductor lithography machines. Germany's Carl Zeiss AG is ASML's optical supplier. Nikon said both companies were using its lithography technology without permission and that it was seeking damages and to prevent ASML and Zeiss from selling the technology.
Nikon and ASML have contested IP rights for more than fifteen years, as ASML has come to dominate several aspects of the market for semiconductor manufacturing equipment previously divided up primarily between Nikon and Canon.
In first statements both companies called Nikon's legal action unfounded and categorically denied any infringements. A spokesperson for ASML said the company had repeatedly attempted to negotiate an extension of a cross-license agreement with Nikon.
Now ASML and Carl Zeiss have teamed up to counter-sue Nikon and are both filing legal claims against Nikon for the infringement of more than 10 patents. Peter Wennink, ASML President and Chief Executive Officer, said the following in the company's issued statement:
We have no choice but to file these countersuits. We have tried for many years to come to a cross-license agreement that reflects the increased strength of our patent portfolio. Unfortunately, Nikon has never seriously participated in negotiations. Now that Nikon has decided to take this dispute to court, we also have to enforce our patent portfolio, and we will do this as broadly as possible.
Both ASML and Carl Zeiss have issued press releases on the matter. It seems this is a legal dispute that could go on for quite some time, and not the first one involving these three parties either. According to Nikon, ASML and Carl Zeiss paid it $87 million and $58 million respectively in 2004. We'll keep you updated on any future developments.