Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Encryption Security Your Rights Online

DMCA Prevents Photoshop Support of Nikon Camera 656

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the see-this-is-a-good-law dept.
Will writes "PhotoshopNews.com reports that the risk of getting sued under the DMCA prevents Adobe from fully supporting the raw file format of Nikon's top professional camera Nikon D2X. The file format contains encrypted white balance information that is necessary to render the image correctly and while the encryption can and has been broken, Adobe fears getting sued under the DMCA if they decrypt the data."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

DMCA Prevents Photoshop Support of Nikon Camera

Comments Filter:
  • by garcia (6573) * on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:04PM (#12283159) Homepage
    Adobe is a large company with deep pockets (unlike Bibble), and it is unlikely we would run the legal risk of breaking the white balance encryption unless we can get some assurance from Nikon that they will not sue Adobe for doing so. Since Nikon clearly does not want third party raw converters reading their files (they would much rather sell you a copy of Nikon Capture), the likelihood of Nikon providing such an assurance to Adobe is not very high.

    People who would be purchasing a high-end camera like the D2X and D2H would probably only be doing so to use a high-end piece of software to manipulate the 12+MP digital images.

    When a potential buyer looks at Photoshop and sees that it isn't supporting the D2X/H fully because of some retarded move by Nikon to try and make money they are likely going to find another camera. People interested in the D2X/H cameras are going to be shopping around looking for the one that best fits their needs and aren't going to be impulse buying a $5000 camera.

    Really dumb move Nikon.
    • Exactly... (Score:3, Informative)

      by cnelzie (451984)
      ...but from what I understand, a large majority of hardcore professional photographers use Canon equipment anyway and Canon's RAW format is supported by Photoshop, The Gimp and likely other photo editing software as well.
      • Re:Exactly... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by daviddennis (10926) <david@amazing.com> on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:29PM (#12283503) Homepage
        When I was growing up, I was a Nikon guy. I liked the all-mechanical purity of their high-end cameras such as the F2. There is a certain satisfaction in seeing shutters CLUNK that just doesn't exist in the fully electronic cameras Canon sold.

        But now electronics is vital, and there's little doubt that Canon has the high ground in all things electronic. Their cameras are far superior in design than Nikon's.

        However, I still think Nikon lenses are better made and smoother to use, which I appreciate. Of course this might be simply because I haven't seen Canon's more expensive lenses. My D30 has the low-end 28-135 zoom which works great for me but isn't as silkly smooth as Nikon's 17-85 offering.

        I almost switched back to Nikon with the D100 but a last minute financial crisis kept me in the Canon camp. In retrospect, that looks like the right decision in view of Canon's newer cameras, and especially now with Nikon trying to pull this on customers.

        Pity Canon still doesn't have a low-end HD camcorder to compete with the Sony FX1 and upcoming Panasonic models. That's my next planned purchase and Canon's doesn't even exist in the market ... yet.

        D
        • As a recent buyer of a D70 I have to say I absolutely regret my decision.

          Here in NSW, Australia Nikon products are repaired by a company called Maxwell. 8 months after buying the camera I started to have what I believe was a shutter jam problem after about half an hour of moderate use. The problem would show up and occur more and more frequently until it was happening every 3rd shot. I do wildlife and particularly bird photography for fun and this made the camera unusable.

          What kind of warranty support did
      • Re:Exactly... (Score:5, Informative)

        by SKPhoton (683703) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @02:03PM (#12283984) Homepage
        Well, more and more people are switching over to Canon. Nikon is starting to fall behind. Though their bodies are a bit cheaper, Canon has a better line up of lenses. (I hope Nikon steps it up a bit. Competition is good for all of us.)

        Yes, Canon RAW is supported in Photoshop with the Camera RAW plugin [adobe.com]. Photoshop CS2 [adobe.com] is coming out very soon and should have some major improvements over PS CS.

        Very few people use GIMP professionally I've found. Photography is the sole reason I've switched back from Linux. Try as it might, digikam and GIMP just can't keep up with professional grade RAW Converters such as Capture One Pro [phaseone.com]. GIMP supports RAW with the appropriate plugin [rozeta.com.pl], but sorry, it's just not Photoshop.
      • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowskyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday April 20, 2005 @01:09AM (#12289780) Homepage Journal
        My better half was a Canon junkie and switched to Nikon because Nikon lenses are faster. The reason you see Canon at sporting events everywhere, particularly tennis, is because the top journalists are only allowed to use Canon equipment at a Canon sponsored event. In other words, Canon is Microsofting people by trying to create the perception that their competition is dying.
    • by dmolavi (822749) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:16PM (#12283340) Homepage Journal
      I wonder how much this will hurt Nikon. Of the professional photographers I know, they're split 50/50 between Nikon and Canon. All of them use Photoshop. None of them read /. , so I hope that Nikon makes this little crippleware feature glaringly obvious on their packaging, as I'd hate to see photographers get burned by this.
      • by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:49PM (#12283784) Journal
        Well, this looks like a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. Adobe likes the DMCA and even abuses it to protect ROT-13, but suddenly it "prevents" them from serving their customers and they're up in arms.

        Of course, it really doesn't, since everyone knows the DMCA only applies to encryption intended to protect copyrighted works, and color calibration data is just information that does not represent a creative work, therefore it can't be copyrighted.

