PhotoshopNews.com
Apr 21, 2005

Nikon’s Photo Encryption Reported Broken

A Massachusetts programmer says he has broken a proprietary encryption code that has effectively forced some Nikon digital camera owners to use the company’s own software.

Source: CNET
Written By Declan McCullagh
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

Because Nikon scrambled a portion of the file, legal worries have kept third-party developers like Adobe Systems from supporting Nikon’s uncompressed “raw” photos in their software. Nikon sells its Nikon Capture utility for $100.

“It’s an open format now,” said programmer Dave Coffin, who posted the decryption code on his Web site this week. “I broke that encryption–I reverse-engineered it.”

Coffin gained some fame in digital photography circles as the author of the popular Dcraw utility, which translates raw images from cameras, including ones made by Nikon, Canon and Kodak, into a nonproprietary format. Raw images are prized by serious photographers because, unlike JPEG files, there’s no loss in quality.

Nikon’s encryption, found in the high-end D2X and D2H cameras, drew attention last weekend thanks to a post on an Adobe forum by Photoshop creator Thomas Knoll. He warned that Adobe could not fully support the Nikon files in its Camera Raw software–by decrypting the encoded white balance information–for fear of violating the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Read entire article

Also see the PhotoshopNews article that broke the Nikon WB encryption story

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