Encrypted RAW photographs

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Encrypted RAW photographs

Post by amasidlover » Fri Oct 19, 2007 12:38 pm

I am a keen amateur photographer and also a Linux user. I use a Nikon D70 and use a piece of software called ufraw to convert the RAW files from the camera ready for printing.

This is currently fine, however I am looking at upgrading my camera and the latest Nikon cameras encrypt some of the information in the RAW files - there was a lot of 'hoo-ha' when this first happened because of the DMCA - effectively US users of non-Nikon decryption felt they were criminalised (I think correctly). However, in the UK my reading of the CDPA, and the EUCD amendments suggests that UK users are not liable under the law when converting their own photographs.

My reasoning is as follows; The law says:
296ZA Circumvention of technological measures
(3) The following persons have the same rights against B as a copyright owner has in respect of an infringement of copyright -
(a) a person -
(i) issuing to the public copies of, or
(ii) communicating to the public,
the work to which effective technological measures have been applied; and
(b) the copyright owner or his exclusive licensee, if he is not the person specified in paragraph (a).
And I assume that if I took the photograph then I am the copyright holder of the RAW file and as such, unless I grant a third party a right to distribute my RAW files or sell exclusive license to my RAW files, then I am the only person given rights under the act and thus cannot be sued.

And providing I use the software only for my private, non-commercial use then I am not commiting a criminal act - based on my reading of:
296ZB Devices and services designed to circumvent technological measures

(1) A person commits an offence if he -
(a) manufactures for sale or hire, or
(b) imports otherwise than for his private and domestic use, or
(c) in the course of a business -
(i) sells or lets for hire, or
(ii) offers or exposes for sale or hire, or
(iii) advertises for sale or hire, or
(iv) possesses, or
(v) distributes, or
(d) distributes otherwise than in the course of a business to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the copyright owner,
any device, product or component which is primarily designed, produced, or adapted for the purpose of enabling or facilitating the circumvention of effective technological measures.
In fact my reading of this suggests that even commercial use of the RAW converter would be allowed, because the primary purpose of the software is converting RAW (not necessarily encrypted) camera files to printable images - not for taking encrypted files and decrypting them.

I'd be interested in other people's views.



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