        Moreover, even if you did consider that tiny portion of a photo to be a creative work, it is a creative work in which one can assume that the person opening the file is the person who took the photo, or at least working for the same company.

        Finally, the encryption isn't being explicitly added by the content producer (the photographer), which therefore means that it falls outside the DMCA by definition.

        So... it sounds like Adobe suddenly did an about-face and decided the DMCA is evil for reasons other than saving their backsides. Either that or (more likely) they have a bone to pick with Nikon over something else and they're using this as leverage. That would be my guess....

    • by SKPhoton (683703) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:18PM (#12283353) Homepage
      I'm a Canon shooter, but for you Nikon people, here's some links to keep you updated:

      Nikon D2X white balance encryption [fredmiranda.com]
      Nikon saying you don't need Photoshop [dpreview.com]
      • I read the article about Nikon saying we don't need Photoshop. Thanks, I needed a laugh. Can anyone guess how much RAM Nikon Capture uses to store and display a 6MP raw NEF file, which is compressed to about a 5-6MB file? Anyone? Anyone?

        Around 400MB. For a single image!

        Not to mention that Nikon Capture is generally slow as molasses, even on my A64 3500+ w/ 1GB RAM. Who do they think they're fooling?
    • Which would be fine if Nikon Capture was any good. I've been very dissapointed with the direction they've been going for the last few releases.. You have to hop through more and more windows and dialog boxes to get even simple things done, never mind that it doesnt have any strong retouching/editing tools.

      the only thing I use Nikon Capture for anymore is to control the camera to take shots, and even that has gotten less straight forward starting with Nikon Capture 3.

      I agree - this is a bad move for Nikon
    • Agreed... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Chordonblue (585047) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:21PM (#12283398) Journal
      Adobe should get on the horn with Nikon's legal dept. and inform them that there will be a sticker on Adobe's packages and full disclosure on their website about Nikon support.

      Truly no issue here. Let Nikon make their own Photoshop if they want, but I think this is going to be 'case closed'.

    • by cubase_dag (827101) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:21PM (#12283405) Homepage
      I'm a professional Photographer, and I recently purchased a D2H, and wheter or not nikons raw format .NEF, is fully supported, I would still Buy Nikon. Because All of my lenses are Nikon. And What This article is forgetting is that Nikon Has A plugin that does the same thing as the adobe plugin. And Its FREE.

      What a lot of people seem to forget is that ALL of the Raw formats Implemented By the camera manufacturers are Proprietary and encrypted. Canon Is no different. The only reason anybody is raising complaints is because nikon has not yet released the newest version of their Raw Format to adobe.

      • by doublem (118724) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:29PM (#12283512) Homepage Journal
        Damn, and me without Mod Points. My current employer makes digital asset management software, and we're not enthused about clients calling up and saying "Do you support RAW format?"

        A reply of "What camera are you using?" frequently gets a disdainful "You must be an idiot" style reply that can only come from the arrogant ignorant when they're wrong, but are convinced they're right. (Everyone whose ever answered a tech support line knows exactly what I mean)

        It's amazing how many people are out there using these cameras and are convinced that "Raw" is some universal standard that everyone's supporting.
      • by Jurph (16396) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:38PM (#12283638)
        Most of us find it Easier to Read sentences that don't Have random Words capitalized in them. I personally Don't Give a rat's Butt, but then I'm Funny Like that.
      • by Kaa (21510) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:55PM (#12283899) Homepage
        wheter or not nikons raw format .NEF, is fully supported, I would still Buy Nikon. Because All of my lenses are Nikon.

        LOL. Well, you're locked-in, so when Nikon decides it wants some fun you HAVE to bend over with a smile. Fortunately, not everyone is in the same position. :-)

        What a lot of people seem to forget is that ALL of the Raw formats Implemented By the camera manufacturers are Proprietary and encrypted

        All are proprietary, but as far as I know Nikon's is the first one with encrypted parts. Since the encryption is easily broken, its only purpose seems to be to invoke the threat of DMCA.

        The only reason anybody is raising complaints is because nikon has not yet released the newest version of their Raw Format to adobe.

        It seems pretty clear from the article that Nikon is NOT going to allow Adobe to decrypt the .NEF raw files...

        As I said, it's pure Dilbert. Nikon got itself a bazooka, took careful aim at its foot and fired...
      • by pijokela (462279) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @02:03PM (#12283980)
        Well, I'm not a professional photographer but I own a Nikon Coolpics 8700 that has NEF support. I have been using a plugin for photoshop provided by Nikon and at least for this camera - that plugin is utter crap.

        It is painfully slow, even for transferring just a few images to JPG/Photoshop. It is in fact so slow that I bought a $25 shareware app that is 10 times faster and actually has a batch mode.

        So I think Nikon should stick with the Cameras and let Adobe do the NEF support.
      • by metamatic (202216) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @02:36PM (#12284329) Homepage Journal
        Personally, I don't want the camera manufacturer telling me what software I can use to read my photographs. Would you accept it if Nikon told you you were only allowed to get prints using Fuji labs?

