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French Deputies Want Labels On Photo-Altered Models 512

Psychophrenes writes "A number of French deputies are proposing to pass a law requiring all published photos that were modified by means of an image manipulation program to include a statement indicating that 'the photo was altered in order to modify the appearance of a person.' This indication is to be mandatory on all ads, packaging images, political posters and even art photos, and is considered a matter of public health, aimed at fighting anorexia." The related article is in French, but Google Translate does a pretty good job.
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French Deputies Moving Against Photoshopped Ads

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  • Porn and hamburgers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <> on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @10:29AM (#29503713) Journal

    It might be a little annoying reading a porn magazine which has the text "'the photo was altered in order to modify the appearance of a person." thrown all over it.

    But does this apply to persons only? I hope we'd finally get to know the truth about McDonalds hamburgers. Or can we count them as persons?

  • by reebmmm ( 939463 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @10:35AM (#29503811)

    Let's assume that this was even effective for the purpose. The text would become so omni-present to basically become meaningless. In one sense or another, every ad will somehow be "manipulated." Even if that means merely cropping the person's body to only have the head, blurring people in the background, etc.

    The other issue is who is going to enforce that right? France? An individual on behalf of France? A private right of enforcement? In any event, a company will put that notice on any ad simply to avoid being sued/fined.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @10:39AM (#29503875)
    Should they also need text "this model has been modified to alter her appearance"?
  • by raju1kabir ( 251972 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @10:49AM (#29504007) Homepage

    I think the point is that you have to put it on if you "modify the appearance of a person". I would doubt that modifying the white-balance would count as this, but agree that it will be hard to choose an arbitrary point to draw the line of what does and what does not need the disclaimer.

    More like impossible, if you want it to be meaningful.

    If you've spent some time working with photographers, you know that moving a light just a tiny bit can dramatically change how much someone appears to weigh. Changing the colour of light - or even the colour of other nearby objects that reflect some light - can change someone from vibrant to sickly. And don't even get started on makeup. Labeling only an arbitrary set of electronic manipulations is at best a joke. It'll be great news for touch-up artists who still have their old-school airbrushes, though.

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @10:50AM (#29504037)
    Actually in Australia for many years Playboy and Penthouse published nude photos with women's genitals airbrushed smooth to look like a Barbie doll. That created a generation of women that think something is wrong with them and that they should have bits cut off.
  • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jeffasselin ( 566598 ) <cormacolinde@gmai l . com> on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @11:00AM (#29504179) Journal

    Heck, how about diamonds? They're not that rare or valuable (compared to say emeralds or rubies), but DeBeers made a very successful campaign at the turn of the last century to create a market for their product by convincing women (and men) that diamonds were the only jewel worth giving as a betrothal ring.

    Heck, until Queen Victoria had a lavish, highly-publicized wedding, they were simple affairs usually involving only the immediate family and simple ceremonies often taking place at the home of the couple.

  • That sounds cool ! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 7 digits ( 986730 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @11:07AM (#29504285)

    I'd love to see that mention on Paris-Match pictures of Sarkozy...

    For the uninformed, Paris-Match magazine published an altered [] picture of Nicolas "cocainomaniac chihuahua" Sarkozy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @11:23AM (#29504541)

    actually in France food pictures have a "Suggestion de présentation" note on them, which you could translate as "you are not going to get something as goodlooking".

  • by Anonymusing ( 1450747 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @11:26AM (#29504593)

    Reminds me of the Evolution [] video from Dove. Apparently advertising does affect some girls, at least some of the time.

  • by Anonymusing ( 1450747 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @11:27AM (#29504619)

    link [] to that Dove commercial.

  • Food styling (Score:4, Interesting)

    by spun ( 1352 ) <> on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @11:27AM (#29504625) Journal

    But does this apply to persons only? I hope we'd finally get to know the truth about McDonalds hamburgers. Or can we count them as persons?

    Pictures of burgers are representative of the type of burger you can expect, you do not expect the exact burger that is in the photo otherwise they would have to take a lot of photos!

    Good for the French anyway, this can only be a positive thing.

