Crediting the creator of a piece of content you share online is now common practice but it’s not always easy to find the original creator.

Asking folks to authenticate every image they stumble upon while traversing the halls of the internet is an impossibility.

At least it was in the past as Twitter, Adobe and The New York Times have announced a new initiative that will give users an image’s paper trail allowing them to see where it originated and who created it.

Named the Content Authenticity Initiative, the trio of firms hopes to create an industry wide standard for content attribution.

“With the proliferation of digital content, people want to know the content they’re seeing is authentic,” executive vice president and general counsel at Adobe, Dana Rao, said in a statement.

“While this is a formidable challenge, we are thrilled to be championing the adoption of an industry-wide content attribution system, along with The New York Times Company and Twitter. It is critical for technology and media companies to come together now in order to empower consumers to better evaluate and understand content online,” Rao added.

The system would be opt-in and it would give a creator the ability to securely attach attribution data to content they wish to share online.

A prototype of the solution was showcased at Adobe MAX earlier this year. Adobe, Twitter and The New York Times will launch the initiative in the coming months together with a number of technology and media companies.

What has us curious about this initiative is how the data will be secured. To our mind, there is nothing stopping a person from taking a screenshot and creating a new image without the attribution. Of course the solution could include protections that prevent this from happening.

There’s also the matter of the Creative Commons standards which sets out rules for sharing images and attribution. Sure, the initiative outlined above would make the process more automated and bundled with the image itself but it is opt-in.

We also hope that with Adobe working on this, the solution makes it outside of the Adobe ecosystem and into other creative applications.

The idea of giving images a paper trail to verify their authenticity is great but it will be all about the execution.

[Source – Adobe][Image – CC 0 Pixabay]