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XMP At Work: Changing the Date of your Copyright Notice


by Veit Irtenkauf

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Every year the same old games. One of them is changing the date in your copyright notice that you apply to the metadata of your images. So what’s the easiest way to get it done?

Note by the editor: Veit sent the article in time for the New Year. Sorry, for the delay from our end.

Applying Copyright Information

Assuming that you use Photoshop or Bridge to apply your copyright information, the quickest way to apply copyright information is from a metadata template. Both Bridge and Photoshop (via the File Info dialog) offer a very easy way via “Append Metadata” to apply your copyright information. Once you have created a copyright template, “Append Metadata” only overwrites the metadata fields that you filled in in your template, thus leaving all the other metadata information intact. This is my preferred method and I use it for all of my images that I apply copyright info to (usually, the keepers).

Appending metadata to an image in Bridge Creating a Copyright Information Template

The method I used to create my copyright information template has been described on several web sites. In short, it works like this

1. In Photoshop, create a new image (don’t worry about its details, since you will discard the image at the end)

2. Open the File Info dialog

3. Under the “Description” tab, fill in the information for your copyright notice. I use the fields “Copyright Status”, “Copyright Notice” and “Copyright URL” for that info and leave all others empty. Thus, when later using “Append Metadata” on any image, only these three metadata fields will be altered and all other metadata will remain unchanged.

4. Once your copyright information is entered, click on the arrow in the upper right, then click “Save Metadata Template” and give it a meaningful name.

5. Exit Photoshop without saving the image.

Saving your Metadata Template that contains your copyright notice

Updating the Year in Your Copyright Notice

Since my copyright notice contains the year, I have to update it every year. Obviously, I could just throw away the existing copyright notice and create a new one every year. But fortunately, there’s a much quicker way to do this.

Even although the copyright fields are part of the IPTC metadata standards, Adobe stores the entire metadata template as an XMP metadata file. And since XMP templates are typically written in ASCII (meaning plain text) format, you can simply edit the XMP template file with any text editor. Just follow these steps:

1. Navigate to the location where the XMP templates are stored.

On Windows: c:\Documents and Settings\{username}\Application Data\Adobe\XMP\Metadata Templates

On Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/XMP/Metadata Templates

2. Open the template file in a text editor of your choice

3. Find the copyright notice and change the year in the text from 2006 to 2007. Done!

Changing the year from 2006 to 2007 is quick, and easy!


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