        I also don't want my photo library to depend on some secret file format that may end up being completely unsupported and unreadable in ten years' time. What if Linux takes over the desktop, but Nikon decide not to bother with a file format reader for Linux? What if Nikon go out of business, and Windows 2010 can't run the plugin to read your library of thousands of images?

        I absolutely demand that all my photos be in an open, documented file format. And I think you're being foolhardy not to demand likewise.

        Sure, you can use the RAW converter on each image as you take them, convert to a sensible format like PNG, and store that--but you're losing information by doing so, making the Nikon a much less appealing and less professional camera.

        The really professional companies like Hasselblad understand this, and have committed to Adobe's open DNG raw format [photoworkshop.com]. I wouldn't buy any camera that pretended to be "professional" but didn't support DNG or some other open file format.
        • by wandernotlost (444769) <slashdot@trailmagi[ ]om ['c.c' in gap]> on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @03:44PM (#12285188)
          I also don't want my photo library to depend on some secret file format that may end up being completely unsupported and unreadable in ten years' time. What if Linux takes over the desktop, but Nikon decide not to bother with a file format reader for Linux? What if Nikon go out of business, and Windows 2010 can't run the plugin to read your library of thousands of images?

          And don't think this is some far-fetched scenario. I bought their LS-2000 film scanner a bunch of years ago, with a 50 slide batch feeder. It was an awesome piece of hardware, but the software always sucked. You couldn't use the batch feeder particularly usefully, because the software wouldn't allow you to do an autoexposure operation before each scan, the way you could when scanning negs or individual slides. (Yes, you had to expose the WHOLE set of slides at the same exposure. Mind-boggling.) I had to write a ridiculous AppleScript to simulate mouse clicks in particular locations to get it to work.

          Anyway, that's not my point. The LS-2000 was connected to the computer via SCSI. About a year or two after I bought it, Nikon came out with the newer line of scanners that used FireWire or USB instead of SCSI. Almost immediately after that, they stopped supporting SCSI scanners in the new versions of their software. And THEN they fixed the software so that you could do the autoexposure operation before each scan.

          So I got stuck with a scanner that could never perform it's main function well and that's no longer supported by their proprietary software. And now they want to tell me that they're going to encrypt the files coming out of their digital cameras? It's hard enough to get good information out of the NEF files coming out of my D70 as it is without using their slow, shoddy software. If you're not locked in by lens purchases, DON'T BUY from a company that's so hostile to its customers as this!

          I'm so fed up with Nikon I'm about ready to sell all my lenses and cameras and film scanner and move to Canon entirely. Their approach to technology is so unbelievably inept it makes me sick. My only hope is that a company as large and public as Adobe can turn around Nikon's attitude by making people more aware of stupid policies like this.

          • by metamatic (202216) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @04:06PM (#12285443) Homepage Journal
            Hey, guess what? I have a Nikon film scanner too. I've also been screwed over by their lack of support for SCSI scanners under OS X. Fortunately Hamrick's VueScan gets around the problem, and does a better job than Nikon's software anyway. Check it out.

            I also had a hellish experience with an APS loader for the scanner. My experience with Nikon's "support" has already ensured I'd never buy another Nikon product. However, I thought that was somewhat irrelevant to the discussion at hand...

            So yeah, I'm a Canon guy now. Two Canon pocket digital cameras, a Canon camcorder, and a Canon flatbed scanner. Nikon can sit on a tripod and swivel.

            Frankly, I'm not that impressed with Nikon's sub-$1000 digital cameras either. When I look at the images on dpreview and other sites, to my eyes the color fringeing is noticably worse than Canon. I think at this point Nikon are mostly surviving on vendor lock-in and their exaggerated reputation.
      • Wouldn't the 5000 bucks you payed for the D2H be better spend on a keyboard that doesn't randomly insert caps-locked letters ?
    • Actually... (Score:5, Informative)

      by J Barnes (838165) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:25PM (#12283458) Homepage
      Once you're getting into the "pro" bracket of digital photo investment, serious users are much more inclined to use secondary software solutions that work with photoshop...regardless of cost. While photoshop edits great images and most photoprinters put out some fantastic pictures, serious digital image makers regularly use printer RIPs that cost more then the actual printer.

      Furthermore, several high-end photographers are extolling the virtues of stand-alone raw processors as an addition to their photoshop workflow.

      I'm not saying that it's morally acceptable for Nikon to lock part of their RAW format, I'm just saying that the impact of this upon the pro photo world is far less significant then it would appear.
      • by SteveM (11242) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:34PM (#12283586)

        Furthermore, several high-end photographers are extolling the virtues of stand-alone raw processors as an addition to their photoshop workflow.

        Unfortunately, no standalone raw processors can support Nikon's encrypted format

        I'm not saying that it's morally acceptable for Nikon to lock part of their RAW format, I'm just saying that the impact of this upon the pro photo world is far less significant then it would appear.

        Only if what you are saying is that having only one raw converter, Nikon's, is not significant.

        This is truely significant. What Nikon is saying is that Nikon owns the file and that the photographer does not.

        SteveM

    • People interested in the D2X/H cameras are going to be shopping around looking for the one that best fits their needs and aren't going to be impulse buying a $5000 camera.

