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META Insights

Why do metadata matter?
© Mark Harmel

META Insights

SAA's investigative studies, education and advocacy initiatives have made clear the urgency to better identify and manage digital photo assets. We need to prepare for anticipated changes in copyright laws and respond to a increasing infringements of digital files, which are easily sourced, downloaded and used.

We need to recognize metadata are key to easily finding digital images during searches — whether online or offline — thereby increasing licensing opportunites. Managing your digital assets is an increasing challenge and  metadata help surmount it.

Commit yourself now to embedding identifying information in every digital file. Take time to understand the issues and the opportunities.


Read our Metadata Manifesto, which calls for industrywide adoption of guiding principles, standards and technology to embrace photo metadata use. We outline steps photographers, distributors, users and developers must take to help make this happen.

Understand copyrights and commit to protecting and respecting them.

Read what we've learned about Internet Infringements, one of the licensing industry’s most serious issues. An SAA investigative white paper reports findings of our 2006 investigative study using PicScout visual-search technology. It uncovered a high rate of misuse.

Learn what our MetaSurveys found out about industry metadata practices.

Spread the word! Encourage your colleagues, association leaders, stock distributors, clients and other stakeholders to work together to define, adopt and promote best practices for digital photo metadata.

Make a commitment to embed metadata in every digital file.
Don't let your images leave home without it!