A brainy person does not abuse copyright; instead they respect it and uphold it. Maximillian Degenerez
Copyright and how to locate who using your images
Today’s topic is a very personal one, and one every photographer, professional or amateur should know about copyright! and how to do a reverse image search. About a month ago our good friend Don Komarechka posted a copyright infringement AKA a public service announcement (PSA). Why? Well, he was a little, no, a lot Pissed-off, which is understandable anytime somebody steals your work. I’d be PO’D as well. What happened you ask.? Let’s go through the scenario; Don happened to discover that someone took his photographs from his website. Although the photo was taken many years ago, back 2010, it doesn’t matter; he still owns the copyright. This individual has been passing the work as his own and was accepting credit for taking the picture. Can you imagine! He was receiving praise on his Flickr account and responding with thanks to all those that thought he shot the image? WOW!
Are businesses taking your work and putting it on their website for their gain? Yes, watch as Don shows us how to locate and track who are using your images without your consent. Now it might be tough to almost impossible to pursue copyright claims from Russia, Israel or any place that are non-English-speaking. Also, some countries have different copyright laws that can become a problem when it comes to images on the internet. You never know when somebody’s going to be faced with commercial infringement. So how do we as photographers combat this? Well we start with a company called image rights and they’ve got lawyers in many countries around the world so if somebody steals your image in Italy, France or Poland then ImageRights has agents in those countries and so they can pursue a commercial copyright. That still does nothing for us when it’s an individual.
So how do we locate/find our images online? It’s a simple procedure, both Google and Bing have resources for us to conduct a search. Plus there is one other site that we can use tineye.com.
We will start with Google, go to images then look for the camera in the search field, click the camera, and you will be presented with two different options, one, to enter the URL of the image or two, upload the picture. Google will return a list of all the sites with that particular photo. You may be surprised at what you find. I know I was. Watch Don search for one of his most borrowed images, and yes we discover another website illegally using his image.
A couple of points here, Google.ca and Google.com sometimes return different results. So it’s a good idea to check both, as mentioned in the video. Not all URL’s work I found that 500px and Smugmug images returned errors when doing a search
Who owns the copyright? Good question and the response is as-so, the individual that presses the shutter button owns the image. Yes even if you don’t own the camera you own the copyright.
Need more information, watch the video and leave a comment, and don’t forget to start looking for your pictures on line, by doing a reverse image search.
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