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How To Find Out If Someone Is Using Your Photo Without Permission

October 4, 2012 Photography No Comments

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Photo stealing online is second to illegal downloads for music. As the internet becomes more public and open to general use, illegal use of photos without the proper copyright laws acknowledged is becoming an issue for photographers and online photo sellers.

If you are a photographer who sells their photos online there are ways to uncover those who are using your photos illegally online. As a photographer, it is important to protect your photos first and then search for illegal use of your photos. Protection of your photos should be the first precaution you take to ensure that regular misuse of your photos does not occur. Your secondary task is to check through various methods, how your photos are being used and if they are being credited correctly.

Protect your images before they go online

The best way to protect your photos against internet abuse is to use stock photo agencies that understand the copy right laws for stock photos sold online. Not only do stock photo agencies like iStock, Fotolia, Peopleimages and Shutterstock understand the need to protect their contributing photographers photos, they also educate users on the correct use of stock photos and images.

Stock photo agencies also put identify watermarks on all photos that they sell on behalf of contributing photographers to protect the illegal download or use of stock images. This saves photographers from having to watermark all their image uploads to the agencies.

If you have chosen not to use Stock Photo Agencies as your means to sell your photos, and independently offer your images for sale online, use a watermark on all of your photos that identifies you, so that people cannot just grab your photos online and use them without paying. Also outline the correct use of stock photos that people buy so they are crediting your photos correctly online.

Find illegal uses of your images online

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.netBuild a schedule where you check your images online and see if they are credited correctly or if an image is being used illegally on a blog, website or digital media. There are three free services that assists photographers in an online search of their images.

Google images – Google now lets users search an image in their image search section. Just upload our image in the Google image search page and see who is using your image and where your image is being used.

Tin Eye – This free service lets you search your image online and will also highlight uses where your image has been cropped or altered. This is extremely useful and finds more image uses based on the actual image not just the image used as you had posted it.

PicScout – PicScout is another free service that lets you upload you images and register them for their Image exchange feature, a feature that tracks your images online, how they are used, where they are used and alerts you when they find your photos.

As a photographer who sells online images, protect yourself first and search your images second. It is hard to do the opposite and not worth the trouble the protect yourself after the fact. Stock photo agencies make protection of your photos their business, so consider their services first before you begin to sell photos online.

Learn how to protect your images online by implementing a few safety measures and using the right online stock agency tools to ensure you receive credit for your photos. Protecting your photos ensures that you earn money for your photos, people honor the guidelines for photo use and you gain credit for the images that your produce.

About the Author -

Bogdan is the founder of Design Superstars. He is very passionate about design and web development and he's constantly searching for the most interesting things to write about on this site.

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