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Author Topic: Nikon Releases Statement on NEF Encryption  (Read 16749 times)
opgr
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« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2005, 04:24:15 AM »
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So, it's REALLY not about the license fees, ok? Nikon simply does NOT want 3rd party developers to to access the raw files.
I find Bryan's license fee explanation the most plausible yet. Do you happen to have any real world Nikon representative's quotes to substantiate your claim that it REALLY is NOT about licensing...?


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The WB encryption is a ploy by Nikon to draw a line in the sand. . .
Draw a line for/against who(m) or what?


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Does anybody want to be forced to do anything that is a restriction of the freedom of choice?
I think we already covered that in the various Adobe Activation scheme threads, no? ;-)
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Oscar Rysdyk
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BryanHansel
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« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2005, 01:14:12 PM »
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Now that we know Canon neither obfusticates their RAW files nor apparently plans to do so,
Canon has done this.  Schewe insists that they haven't, but Dave Coffin proved that they had by cracking the encryption, and Thomas admitted as much himself.  No, they haven't encrypted the newer files, but they had encrypted the older files.

And, Phase One, the company that produces the P25 back reviewed as the best Medium Format back by this site, encrypts the whole file.  They did this before Nikon encrypted their files, but when that happened and when Canon encrypted their files in the past, there was no out cry.  Now, in discussion threads across the internet, many of them started by Schewe -- a Canon Explorer of Light -- you find Nikon being based.  (BTW, I don't know Schewe, nor do I have anything personal against him if it sounds like I do.  I enjoy looking at his photography, and wish him well.)

Where is the uproar over the encryption by the company of the best medium format back available as of Winter 2004/2005?

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The Nikon SDK, which is free to "bona fide software developers" does not allow access to the raw file.

I'm not talking about free licensing.  I'm talking about Adobe paying Nikon a licensing fee to be able to crack the encryption.  Are there negotiation in this aspect?  Schewe, can you find this out?  And if there are not, what does Thomas say about it?  What does Nikon say about it? I've worked with enough large companies in the past and negotiated enough to know that money talks.  I image that almost everyone on this forum has had these types of negotiations.

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Nikon wants to maintain control of the RAW data, data that are yours -- you created it.

No, you created an image that is held inside a format that was designed and created by Nikon, in this case.  You certainly control the Copyright to the image you created, but you have never owned the file formats that you're image is stored in.  Do you think you own the tiff format? No, you don't. Adobe owns the Copyright to the Tiff format.  Jpeg is open source.

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Countless similar examples could be contrived.

Yes, you could contrive countless examples, but in all of those examples, they still won't address the issue at hand, which really comes down to Copyright and Control of a file format.  And whether or not every company should have to make their formats open source or not.

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If you're happy with PS 6.0 and Capture and you don't mind ever going beyond that, fine,

Actually, after reading about this merge to HDR, I'm thinking that I'll be upgrading.  Now, I have to figure out if I can upgrade from 6.0 or if I haven't to pay for the versions that I skipped.

I want to be able to convert my images in the future, and I like to have choice, but I can also understand the desire to maintain control over something that you've created, like Nikon wants to maintain control over their file format.  What really needs to happen is that Nikon and Adobe work out some sort of licensing agreement.  If they don't, then I could see a future where Nikon will encrypt all its RAW files, Adobe will stop supporting them, and some other software manufacture will step up to the plate and Adobe will lose all that business.
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DiaAzul
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« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2005, 10:54:47 PM »
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The Nikon SDK, which is free to "bona fide software developers" does not allow access to the raw file.

I'm not talking about free licensing.  I'm talking about Adobe paying Nikon a licensing fee to be able to crack the encryption.  Are there negotiation in this aspect?  Schewe, can you find this out?  And if there are not, what does Thomas say about it?  What does Nikon say about it? I've worked with enough large companies in the past and negotiated enough to know that money talks.  I image that almost everyone on this forum has had these types of negotiations.
This is a very dangerous game to play. As soon as you start introducing a license fee for decrypting RAW files we are all up the creek without a paddle. Licensing fees are likely to be charged as either a large one off payment to secure rights, or on a per copy basis. Whichever way this turns out I as a photoshop user, but not as a Nikon camera owner, end up indirectly putting more money into Nikon's pockets just so that a few D2X users can have 'as shot' white balance in Adobe camera RAW.

The worst, is that once the precedent is set for paying license fees it is difficult to break and before you know what has happened every camera manufacturer will be making some charge or other.

Let's be clear about one thing...whilst Photoshop & other third party RAW convertors might not sell additional cameras, actions (or inactions) by the camera manufacturers that limit effective third party support does and will limit their sales. This is irrespective of what has happened in the past and also irrespective of what Thomas, Schewe, Dave Coffin, Nikon or anyone else may have said - all that matters is future support for open RAW, not historical point scoring.

