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Thread: Image theft - it pays to do an image match search

  1. #1
    Ausphotography Veteran MattNQ's Avatar
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    Image theft - it pays to do an image match search

    Been a bit of this happening lately around Oz.

    Every so often I do a google image match search just to see where my images are appearing.

    Usually picks up where I have posted an image a forum, but was surprised to see one of my images adorning a local real estate website as part of a rotating image gallery of three images.


    riverside reality image theft v3.jpg

    The low quality looked like it was a screen capture. Not sure where from yet.

    I sent the real estate a polite e-mail with a screen dump, explaining that the image was mine and used without permission and should be removed, otherwise I would pursue further action.
    But I also attached an invoice and offered to sell them a full res image

    Had a confused call from an office girl who said that the real estate doesn't actually choose the images - but their hosting site realestate.com.au does.

    Anyway I submitted an e-mail query to the site, but no reply...so I sent a fax to the CEO at head office on friday. Might as well start at the top!
    A call from head office pointed the finger back to the local real estate, as they don't organise local images.

    But a very apologetic e-mail from one of the senior real estate people said neither he nor the principal was not aware of where the image came from. Their ISP people look after that.

    Anyway, after going in circles, to the real estate's credit, the image was promptly removed. Still not sure exactly who put it on their site - I'm guessing an IT pleb who didn't know any better was tasked with giving the web site some local flavour.

    So a timely reminder - it definitely pays to check regularly where your images turn up.
    Matt
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Ta for this info, Matt. What image matching software is it? I tried Tin-eye once, but...
    And I hope you manage to resolve this situation!!! (!!! = a stern reproach for the malefactors.)
    Am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Seems to me that they knew damn well they did not have the rights to use it, and probably use the 'it wasn't us' repeatedly as a way to try and disband any implication they were at fault. After all, proving who DID do it would be difficult and they know full well that in court any discussion would revolve around who actually put it on their page, and if everyone denies it and blames someone else, it merely puts it in the 'to hard' basket for anyone trying to pursue a claim against them.

    if it happens again, I would be sending them an invoice, and if they refuse to pay based on 'I didn't do it', direct them to forward the invoice to the person that did. After all it is their website.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    If they own the website and the domain, they are responsible for it's content regardless of who actually physically uploaded the image.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Ta for this info, Matt. What image matching software is it? I tried Tin-eye once, but...
    And I hope you manage to resolve this situation!!! (!!! = a stern reproach for the malefactors.)
    Am.
    I just used a google image match.
    Click on Google images

    Click on the little camera
    google image1.jpg

    paste in a link to your image - eg this is from my smugmug gallery
    You can also upload an image...but I'm still a little suspect about uploading an image directly to google! They would have my file then
    google 2.jpg

    It does an image match, and also brings up similar images.
    This example was a magazine article I did for CTA a while back (At least THEY pay for their stories & images)
    The story is reproduced online, and the image match picked up up, even with the cropping they did for the layout

    google3.jpg
    Last edited by MattNQ; 29-01-2013 at 1:44pm. Reason: added a little more detail

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Mm! Ta for that, Matt. I had no idea
    Am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Seems to me that they knew damn well they did not have the rights to use it, and probably use the 'it wasn't us' repeatedly as a way to try and disband any implication they were at fault.
    I agree with Rick. I once experienced it from other side of fence. My boss put a stolen image onto our company web site. When I pointed out he shouldn't I got an annoyed "dont worry about it" response. A month or so later an email arrived from upset owner. Boss promptly sent an apologetic email explained he didn't know why it was there, it was put there by an employee who no longer worked for company, and explained that he will have it removed - which he did. It did not prompt him to remove any of the other images that he stole. The company was in deep financial trouble at the time and no longer exists so I guess there is some karma.
    Lauri

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    FWIW
    At the moment AP is the only place I post photos on the w.w.w.. So thought I'd check (on that google thingy) the last thread I started with photos in. And;

    Capture.JPG

    Yeah, I know, there's some faulty logic going on here.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    FWIW
    At the moment AP is the only place I post photos on the w.w.w.. So thought I'd check (on that google thingy) the last thread I started with photos in. And;

    Yeah, I know, there's some faulty logic going on here.
    Not at all. Here on AP we take your copyright very seriously. The member photos forums are not visible to non-members (try it, logout and click on forums). Not only that, but anyone who joins and has not posted to the site, cannot access the members photos forums. We also block the search engines from scanning those forums, and thus cataloguing your photos. So if you search google for a photo that is only on the AP member photos forums, it will not find it. Therefore using the method above will not find the photo on AP.

    Even if you use the tineye plugin for your browser and right click a photo on AP and use the search with tin-eye option, tineye cannot read the photo on AP and thus cannot search for it elsewhere on the net.

    www.tineye.com

    So we do everything we can to ensure your photos are not stolen from AP. Only active site members can access the members photos forums, the search engines cannot access them, and thus catalogue them for supply to others searching for a photo.

    Sometimes people find these restrictions on joining really annoying, but this thread shows why we have put these measures in place

  10. #10
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    ^ I understand, and that is the main reason I posted.
    Seems to me, if you're an active member here, you're unlikely to disrespect photographers copyright.
    But, as Matt has highlighted, the w.w.w. is a big place that don't play by the same rules.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    ^ I understand, and that is the main reason I posted.
    Seems to me, if you're an active member here, you're unlikely to disrespect photographers copyright.
    But, as Matt has highlighted, the w.w.w. is a big place that don't play by the same rules.
    You would be amazed how often I get sent an email from someone seeking to get me to give them access to the photo forums so that they can find a photo to use for a local newsletter or similar. Mostly from people who are not photographers, and have not even joined the site.

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    [QUOTE=Mark L;1112545 the w.w.w. is a big place that don't play by the same rules.[/QUOTE]

    I am finding this more and more. It is a very tangled web .
    I did a few more searches. Found a different image on a weird website called '123people' which seems to be a scraping of social media sites.
    But my image was not from my facebook or any gallery, but some stranger's Google+ site, where he (Andrew Walker?? don't know him from a bar of soap) has posted my image somehow as it appeared in a recent Australian Photography (The Yaffa magazine website) competition. Still with my name and attached detail (eg camera type, shutter speed etc ).

    Like it or not, this is the new world I guess - you have to be aware of what & where you post, that it can be spread far & wide. The opportunity for promotion to a mass audience is almost endless, but one has to work out how to maintain a comfortable level of control though watermarks, right click protection etc

    When it all gets messy, this is where RAW files are valuable to prove ownership - like a negative, only the original shooter will ever have the RAW files - you can't work backwards from a JPG

    But I'm rambling now. better go.
    Last edited by MattNQ; 01-02-2013 at 7:09pm.

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