      The people that buy cameras like the D2 series are professional photographers for the most part. Many are already invested in one camera system or the other. For most the body is a small investment (though not quite as small as it use to be). Many photographers have invested $10,000 or more in lens($$$), filters($), and speed lights($$)

    • People who would be purchasing a high-end camera like the D2X and D2H would probably only be doing so to use a high-end piece of software to manipulate the 12+MP digital images.

      Everyone I know who spends mucho money on camera's has photoshop. It has been that way the past 10 years. Excluding support for photoshop from a camera is like blocking AOL from your modem. Sure, you got a modem, but there is a sizable chunk of people who won't use it.

      I know Nikon wants to sell their own software. But forcing p

    • by HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:40PM (#12283663)
      Can someone explain to me how a piece of hardware (the camera) is entitled to copyright protection of it's work (the white balance data). The last time I looked, the Constitution protected people, not machines.

      It seems clear that the camera is creating the work and as such is not entitled to any copyright protection.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @03:45PM (#12285199)
        I am an "intellectual property" lawyer. That being said, the lawyers working for Adobe are going to be ultraconservative in an attempt to protect Adobe's interests. Thus, my answer and Adobe's answer will differ. Mine is, of course, the correct answer.

        I can't explain it. It's not.

        Copyright does not protect "functional" aspects of a written work. For example, you cannot copyright an accounting form, even if you can show that you have discovered a totally unique method of laying out the form that makes it twice as easy to check the calculations in half the time. Similarly, the white balance information is functional. Furthermore, the white balance information is functional in a way that has nothing to do with access control. Ipso facto, the white balance information cannot be protected as part of a copyrighted work.

        Also, sec 1201(a)(3) clearly states:

        As used in this subsection -

        (A) to "circumvent a technological measure" means to descramble a scrambled work, to decrypt an encrypted work, or otherwise to avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate, or impair a technological measure, without the authority of the copyright owner; and

        (B) a technological measure "effectively controls access to a work" if the measure, in the ordinary course of its operation, requires the application of information, or a process or a treatment, with the authority of the copyright owner, to gain access to the work.

        Nikon does not have a copyright in the white balance information. Nikon does not have a copyright in an image taken by the camera. Nikon does have a copyright in the firmware of the camera and in whatever software they distribute that reads this encrypted information.

        Are you accessing the firmware in the camera when you manipulate these images? No. Are you accessing the Nikon software when you manipulate these images? Presumably, no -- I assume Adobe broke this encryption without using the Nikon software --.

        Therefore, you are the copyright owner, and you implicitly grant authority to Adobe to access your Nikon-photographed image data, such that THIS IS NOT A DMCA VIOLATION as a matter of black letter statutory law.

        Thank you... thank you very much.
    • Like software, a SLR camera does not stand on its own; it is part of a system. Considering that the D2X is Nikon's top professional model, it is likely that anyone who would consider buying one already has a large investment in the system. They are locked in just like those poor Windows saps.

      The encryption of the white balance information is really pretty trivial; many people who use Photoshop's raw converter set it manually anyway. What's scary is that if Nikon gets away with this, they might be embold

    • by AstroDrabb (534369) * on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @06:43PM (#12286975)
      I take it you have never used or purchased a high-end camera?

      Nikon will lose zero dollars over this. If you are a professional photographer, you are not going to settle for something less just because Adobe won't support it. It is not like Nikon prevent you from getting to your shots. Nikon has their own tools to view and even convert the data. My brother-in-law is a pro-photographer (which lets me use some really great cameras even though I suck as a photographer ; ) ). He does use Photoshop and once I showed him the Gimp, he uses that as well for things that the Gimp excels at. However, to him the only thing that matter is the shot and not whether Photoshop supports it. He could care less about Adobe supporting his camera.

      I think your comment falls more on the line of professional graphic artists, and certainly _not_ a photographer. I would like to know a real, professional photographer that would not use the best camera around just because Adobe doesn't want to license a format from Nikon.

      Now, as an Open Source geek, I do think that all of this crap is silly. However, this is the nature of the beast when you live in the land of proprietary crap.

      People interested in the D2X/H cameras are going to be shopping around looking for the one that best fits their needs and aren't going to be impulse buying a $5000 camera.
      Exactly and you just countered your own post. People in the market for a $5,000 dollar camera are not going to worry about Adobe supporting the cameras format. Nikon supplies the tools to get to the shot which is all that matters to someone willing to spend $5k on a camera.
  • encrypted? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MankyD (567984) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:04PM (#12283160) Homepage
    Why is it encrypted in the first place? That doesn't sound very much like raw data to me.
    • Re:encrypted? (Score:5, Informative)

      by stilwebm (129567) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:07PM (#12283202)
      The term "raw" refers to the fact that the data is straight off of the camera sensor. The encrypted data contains the white balance settings that tell a program how to interperate the single color pixel information to interpolate it in to an RGB (or possibly CYMK) image.
      • "Raw" data is unaltered, yes, but it isn't "straight off the sensor"... It's straight off the A-to-D, the Analog-to-Digital converter, which is hardwired directly to the sensor in a manner that cannot be bypassed.

        .NEF however, is not uncompressed... It's a proprietary lossless compression format. So, no, raw is not a format... but .NEF is.

