I've been asked many times how I embed information in a photograph (i.e. a jpg file) such as my name, my contact info, a description, a location, and even a copyright (such as a Creative Commons License). This metadata becomes part of the image file, and remains part of the image even if renamed or resized by me or anyone else. If you ever find that someone has used your photo without permission and even perhaps claimed ownership of the photo while denying the theft, then IPTC metadata is a good way to prove ownership. The metadata can be deliberately changed or removed by editing the IPTC metadata, but I think most unauthorized usage of images is done without tampering with the metadata since its hidden in the image file, and you can't see that its there by looking at the picture.

To embed this type of metadata in an image I use Adobe Bridge, a product that ships with Adobe Photoshop CS2. Here's a screenshot that show's the IPTC panel in Bridge. You can select one or more images and edit the IPTC metadata simultaneously.

From the web page about Adobe eXtensible Metadata Platform (XMP):

Adobe's Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) is a labeling technology that allows you to embed data about a file, known as metadata, into the file itself. With XMP, desktop applications and back-end publishing systems gain a common method for capturing, sharing, and leveraging this valuable metadata opening the door for more efficient job processing, workflow automation, and rights management, among many other possibilities. With XMP, Adobe has taken the heavy lifting out of metadata integration, offering content creators an easy way to embed meaningful information about their projects and providing industry partners with standards-based building blocks to develop optimized workflow solutions.




Adding IPTC Metadata with Adobe Bridge