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I see two possible ways to

I see two possible ways to determine real maximum value:
1) Use camera-provided linear_max values (if any)
2) and/or analyze histogram, ignore hot pixels (say 0.01% of pixels, or custom sensitivity) compare result with imgdata.color.maximum (format-specified maximum) and decrease the maximum only if calculated histogram peak is (say) one stop below color.maximum or greater.

-- Alex Tutubalin @LibRaw LLC