Home | Online Piracy | Find Your Stolen Online Photos?
Online Piracy

Find Your Stolen Online Photos?


Have you ever wondered if your copyright protected images are being copied for use on other websites? As a photographer, I post many of my photos to the web. Some are on sites that have legally paid for their use, some are posted to my own website, while others are posted to photo networks such as Flickr or Picasa. It would be very easy to copy any of those images for unauthorized use and given the vast amount of pages on the web, it would be unlikely that the artist or photographer would ever discover the theft.

One tool that helps solve this problem is ?¿ src-img. It is a free, open-source tool that uses Google’s image search, which allows it to find any image that is being indexed by Google Images, one of the best image search engines on the web.  It’s easy to use and very effective. One important note, Google Images does not index Facebook photos, only profile pictures, so this tool will not work with Facebook. While other tools, like TinEye claim that they do work with Facebook, I have found they do not work very well.  And img-src seems more effective at finding non-Facebook images, but this measure is subjective on my part so you may want to test TinEye. For ?¿ src-img, there is a workaround.  If you suspect that one of your Facebook photos is being used outside of Facebook, simply post it to another site like Flickr, and then use img-src.

Setting up ?¿ src-img is simple. . Go to the ?¿ src-img website here.  On the page you will see

“Drag the following link to the bookmarks bar in your browser. ?¿ src-img.

So just put your cursor on the link and drag it into your bookmark bar. Now go to any site that has your images. For this test, I will use my Flickr site. Open a single image or use this tool for all images on a page. Just click on the ?¿ src-img link in the toolbar and the ?¿ src-img symbol will appear on top of any image on the page. Then, click on the image you’re interested in. A new page will appear with the results.

img-src search
img-src results
img-src results

Should you find your images being used without your permission, you may want to ask that the image be taken down. Depending upon the severity of the violation, you may have grounds for legal action and damages, so consult an attorney. Also, although any image has automatic copyright for the author, there are several advantages to having your images registered for Copyright with the Library of Congress Copyright Office. To understand the advantages of copyright registration, see this article or view some of the information in our guides area.

About the author

Steve Schlackman

As a photographer and Patent Attorney with a background in marketing, Steve has a unique perspective on art and law. Should you have any questions on Intellectual Property contact him at steve@orangenius.com. His photography can be seen online at Fotofilosophy.com or on display at the Emmanuel Fremin Gallery in New York City.


Click here to post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

{{Privy:Embed campaign=133844}}

The Latest From Artrepreneur

  • How to Implement a Powerful Art Marketing Strategy

    How can artists implement an art marketing plan that’s both measurable and effective? Artrepreneur reviews some proven marketing strategies for artists.The post How to Implement a Powerful Art Marketing Strategy appeared first on Artrepreneur. […]

  • A Guide to Eliminating Artist Debt and Sticking to a Budget

    The average working artist faces student loans and other debt. We ask several financial experts how they coach artists through managing artist debt while budgeting for their creative business.The post A Guide to Eliminating Artist Debt and Sticking […]

  • This CERF+ Workshop Will Teach Artists to Manage Risk

    This week, CERF+ will host a workshop for Gatlinburg artists. "Ready and Resilient" will cover topics in disaster preparedness along with a host of others focused around managing an art business.The post This CERF+ Workshop Will Teach Artists to […]

  • Jeffrey Deitch Reveals His Secrets to Sell Art

    Knowledge@Wharton and Orangenius present an interview with Jeffrey Deitch, a pervasive figure in the world of contemporary art. Listen to the full podcast here.The post Jeffrey Deitch Reveals His Secrets to Sell Art appeared first on […]

  • How to Attract the Right Artist Opportunities

    While being selected for the right artist opportunities can feel like a murky process, there are straightforward ways to move forward with advancing your career with help from your artist network.The post How to Attract the Right Artist […]

  • 10 Interview Questions Artists Must Be Able to Answer

    If you've secured that important sit-down with a potential collector, arts journalist, or gallerist, be prepared to answer these common artist interview questions during your initial meeting.The post 10 Interview Questions Artists Must Be Able to […]

  • Secured a Studio Visit? Here’s How to Keep Your Visitor Hooked

    Artists often underestimate the importance of follow-up after an artist studio visit. Here's how to wow curators, art critics, and collectors that made the time to visit your space.The post Secured a Studio Visit? Here’s How to Keep Your […]

  • Artists are Partnering with Independent Designers, Retail Brands

    Artists and graphic designers are breaking into fashion graphic design by collaborating with independent designers and fast fashion brands. We talk to two designers on these increasingly prevalent partnerships.The post Artists are Partnering with […]

  • How An Estate Tax Repeal Might Affect the Art World

    A GOP repeal of the estate tax could produce a chilling effect on art museum donations while creating a bump in the art market. Here's why private art collectors may be less inclined to donate art.The post How An Estate Tax Repeal Might Affect the […]

  • 3 Common Pitfalls to Avoid in a Photography Contract

    A photography contract that doesn't consider art licensing rights and work made for hire agreements can have a significant impact on a photographer's business. Here are the common pitfalls photographers need to avoid.The post 3 Common Pitfalls to […]