Its been an interesting couple of months of milestones that have warranted photographic documentation…graduations, birthdays, and babies. As I was copying my images from the SD card to my computer it struck me that it’s been awhile since I did a back up of my images. The next day my hard drive seemingly gasped and died. After cursing the irony and my procrastination, I collecting myself and did a reinstall of the system software and was able to get back into the hard drive…needless to say I did a complete copy of all my files and images to an external hard drive immediately. I was lucky. Loosing images of children growing up, graduations, birthdays, camping is like loosing a link to the past and the evolution of a family. I would have had no one to blame but myself.
Perminder Tung, a Canadian lawyer was not so lucky. He took steps to back up images of the birth of his daughter using Apple Time Capsule, unfortunately, Tung claims the device failed and that Apple informed him the images were gone forever. He is now suing Apple for $25,000 to compensate for the lose of the images.
I feel for Mr Tung. Loosing those images would be devastating, but should he be compensated by Apple? Electronic devices fail. All things mechanical, digital, or electronic can fail, but can the manufacturer be responsible for the lose of the data and memories? If a piece of electronic equipment malfunctions it should be fixed or replaced, but to hold the maker responsible for lose of memories is not realistic. As photographers, professional or amateur, it is up to us to ensure the safety of our product. Common sense tells us to keep safe and back up that which is important to us. Mr Tung is trying desperately to find someone to blame, other than himself. If I had lost my images I would have had no one to blame but myself.
I found mention of this issue in a recent blog post by photographer Chase Jarvis. He agrees with my position and so do many of the comments on his blog. He has created a video that addresses issues that deal with workflow, storage and backup of your precious images. Here is the link.