        Photoshop does not directly, officially support .NEF, but the PictureProject software with the D2H and most Nikon digital SLRs (including the D70, which I have), has a

  • by rsborg (111459) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:05PM (#12283167) Homepage
    So I wonder if Adobe feels there's a lesson [freesklyarov.org] to be learned here... In other news, Dmitry chuckles softly.
    • by Kaa (21510) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:16PM (#12283333) Homepage
      So I wonder if Adobe feels there's a lesson to be learned here...

      Unfortunately, it's not Adobe who'll be suffering. This is a pure case of Nikon shooting themselves in the foot. With a bazooka, might I add...
  • Good Grief! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CaptainZapp (182233) * on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:05PM (#12283169) Homepage
    Can someone in this fine, family type forum please assure me that I'm not in the Twilight Zone?

    Nikon, to the best of my understanding, is a camera manufacturer. I have no clue if they do stuff in the whiz-bang imaging market, like Kodak, or Agfa, but it would seem that their business model depends on selling cameras, lenses and other nice gizmos, ideally loads of them.

    Assume I'm a Fotografer. Since the times of silver plates and baryt paper (which sure as hell still has it's niche, but I digress) seem somewhat outdated I like to process my digital images with what can be considered the major photo processing application; pretty much the standard in my trade.

    And the good burgers from Nikon intend to prevent direct access to crucial parts of the raw data of my images?

    I think I buy a Canon!

    • by Kaa (21510)
      Can someone in this fine, family type forum please assure me that I'm not in the Twilight Zone?

      Yes, I can assure you that you are not in the Twilight Zone.

      You're in a Dilbert cartoon :-)
    • Re:Good Grief! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PPGMD (679725) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:34PM (#12283587) Journal
      And the good burgers from Nikon intend to prevent direct access to crucial parts of the raw data of my images?

      I think I buy a Canon!

      It's not that simply for a majority of folks that are in the market for cameras like D2X. Most of them already have $10,000 or more invested into Nikon before you even factor the camera body in.

      Now they could sell all their Nikon stuff on Ebay for say $5,000, then spend another $10,000 buy the same things for Canon (even assuming that some of the older lens are available, you know the ones that we chipped to get working with the newer cameras).

      Sorry that may make sense on /., but it doesn't make sense to real photographers. A few may make that leap, but many will simply stay with their D1's (or even F5's with Provia, and Velvia), until Nikon and Adobe works things out, or someone makes a plug in that hacks it for them.

      • Re:Good Grief! (Score:3, Informative)

        by ajs (35943)
        You're assuming that the competition is for established photographers. What happens if this year's round of people buying NEW professional cameras don't buy a Nikon? I would think that would be a far more serious concern.
    • Re:Good Grief! (Score:3, Informative)

      by Zocalo (252965)
      Nikon, to the best of my understanding, is a camera manufacturer.

      Well, technically, Nikon is more of a general "optical equipment" manufacturer than just a camera manufacturer. They might be best known to the man on the street for their cameras, and maybe scanners, but the bulk of their revenue comes from the sale industrial optical equipment. We have a couple of them in our cleanroom at work that cost over $1m each, and Leica too for fans of the brand.

      So, yes, while this will probably convince some

  • by squiggleslash (241428) * on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:06PM (#12283184) Homepage Journal
    Irony [slashdot.org]. How sad it is that nobody at Adobe is going to actually spend any time in jail over this. (Which "this"? I mean, either hacking the camera, because they're not going to do it, or over accusing someone of DMCA violations for producing a perfectly legal application in their home country.)

    Adobe: this is another fine mess you've gotten yourself into.

  • by turgid (580780) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:06PM (#12283185) Journal
    ...is, of course, for Adobe to license the decryption algorithm from Nikon.

    This is exactly what the DMCA was intended to do. I can't remember their being much corporate oppostition to the DMCA when it was being introduced.

    • by RaboKrabekian (461040) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:09PM (#12283227) Journal
      ...is, of course, for Adobe to license the decryption algorithm from Nikon.

      Exactly. Or choose not to support the camera. I can't imagine Nikon not trying to get Photoshop support to be rock solid, but that's their choice.

    • by jkabbe (631234) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:12PM (#12283270)
      There's a difference in principle between encryption to protect content owned by the corporation and encryption simply created to extract money from third-party vendors.

      If I take a picture with a Nikon camera, I own the content. Shouldn't I be able to do what I want with it?

      Furthermore, what grounds would Nikon have for suing Adobe based on Adobe's violation of encryption that is protecting my copyrighted works? IANALY, but isn't there a "standing" issue here?
      • I believe the parent poster was using a bit of sarcasm.

        When Adobe used the DCMA to go after Russian programmers (a move they rescinded and let the FBI do for them), the DCMA was a great and wonderful thing.

        Now, Adobe's learning what a poison pill the DCMA really is. Will this cut short their support for such a law, or next time make them fight such onerous challenges to reasonable copyright as set out by the founders of the United States?

        Anyway, that's what I think the poster was talking about.

        As for the last part, Nikon could sue Adobe under the DCMA, which states that you can crack encryption for personal use - but you can't tell anyone else how to do it. If Adobe releases a tool that cracks Nikon's encryption algorithm, then Nikon could go after them for some imagined damages.

