The law surrounding the admissibility of digitally enhanced or modified photographs is unsettled. To be safe, proponents of a digitally enhanced or modified photograph should follow Rule 901 of the Federal Rules of Evidence... to satisfy these evidentiary requirements, proponents of a digitally modified photograph in Housing Court should (1) give opposing counsel notice of the enhanced photograph, (2) maintain an original version of the enhanced photograph, (3) keep a log of any enhancement made to the photograph, (4) employ qualified personnel, (5) use reliable software, and (6) preserve the equipment used.
Jurors often are bored, confused, and frustrated when attorneys or witnesses try to explain technical or complex material. However, when attorneys present the same material with visual aids that simplify these complex issues, the pendulum can swing too far in the other direction. Because jurors may retain as much as 85% of what they learn visually and as little as 10% of the information they hear, the verdict a jury renders may have more to do with how memorable a photograph is, rather than what the jury has heard from lawyers and witnesses. Additionally, because of the fidelity of analog photographs, jurors trust all prints, even ones that have been digitally altered.
Almond v. State
Only rarely does a civil case broach the topic of digital image authentication; the courts that do are usually conducting a criminal proceeding. Most courts, by saying nothing, are in essence adopting the standard enunciated in Almond v. State, where the appellant, who had been convicted of malicious murder and the sale of cocaine, objected to the use of digital photographs as evidence. The court held that for purpose of identification, digital photographs should be treated no differently than any other photograph. To bolster its approach, the court indicated that it knew of no authority that suggested that digital photographs should be admitted on grounds any different than that of traditional photographs. This is precisely why some sort of standard needs to be adopted for the authentication of digital images: there is no authority on the subject.
This is quite an accusation. On page 28 of the complaint that Apple filed in germany you can find a picture of the iPad2 next to a Galaxy Tab. They look almost identical, underpinning Apple’s point that the Galaxy Tab is a simple copy of Apple’s “revolutionary” design. However – it isn’t. The aspect ratio has been altered. As the article explains, in the filing, both pictures indicate devices with an aspect ration of 1,36. In reality however the Galaxy Tab is 256,7 x 175,3 mm which leads to an aspect ration of 1,46.
Superimposing an image of a skull on an image of a face is one of the most effective methods for identifying a deceased individual from his/her skeleton. Both ordinary methods using photography and video require an actual skull, but the body of the deceased must be cremated within a certain period. In this paper, a new method is introduced in which pictures of possible persons' faces and a skull to be inspected are digitized and superimposed using advanced image processing... this method is very useful and easy to use, but attention should be paid to avoid artificial or unintentional manipulation of digitized images.
Writing in his book Journolists, the veteran journalist Cedric Pulford explained: “We don’t need to deny ourselves the advantages of the [digital image editing] technology, but there is a quantum gap between tweaking two figures closer to remove the empty space between them and removing someone from a group shot.
“Producing a leggier model may not matter because we are dealing in fantasy; to ‘tidy up’ people in news [pictures]…is a distortion if real life. We all have to decide how far down this road we are willing to go.”
The Atlantic reports that the Israeli parliament has passed legislation that prohibits fashion media and advertising with models who fall below the World Health Organization's standard for malnutrition banning underweight models as determined by Body Mass Index. The new law also stipulates that any ad which uses airbrushing, computer editing, or any other form of Photoshop editing to create a slimmer model must clearly state that fact. Advertising campaigns created outside of Israel must comply with the legislation's standards in order to appear in Israel. 'I realized that only legislation can change the situation,' says Rachel Adato, an Israeli parliament member with a background in medicine. 'There was no time to educate so many people, and the change had be forced on the industry. There was no time to waste, so many girls were dieting to death.'
How much scientific fraud is out there? Estimates vary widely, and actual fraud is difficult to detect by reviewers and editors alike. Judson puts the number quite high and feels that scientists delude themselves into believing that the peer-review system is nearly perfect and that science is "self-correcting". New technologies, like Photoshop, play a role by the ease with which images can be modified. The executive editor of the "Journal of Cell Biology", Michael Rossner, reported to Nicholas Wade of the New York Times that about 20% of the journal's accepted research have at least one photo that has been doctored in an unacceptable way.
Because image-enhancing technology is readily available, people are frequently exposed to doctored images. However, in prior research on how adults can be led to report false childhood memories, subjects have typically been exposed to personalized and detailed narratives describing false events. Instead, we exposed 20 subjects to a false childhood event via a fake photograph and imagery instructions. Over three interviews, subjects thought about a photograph showing them on a hot air balloon ride and tried to recall the event by using guided-imagery exercises. Fifty percent of the subjects created complete or partial false memories. The results bear on ways in which false memories can be created and also have practical implications for those involved in clinical and legal settings.
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The urge to modify camera images is as old as photography itself—only the methods have changed. Nearly every type of manipulation we now associate with digital photography was also part of the medium's pre-digital repertoire: smoothing away wrinkles, slimming waistlines, adding people to a scene (or removing them)—even fabricating events that never took place.