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How to find stolen photos on the web

Clemens M , May 12, 2010; 01:29 p.m.

Most photographers just learn by coincidence that their images are used illegally. It’s a shame because professional photographers and semi-pros need all the money they can get these days.
There is a new service that automatically scans the internet and reports all findings weekly:
Detective Happenstance can retire now… bad luck for people that use our photos without permission :-)
In contrast to Tineye it works automatically and sends a report once a week. With Tineye you have to sit in front of the computer and work. I tried it. Results are pretty nice, they found several of my images in the first week. I think they concentrate a lot on media websites, corporate websites and blogs and scan more and more.


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JDM von Weinberg , May 12, 2010; 01:38 p.m.

The pricing ranges from US$10 a month for a minimum service to $40 a month.

I'll confess I'm always happier when a post pushing some commercial service or product is accompanied by a disclaimer of personal interest on the part of the poster.

Clemens M , May 12, 2010; 01:47 p.m.

Sorry if you get the wrong impression - I am not paid for this. My personal interest was to find my photos, and it paid out, that's all.

JDM von Weinberg , May 12, 2010; 04:46 p.m.

Not at all, Clemens, it's just that sometimes posts like yours turn out to be a plug from the author of the program or some such, but not so identified.

Kerrick Long , May 12, 2010; 08:11 p.m.

I personally use Tineye. It's free and works pretty darn well!

Ian . , May 12, 2010; 08:42 p.m.

Tineye works well, but only indexes a tiny % of what's out there.
Personally I think the whole internet photo theft scare thing is way overblown. Most people who are overly worried about it don't have images worthy of theft.

Jeff Spirer , May 12, 2010; 09:08 p.m.

Personally I think the whole internet photo theft scare thing is way overblown.

100% agreement. The only things I don't put up now are ones with news value, because those do have time-based value.

Frank Skomial , May 13, 2010; 01:33 a.m.

Painful theft is when they take away something from you, and you no longer have it.

Copy of an Internet image is rather your recognition as a good photographer. If you post an image in public view you are inviting theft. Theft would be if they make profit at your expense.

Offering a service to find your stolen photos ? - is a good idea, that could also be exploited by the thieves. Once they start paying to find, it will make sense to steal even more.

Peter Weimann , May 14, 2010; 01:10 a.m.

I found at least 6 blogs, mostly chinese and turkish, that stole my pics here from photo.net. That are 34 pictures that are given from blog to blog and I have no chance to do anything against it. They earn money with ads and attract people to visit their site with my pics. That is the unfair truth. I have removed all my pics from photo.net and all similar sites. That was my first reaction which I do not like in the long run. But I still do not have any real solution for that. I wish I could infect my pics with a virus that works only when pics are stolen:-)) (Ironic mode switched off)
Any ideas?

Diane McG , Jul 02, 2010; 05:29 p.m.

I have a question ..... How do these services find the images? Do they have to be taken from a website? Are they comparing image file names? If an image is scanned from a print and then used on a website, will it show up as stolen?

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