        The best thing is for Nikon to realize their heads are up their asses, remove this stupid encryption algorithm, and for both sides to state publicly that the DCMA is a bad, bad, bad law and they will never give money to any politician who supports it.

        Yeah. And monkeys might fly out of my butt, too.
        • by jkabbe (631234) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:42PM (#12283687)
          As for the last part, Nikon could sue Adobe under the DCMA, which states that you can crack encryption for personal use - but you can't tell anyone else how to do it. If Adobe releases a tool that cracks Nikon's encryption algorithm, then Nikon could go after them for some imagined damages.

          But if the measure is not designed to protect the rights of a copyright owner, I do not believe any device designed to circumvent that measure falls under the DMCA. It is clear to me that encrypting white balance values is not designed to protect my rights as the photographer.

          But, I can see why it's scary enough for Adobe to just walk away for the moment.
    • by Dr Reducto (665121) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:33PM (#12283570) Journal
      Adobe asked Nikon, and Nikon said NO to a licensing deal.

      Anyways, notice how Adobe is the only one complaining. I believe it is because Nikon's competing software (and software that other 3rd parties have made) has made Adobe Photoshop less relevant. That is why CS 2 is coming out....to correct the deficiency Photoshop has with regard to digital photography.

      Other 3rd party software companies have worked around the WB data, and aren't complaining like Adobe is. There is more to the story than this.
  • by WD_40 (156877) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:06PM (#12283189) Homepage
    The DMCA is having very far-reaching effects, all of which I'm sure were not contemplated or foreseen by the people who drafted the DMCA.

    The thing I hate about this sort of legislation, is that once it's on the books, it's very difficult to get repealed.

    Other than calling and writing to our representatives, how else do we make our concern known?
    • by drdanny_orig (585847) * on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:13PM (#12283292)
      Other than calling and writing to our representatives, how else do we make our concern known?

      How about by buying a Canon camera?
      • by StormReaver (59959) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:31PM (#12283536)
        "How about by buying a Canon camera?"

        And writing to both Canon and Nikon explaining your purchasing decision.
      • It's not that simple for professional photographers.
        You usually build up an entire system (multiple lenses - and a couple of bodies) - and you have to make some choices depending on what you are going to shoot and how much you are willing to spend.

        In general, Nikon's lenses are more interoperable than Canon. Canon's latest bodies will only take EOS lenses, not the older FD mount. With Nikon, some of your older lenses will still work (yes - even manual lenses on the latest SLR or Digital SLR (you might not
    • by SirGeek (120712) <sirgeek-slashdot@NOsPam.mrsucko.org> on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:24PM (#12283432) Homepage
      The DMCA is having very far-reaching effects, all of which I'm sure were not contemplated or foreseen by the people who drafted the DMCA.

      Bullshite. They knew exactly what the law would be used for and by whom. This law was drafted for the sole purpose of kissing the collective asses of big business.

      The thing I hate about this sort of legislation, is that once it's on the books, it's very difficult to get repealed.

      Which is why they just keep writing new laws to do the same thing as older laws ( just adding new "technologies" ) rather than changing the old laws to be more technology neutral.

      Other than calling and writing to our representatives, how else do we make our concern known?

      We can't. In general, we don't have enough clout to get the politicians to even listen to us, let alone to get them to actually hear us.

    • > The DMCA is having very far-reaching effects, all of which I'm sure were not contemplated or foreseen by the people who drafted the DMCA.

      And it's made worse by the fact that we don't even REALLY know what the effects of the DMCA are. The headline implies that the DMCA is preventing Adobe from supporting Nikon's format. In fact, Adobe is saying that it doesn't really know whether it would be a DMCA violation or not. But it doesn't want to chance it.

      To be sure, a lot of things in copyright law, such a
    • by shotfeel (235240) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:38PM (#12283640)
      The DMCA is having very far-reaching effects, all of which I'm sure were not contemplated or foreseen by the people who drafted the DMCA.

      I wouldn't let them off the hook that easily. Our legislators were told by consumer rights advocates that this was the type of thing that would happen. Of course supporters of the DMCA told the legislators that nobody would ever stoop that low.

      Guess who they beleived?
  • by fwr (69372) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:07PM (#12283199)
    If I recall, wasn't Adobe responsible for some DMCA silliness a while back? Seems that things have come around and bit them. Be wary of what you wish for...
  • FUCK THEM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Profane MuthaFucka (574406) * <busheatskok@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:08PM (#12283207) Homepage Journal
    They went after a Russian dude who broke their encryption, and he even did it in Russia where it was entirely legal. They only threw him in the can when he entered the US.

    So FUCK THEM. Karma has bitten their asses, and I don't feel sorry at all.
  • by intmainvoid (109559) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:08PM (#12283208)
    Surely Nikon aren't going to sue, they can't possibly expect to sell their top of the line camera if it's not fully supported by photoshop.
  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:09PM (#12283225) Homepage Journal
    to allow Adobe to decrypt the white balance information? This is a very high-end camera, one that many of its users will by to shoot in raw mode. If the #1 tool for post-processing (PS) isn't going to do the job, that will cut into camera sales, will it not?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:31PM (#12283530)
      Here's what probably happened here:

      Dear Adobe,
      Please be advised that some aspects of our new RAW file format will be stored in an encrypted format. If you wish to support our new format, we are happy to license the decryption mechanism to you for $5 for every copy of Photoshop you sell or that you upgrade to allow to process our format. Please note that, under the terms of the DCMA, you are required to license our technology if you wish to support the thousands of Nikon customers in your customer base. We hope you agree that this is a small price to pay to continue to support our cameras.

