Nikon’s encryption bungle…

I was amazed by recent reports about Nikon encrypting the raw files in their high-end digital cameras… what were they thinking?

The glare of publicity has been aimed at this story since Thomas Knoll, the ‘creator’ of Photoshop attacked Nikon for the practice, which appears to impose some ownership by Nikon over a photographer’s creative work. For more years than I know, people have bought Kodak film, had it processed by Agfa chemicals and printed on Ilford paper… that is the freedom that photographers are used to. They are not going to put up with being told to use a particular (Nikon) Image Capture software ($us99) to access their highest quality, raw images.

Sure enough, less than a week later, “A Massachusetts programmer has broken the code“. Implications for big players like Adobe who still don’t want to be sued are uncertain, but it is inevitable that either Nikon gives in, releases the encryption code somehow, or suffers the consequences. If the savage opinions expressed on forums and comments pages are turned into actions, Nikon will have some serious customer relationship rebuilding to do.