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If they don't, then I could see a future where Nikon will encrypt all its RAW files, Adobe will stop supporting them, and some other software manufacture will step up to the plate and Adobe will lose all that business.

That is one possibility, however, history does not suggest it is the likely outcome. More likely is that photographers will migrate to the most efficient and cost effective overall workflow. From Adobe's perspective they are not going to loose a lot of sales by not supporting Nikon in ACR - whether Nikon cameras are supported or not Nikon shooters are still likely to purchase Photoshop as there are few alternative offerings on the market with the full breadth and width of options. In addition Nikon photographers are a minority (probably less than 5%) of photoshop revenue and probably less than 0.5% of Adobe's overall revenue. For Adobe support of Nikon is more PR for 'range of cameras supported' than actual incremental base line revenue.

However, lack of support for alternate third party RAW converters - whether photoshop or not, will limit the sales of Nikon's cameras; if Nikon produced the world best software then no-one would care, but they don't and Nikon shooters deserve the right to use the most appropriate tool for the job.

It is in Nikon's (and every other camera manufacturers) best interests to support the 3rd party software community to ensure that their own Cameras have the best possible range of support tools possible.
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
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« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2005, 12:46:01 AM »
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I just talked to a contact at Canon (I’m a Canon Explorer) and can confirm that Canon has never intendtionally hidden anything by encryption and has no fundimental problem with 3rd parties such as Adobe with Camera Raw and Capture One supporting all the raw files Canon cameras produce. this proven to be very GOOD for Canon.
....
And TK has said that Canon's CR2 format is almost the “perfect” TIFF-EP file in the manner in which Canon writes the files. Yes, they are still undocumented, but Canon, if anything is closer to DNG already than most all the raw file formats out there.

Hm... it would do Canon lots of good financially to switch to the DNG format now in light of the Nikon frenzy. I'm sure there are quite a few Nikon shooters that would make the switch. Doesn't sound like it would take much effort.

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Canon has done this. Schewe insists that they haven't

If you fully read his post he does no such thing.

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I'm not talking about free licensing.  I'm talking about Adobe paying Nikon a licensing fee to be able to crack the encryption.  Are there negotiation in this aspect?  Schewe, can you find this out?  And if there are not, what does Thomas say about it?  What does Nikon say about it? I've worked with enough large companies in the past and negotiated enough to know that money talks.  I image that almost everyone on this forum has had these types of negotiations.

Why would a company making a RAW processor want to licence a SDK that does nothig but let them access a processed image and still leave them not being able to decrypt the RAW WB data or eve utilize teh RAW data in any way? Think about it, does that make any sense?

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No, you created an image that is held inside a format that was designed and created by Nikon, in this case.  You certainly control the Copyright to the image you created, but you have never owned the file formats that you're image is stored in.  Do you think you own the tiff format?

Sorry, but that argument holds no water. The content of that file is what the photographer owns as you pointed out. The WB data is part of that content. Nikon is encrypting that content which intentionally denies you from accessing part of your copyrighted material unless you buy their software.

This is a violation of our intelectual property and a violation of our fair-use rights via consumer lock-in. Nikon owns (part of it if it's tif based) the file fomat or at the very least, the intelectual means in which it's created. They do not legaly or ethicaly own the white balance value that is being encrypted. Period.

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Jpeg is open source.

Just FYI, the Jpeg file format is not open-source and never was. The Jpeg format is owned by a lawsuit-happy company called Forgent and their patents will expire in October '06. Currently any company that creates jpgs with their products have to pay them a hefty fee.
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didger
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« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2005, 08:23:45 AM »
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Canon happily locks out sigma lenses every 5 years or so when updating bodies.
Yeah, and Canon's habit of constantly changing their lens mounts is doing Nikon the same sort of favor as what Nikon is doing for Canon with their stupid effort with raw conversion.  If a manufacturer does anything that annoys their customers (and potential customers), it's celebration time for the competition.  It must be an ongoing wild party at Canon these days.  

In any case I said that other manufacturers SHOULD be able to offer accessories, not that they're not temporarily thwarted by short-sighted monopoly efforts all too often.
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BryanHansel
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« Reply #25 on: May 04, 2005, 12:40:58 PM »
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It wasn't my desire or intention to nor do I enjoy painting you into a corner.  But it came across, at least to me, that you were indeed showing a bias against Nikon.  Perhaps because of the lack of comments by you in the threads that I've read that would express disgust at other companies that encrypt their data also.  For example, Phase One. I apologize if my comments came across that way.

61's comment about WB that I set and created holds a lot of weight for me, and you two have finally won me over, although I can still see Nikon's side, and think most of what I read is coming down as overly harsh on Nikon.  