      Sincerely,
      Nikon.

      Dear Nikon,
      Fuck you.

      Sincerely,
      Adobe.

  • LOL (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kaa (21510) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:12PM (#12283267) Homepage
    Dilbert is a reality show.

    " -- Hmm... I know! Let's radically decrease the usefulness of our flagship camera by making it incompatible with the program that probably 90+% of professionals use!

    -- Yes, great idea! And if they try to go around it, we'll sue them under DMCA!"
  • by MoralHazard (447833) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:12PM (#12283269)
    (I personally think that would be a bogus interpretation of the DMCA, since I think the copyrighted information inside the NEF file belongs to the photographer, not Nikon. But Nikon apparently thinks they own the information inside the NEF).

    This is a little strange, isn't it? If a photographer takes a picture, it's pretty clear that the photog owns the copyright to that photo. Nikon couldn't possibly claim any rights on photos taken with their camera, least of all because it would make it impossible for professionals to use that equipment. And with $5K cameras, you're really only looking at the professional market.

    So if the white balance information (the encrypted stuff) is a part of the photograph, the photographer owns the copyright on that data, too, right? That seems pretty straightforward, but I could be wrong...

    Can the DMCA be applied to prevent you from decrypting something that you own the copyright on? This isn't even like owning a DVD and wanting to decrypt the data, because in that case the movie company owns the copyright.

    If the DMCA can be applied that way, that's some fucked-up shit. It's just absurd.
    • Not so strange (Score:3, Interesting)

      by doublem (118724)
      I used to have a boss who nearly fired me when he found out I was using OpenOffice, because he insisted that anything I wrote using it would be "Open Sourced" as a result. I'd like to point out that the difference between a word processor and a text editor was over his head, and he thought I wrote my code in it as well.

      I countered with "If that were true, Microsoft would own the copyright to everything you write with Word."

      You could see the gears in his head seize at the thought. After close to a minute
    • You the end user (photographer) hold the copyright to everything you produce using the camera (since you bought it without restriction). The DMCA gives you full rights to everything you produce, including decrypting the w.b. data, reprogramming the camera, etc. The problem is, you can't get help from anybody else (like Adobe) in order to exercise your own rights over your own copyrighted material.

      What the DMCA does prevent is anybody (like Adobe) from "traficking" in software which decrypts the data. It
  • by KILNA (536949) * <kilna@kilna.com> on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:13PM (#12283298) Homepage Journal

    First, Adobe has a guy arrested [slashdot.org], and then tried [eff.org] under the DMCA, for having the gall to crack the PDF format, which Adobe voilated the DMCA [slashdot.org] by embedding other font vendors' information into.

    Now, even though someone has broken an ineffective [planetpdf.com] encryption method, they can't use the files due to the DMCA. Maybe they'll just keep buying companies [google.com] until they have all the IP they need? :)

  • by genner (694963) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:15PM (#12283319)
    Nikon is going to take the hit for this one. Adobe is basically a monopoly when it comes to image processing. If they leave support for Nikon out of their product they won't sufffer a bit, but Nikon will.
  • by stlhawkeye (868951) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:15PM (#12283320) Homepage Journal
    This PR blows for Nikon, who is marketing a high-end camera to elite users. That's a fickle market of people who weigh purchasing decisions carefully. I bet Adobe and Nikkon resolve this problem within 3 weeks. Save this post so you can see if I'm right!
  • by technoviper (595945) <technoviperx.yahoo@com> on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:21PM (#12283390) Homepage
    As a professional photographer, i frankly prefer Nikons own RAW filter, its definately better at processing RAW files than Adobes. i had never assumed that the DMCA had anything to do with the RAW processing, as most camera manufacturers have thir own proprietary RAW formats. In the print/prepress world proprietary software and hardware is the norm, not the exception. Having to spend money on an inexpensive plugin is hardly a major inconvenience. (Not to mention that i got the software bundled with my camera)
  • by fsck! (98098) <jacob...elder@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:24PM (#12283439) Homepage
    I think they are more interested in not looking like a bunch of hypocrites. Remember the Adobe eBook fiasco? If they look at this problem and say (by their actions) that the DMCA is stupidly getting in the way of getting perfectly legitimate work done and break the encryption, they loose.
  • Two thoughts. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LaminatorX (410794) <sabotage.praecantator@com> on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:31PM (#12283541) Homepage
    [Nikon friendly angle]
    Photoshop's RAW converter is considered by many in the industry to be mediocre. Nikon wants images from their flagship camera to be processed well, reflecting the quality of their product.

    [More Realistic Angle]
    Nikon wants to sell more copies of its Nikon Capture software, which is a superior RAW converter, hands down. $100 for a copy of NC is penuts to a pro, and the savings in their time will be significant.