    Food styling and photography is at least as complicated as fashion styling and photography. People at least do not dry up, wilt, sag, and turn funny colors over the course of an hour under the lights. Burgers are one of the harder foods to style and photograph. The burgers you see in photographs are not even edible. For some interesting tricks of the food stylist/photographer's trade, see here: [].

  • It's the 2D nature of the beast. Women don't want to be skinny, they want to look good. But a 2D projection of a normal person looks like a featureless block of fat. Therefore, hoop skirts are out, and tiny butts are in.

  • by Rob the Bold ( 788862 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @11:56AM (#29505043)

    That reminds me of a scene in one of my favorite movies []. Michael Douglas takes a fast food joint hostage because the burger doesn't look like the picture ;)

    "Turn around. Look at that picture. It's big, it's juicy, it's three inches thick. Now look at this sorry sad squashed thing. What's wrong here? Can anybody tell me? Anybody at all?"

    I can agree with you on this topic. Falling Down was a great picture about a guy pushed just a little too far and his vengeful but hopeless Odyssey to get back what he's lost. Definitely a guilty pleasure to watch, sort of like A Shock to the System a rung or two down the social status ladder. It helps that I was looking for work as an engineer when this movie came out just as the cold war wound down. It's sort of The Swimmer, except with RPGs.

  • Re:Food styling (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MiscellaneousFiles ( 897655 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @12:18PM (#29505359)
    Those pretty Big Macs don't even exist []!
  • by residieu ( 577863 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @12:23PM (#29505421)
    It's easier to find clothes that look good when you're skinny, because the designers design clothes for skinny people. Then they extrapolate some of those clothes out for larger sizes, where they don't look as good.
  • Re:Awesome! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Fantastic Lad ( 198284 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @01:52PM (#29506593)

    Awwww. Pooooooooooor you.

    The anger cycle, your attitudes, beliefs and all the other crap in your mental machine will put you squarely in the middle of exactly the kind of people which best match that head-space. If you are a shitty person, you'll be surrounded by the same. If you believe that the world is full of shitty people, you'll prove that to yourself every day.

    Water rises, (or sinks) to its own level.

    Learn that, and you're basically a Jedi. Until then, you're a chump.

    Good luck finding your way out of that maze. It's one of the tougher ones, but absolutely required if you want to advance beyond "Proto-Human".


  • by natehoy ( 1608657 ) on Tuesday September 22, 2009 @03:48PM (#29508005) Journal

    I think you missed my point.

    Food manufacturers who **DO NOT** process peanuts or tree nuts are starting to label their product... (emphasis added).

    In other words, at some point as more severe peanut allergies develop or are alleged or simply come to light, every product sold will have that label. Either that, or you'll have the rare company that either takes the risk, or completely and utterly bans peanut/tree nut products from their organization, even employees at home.

    When the labeling started, it was "this product contains nuts" and even though I giggled when I saw it on a bag or jar of actual peanuts or peanut butter, it made sense to me.

    Then it became "is processed in a plant that processes nuts" or "may contain trace amounts of nuts" which tells me that, even though nuts are not a primary ingredient, there's a chance of contamination. So if a nut allergy is minor, the affected person can eat it with relative safety.

    But now we have the really REALLY allergic people who can't enter a room that has had something in it at all. One of the classes at my daughter's school is like that - they have a "life and death" tree nut allergy that is severe, they had to spend a good chunk of the summer cleaning the heck out of the room because even traces of tree nut oil on the coat rack could do her in, and the rest of the class has been asked to eliminate all tree nuts (almonds, etc) from their homes for fear that oil might get on their clothing and survive a washing.

    Given that people like that exist, and I'm NOT blaming the little girl - it's an inconvenience the rest of the school just deals with - the food companies now have to basically assume that EVERY product is contaminated with any product that can cause this severity of allergy.

    So the label that it "may contain traces" has lost all useful meaning. The chances of it containing traces are unknown, and the amount meant by traces is also unknown.

    Label everything, and the label becomes meaningless because you can no longer differentiate between "we also run peanuts through the machine that made your almond butter, so the chances of contamination are relatively high" versus "we hermetically seal our almond butter making machine and all employees are under a death sentence never to own or see a peanut in their lives, but one of them might accidentally eat Pad Thai on vacation and spill some on their shirt then brush up against a machine a week later"

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.