Overall, this whole debate has made me reconsider shooting digital for images that I will want to use in 10 or 20 years.  It makes me want to go back to slides.  There really needs to be a strong independent organization that will oversee the development of RAW files.

Luckly or unluckly I still haven't gotten a call that my name has come up on the waiting list for a D2x, so I have more time to think about this purchase.
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DiaAzul
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« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2005, 03:54:09 PM »
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And then are you saying that Nikon said, "Adobe, xxxx off.  We have a SDK, and we won't do it any other way even though you are offering to pay us something for the key to the encryption."
That was fundamental the nature of Nikon's press release...it's either the SDK or nothing.

NB There is no need to lower the tone of the discussion board by using offensive language.
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
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« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2005, 11:21:19 AM »
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The Nikon SDK is essentially useless for 3rd parties conversion software. The Nikon SDK does _NOT_ allow access to the raw data, only a pre-processed RGB file via the Nikon processing libraries. The libraries are slow, not multi-threaded and do not allow any actual raw data processing.

While Camera Raw, Bibble and Capture One COULD use the SDK, it would require that the process be as slow as Nikon's. Neither Bibble, Capture One nor Camera Raw use the Nikon SDK. Bibble at one time DID use the SDK and still does for tethered shooting only, Eric has stated that the Nikon SDK is too slow and too limiting for Bibble to use for most processing routines.

The Nikon responce on Fri, April 22 was double-speak. It did NOT dispute claims that the WB data was encrypted. Nikon said: "As a proprietary format, Nikon secures NEF’s structure and processing through various technologies."

Uh huh. . .so that is, in effect, an admission they are encypting the WB data.

More to the point, the D2X isn't the only camera to do so. The newly announced D50 and D70s will also have WB encryption. . .there is also a schedualed firmware update for the current D70. One ownders if they plan to upgrade the firmware by adding WB encryption to a camera that didn't have it?

No, Nikon stepped on their own, uh. . .thingie by ecrypting the WB data. There is no possible benefit to the end user, the photographer. The respince by Nikon was, uh, in PR terms, worse than uselss, it made the situation even worse.

But, Nikon will hear from their users. . .
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Schewe
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« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2005, 04:47:34 PM »
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Point of correction: at the moment the D50 DOES have encryption, the D70s does NOT (I've been told by a little birdie). The D70 firmaware update is still unknown at this point.
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Robert Spoecker
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« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2005, 01:59:27 PM »
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This is didger on my brother's computer again.  As regards the last message, discretion is the better part of valor.  We definitely want NOT to post anything controversial on the forum.  Michael would not be pleased to see anything that might start to turn it into a crack site.

Private messages are another matter and the ethics of the situation are quite muddy and legalities are no issue at all.  The code is freely distributed for download.  Ethics wise, selling a camera for $5000 and then taking strong measures to force the buyer to use a half baked beta program (slow, poor memory management, crashy) and pay $100 is a little questionable to say the least; probably in fact actionable.  I make these claims and veiled suggestions for the photographers' benefit.
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Robert Spoecker
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« Reply #30 on: April 25, 2005, 10:57:12 PM »
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That's beginning to sound more like Micro$oft than Nikon.
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Except for a couple of small details.  The OS/Browser/Office Suite Microsoft stuff actually works pretty well now and it just might be better that there's one world wide small business/home computer platform and basic internet and office software combo.  Nikon Capture is clearly a half done beta program that should not cost anything at this point and definitely should not be the only choice ever.

Another little detail is that Bill Gates is a sharp dude that also just happened to be in the right place at the right time with the right clout to pull his conquering of the world off.  I don't think the folks that are doing these recent Nikon moves are quite in the same league in any regard.  More like pretty dumb dudes that happen to be in the right place at the right time with the right clout to put a wilting company out of its misery.

I'm presently downloading NC 4.1 in the hope that this version had an installer that worked on Mac.  I also have a research tool that should be the key to long term use of this program (at least until ACR is available for D2X, if ever).
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pedz
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« Reply #31 on: April 27, 2005, 05:33:59 PM »
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I don't see this as an ethical or religious argument like Jeff Schewe seems to.  It is a business decision on the part of Nikon.  His statement: "The raw file must belong solely to the photographer ..." is silly.  Clearly that is not the case... so why state that it "must be"?

The market will speak and settle the argument if this is or is not a good business decision on the part of Nikon.  I'm not going to buy a DX2 but I wasn't going to anyway so why should Nikon listen to me?

Also maybe, Nikon has the game figured out better than we do.  As was pointed out, the Open Source guys are likely to break the encription.  That will lead to Photoshop plug ins, etc coming to the market so the Nikon users are happy.

But if there is an important and significant trade secret involved, Canon and all the other competitors will not be able to use it -- even after it has been discovered by the rest of the world.  I don't understand it but I know from experience that that is the case.