    • Re:Two thoughts. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Just Some Guy (3352)
      [Disinterested spectator angle]
      Of course Adobe's RAW converter isn't as good as Nikon's - Nikon has made it illegal for Adobe to produce one with as high a quality. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement of Nikon's programming prowess (although he seemed competent enough in "Hackers").
  • by Animaether (411575) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:32PM (#12283551) Journal
    As Adobe themselves state, they expect to have preliminary support for the D2X in May ( http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/cameraraw. html [adobe.com] )

    As the article itself mentions, it's not really that big a deal. It is the white balance parameters as set on the camera when the image was shot that is encrypted. The RAW data isn't directly affected by this, and picking a white-balance preset or performing manual/auto whitebalacing on the RAW data gives you the same/similar/better results (that's partly the point of shooting RAW, no?)

    What could be worse is if they encrypted the data as well. This is what SONY does on the F828 and V3, for example.
    However, both are supported by Photoshop's RAW support, so I take it they simply licensed or SONY gave them a thumbs up for supporting it. No idea why they encrypt it, though.
    Regardless.. that's what would have to happen with any future encrypted formats.. I doubt we've seen the last of them anyway.

    If all else fails, get the dcraw utils ( http://www.cybercom.net/~dcoffin/dcraw/ [cybercom.net] ) and convert from one raw to another. That's where the SONY decryptor is also hosted.

    Speaking of dcraw... has Adobe given the author credit yet ?
  • The real question: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:36PM (#12283605)
    "Where does Photoshop come in? As graphic arts software, it's great for removing a telephone pole, or adding a drop shadow, or affixing a caption to your photo. But if you're using it to crop or straighten an image, or adjust contrast, brightness, saturation and curves, or to apply filters, you simply don't need it."

    No. The real question is: If I already use Photoshop, why would I want Nikon Capture? After all, it only does half of what Photoshop CS can do, and won't be compatable with my clients.

    Pros aren't going to be dumping Photoshop any time soon. And while there're not, there's not much of a reason to use something else. Unless, of course, the company who made your camera is trying to lock you in, in which case you might consider another brand.

    Why is Nikon so hot and bothered about image editing all of a suddern anyway?

  • Thomas Knoll says (Score:5, Interesting)

    by geneing (756949) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @01:45PM (#12283729)
    Author of Photoshop Thomas Knoll, said "I think the copyrighted information inside the NEF file belongs to the photographer, not Nikon. But Nikon apparently thinks they own the information inside the NEF."
  • by Glamdrlng (654792) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @02:09PM (#12284048)
    I can't say I have any sympathy for the company that imprisoned a programmer because he broke their encryption so the visually impaired could read their file format. Companies like Adobe are part of the reason the DMCA exists. It's nice to see them bleeding on their double-edged sword every now and again.
  • by skribble (98873) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @02:31PM (#12284282) Homepage

    I've read that Nikon actually hasn't encrypted the WB *yet*. It also seems that if Nikon wanted to force people to use thier products they would encrypt much more then WB.

    It seems highly possible that this a ploy by Adobe to freak people out about propritary RAW formats so everyone will demand thier next camera be DNG compatible (DNG being Adobe's "Standard" Propritary RAW format (Think Microsoft)).

  • Oh the irony (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Qrlx (258924) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @03:34PM (#12285081) Homepage Journal
    Let me be about the bazillionth person to point out the Irony.

    Adobe went after Sklyarov with the DMCA for removing Adobe's ebook protections.

    Now they're on the other end of the stick, and have to cripple their premier application.

    I wonder if they still think they did the right thing by going after Dmitry.

    Someone explain to me how white balance information on a picture you took, on a camera you own, is any of Nikon's business. DMCA or otherwise.
  • by ka9dgx (72702) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @03:51PM (#12285262) Homepage Journal
    I was an evangelist for them back when they made the 995, etc. It was a wickedly cool camera, and I got all the lenses for it, which now just sit. I've had it with them.... it just figures they'd try to milk some extra $$$ out of us for something that should be free.

    Another example is with the current CoolPix 8800, the filter thread is 53.5 mm, which is frustratingly close to the 55 mm they could have made it, but oh no, they want to force me to buy their lame-ass filters. I can't even buy an ND8, or an ND64, or a conkin converter because of the wierd size.

    I'm fed up, I'm going to get a Canon, or Sony next time. Nikon technology is great, but the company sucks, they need to get a clue [cluetrain.org].

    --Mike--

  • The Corporate View (Score:5, Insightful)

    by johnos (109351) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @06:31PM (#12286849)
    From a completely ruthless business point of view, Nikon has made a monumentally stupid decision. Really, this is one for the text books. If they don't about face immediately, they will lose the professional market entirely. Though more conservative than the typical slashdot reader, pro photographers are even more jealous of their rights. And no matter how you spin it, Nikon appears to be encrypting some of my information for the sole purpose of selling me software to decrypt it. That's extortion.

    But that's not the monumentally stupid part. The once-in-a-lifetime blunder is in the numbers. In order to pull a few million in software sales, they are throwing away a billion dollars in brand value. Value that took 50 years to build. Value they will likely never be able to reclaim. That brand recognition gets them shelf space in stores, and ensures their cameras are reviewed by journalists, and gets their products support from companies like Adobe. The annual worth of those benefits is probably 10x the revenue they could hope to pull from their software. Unbelievable.

In order to dial out, it is necessary to broaden one's dimension.

Working...