So, with this trick, Nikon eventually has a happy community of users AND forever lays claim to whatever process it wants to keep "secret".
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BryanHansel
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« Reply #32 on: April 27, 2005, 06:17:55 PM »
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I don't see this as an ethical or religious argument like Jeff Schewe seems to.  It is a business decision on the part of Nikon.  His statement: "The raw file must belong solely to the photographer ..." is silly.  Clearly that is not the case... so why state that it "must be"?
I'm still not sure what to think about his statement.  The RAW file does belong to the photographer: the photographer owns the copyright not the camera manufacture.  A RAW image is like undeveloped film, and there is a process to develop the film before you have an image.  It requires certain chemicals to do the process, etc... Nikon just wants to make sure the digital chemicals are the right ones.

But should you be allowed to cross develop is the question?  Sure, why not?

Then again as we had verified today, Nikon isn't the only company encrypting its RAW data.  Canon does it also.
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didger
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« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2005, 03:39:10 AM »
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Why should Adobe be able to profit off of a great technology that Nikon developed without having to pay for it.
Would you like to buy a very expensive new car and then find out that they've done something so that no tire manufacturer can make tires that fit that car because of some very weird patented wheel configuration specifically designed to lock out tire manufacturers?  If additionally the tires that the manufacturer offers are generally considered to be pretty lousy and won't even mount easily on your car wouldn't you be especially dissatisfied?  Countless similar examples could be contrived.  Just because someone develops a product doesn't mean that other manufacturers shouldn't be able to offer accessories for it.  This is the general situation world wide for every sort of product and you can hardly reverse this no matter how you keep defending Nikon about their Bullshit_Billgatesing effort.  The big exception is Microsoft and it's a big puzzle how they can keep losing major (really major) lawsuits and still keep their illegal monopoly.  I guess enough money keeps you above the law even in the teeth of major governments on the other side.  Nikon doesn't have enough money and they've pissed their customers and potential customers off far more than Microsoft ever has.

You can keep defending Nikon about this, but that won't convince anybody and it won't put out the fire.  If you're happy with PS 6.0 and Capture and you don't mind ever going beyond that, fine, but most of the rest of us want more advanced capabilities and in any case freedom of choice.  The notion that Adobe couldn't do a raw converter at least as good as the half done buggy beta Nikon Capture is ludicrous.  At any rate I'd like to see them give it a try and then let me decide for myself if Nikon is the only software developer that can maintain good image quality for Nikon raw files.  Most of us take this claim as utterly implausible self serving crap; a lie that they can't conceivably believe themselves.
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Schewe
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« Reply #34 on: May 02, 2005, 08:14:51 PM »
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Just to be clear, The Nikon SDK will do Camera Raw no good. . .it doesn't provide or allow direct assess to the raw data, only the proprocessed (by the SDK libraries) RGB and it's unclear if it's linear or gamma adjusted. It isn't a matter of Adobe "licensing" anything from Nikon for money. The Nikon SDK is free, but worthless for Camera Raw, what _IS_ at stake is control. . .Nikon want to control NEF and is taking steps to do so. They claim it is to help Nikon photographers (their words in the Advisory) but most Nikon shooters don't see it that way.

The Nikon SDK is _ONLY_ good for doing it "Nikon's Way". The WB encryption seems to be steps to force the issue. . .Camera Raw 3.1 will support the D2X but NOT the WB encrypted data, so compared to all other cameras (except the new D50 and the D2hs I believe or whatever other model has the encryption) the Nikon cameras will be "less supported". Will that make Nikon photographers happy? I doubt it.
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BryanHansel
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« Reply #35 on: May 03, 2005, 01:50:45 PM »
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Just to be clear, The Nikon SDK will do Camera Raw no good. . .it doesn't provide or allow direct assess to the raw data, only the proprocessed (by the SDK libraries) RGB and it's unclear if it's linear or gamma adjusted. It isn't a matter of Adobe "licensing" anything from Nikon for money. The Nikon SDK is free, but worthless for Camera Raw,
So, did Adobe go to Nikon and ask, "Hey, Nikon, you're SDK doesn't really work with our Camera Raw system.  Can we break the encryption or can you give us the key, so that we can make it work? Can we pay you something for the rights to gain access to the key?"

And then are you saying that Nikon said, "Adobe, piss off.  We have a SDK, and we won't do it any other way even though you are offering to pay us something for the key to the encryption."

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but most Nikon shooters don't see it that way.
Do you have scientific poll data to back up this claim?

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Sorry, but that argument holds no water. The content of that file is what the photographer owns as you pointed out. The WB data is part of that content. Nikon is encrypting that content which intentionally denies you from accessing part of your copyrighted material unless you buy their software.

Good point.
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