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Author Topic: Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!  (Read 36733 times)

Graham Mitchell

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Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!
« on: July 07, 2011, 03:10:40 PM »

Tineye has been out for a while now and Google just released their reverse image search engine a few weeks ago. If you have not tried it already, go to the standard Google image search window, and try dragging a jpeg into the search field. Or try Tineye. Even better, use both.

With this technology, we can find unauthorised use of images, and do something about it. I have found more than 100 instances of my images being used without permission. Most of the transgressors will remove the image once you write to them, and if they don't just write to the ISP hosting the site - they will do it for you.

By clamping down on the freeloaders, we will all send out a message that photos aren't free, and that photographers need to be paid for their work, which is a positive step forward for the whole industry.

I blogged about it here too: http://www.graham-mitchell.com/blog/?p=294
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feppe

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Re: Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 04:47:34 PM »

I'll be damned, google's results are much more thorough than Tineye. Just a few searches and my images have been used on a personal blog, by a band, whatever this is, and several other sites I don't want to give any google-fu to. Seems that there's not too much money, if any, involved; taking any action is more of a hassle than it's worth.

What I'm waiting for is for google to enable face detection on their image search. They already have it in Picasa, so it's only a matter of time. There are going to be a lot of embarrassed people whose names are all of a sudden linked to all kinds of embarrassing images.

KLaban

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Re: Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 05:08:11 PM »

I'll be damned, google's results are much more thorough than Tineye.

My experience is just the opposite. A week or so ago I did a search for one image on Google and then replicated this on TinEye. Google found one unauthorised use, Tineye found fifteen. Google also finds a plethora of totally unrelated, seemingly random images.

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Graham Mitchell

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Re: Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2011, 05:14:23 PM »

Seems that there's not too much money, if any, involved; taking any action is more of a hassle than it's worth.

If by action you mean legal action, then I agree, but taking a minute to get the image removed is worth doing. We need to change the perception that photos are free for the taking.
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tom b

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Re: Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2011, 05:16:55 PM »

Just for interest I did a Google image search for 4 images that I have posted on LuLa. The images are linked from my blogs which are Google supported and also link to Google's Picasa Web Albums. Thus the images should be in three places, two of them supported by Google.

My image search found just 1 of my images and that was on my blog. One out of 12 possible images isn't great.

I searched for another 8 (24 possible images ) and found 1 more from my blog.

The Google image search is far from perfect but hey it's free and it is a start.

It's good to see you are finding infringements and also sad that people continue to breach copyright.

Cheers,

tom b

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Re: Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2011, 05:29:31 PM »

There were three other posts by the time I posted my reply. One reminded me that I had a screen grab for an image of the Sydney Harbour Bridge search. This is one of most photographed places in Australia. A Google image search for Sydney Harbour Bridge got 1 480 000 hits. Here' a screen grab of my search:



Cheers,

kaelaria

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Re: Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2011, 08:46:48 AM »

What we need is this inside lightroom.  Searching 1 at a time is almost useless.

billy

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Re: Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2011, 09:30:19 AM »

thanks for posting, this looks great but I cant get it to work for me. can you explain the literal steps I need to do?
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GlennMorimoto

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Re: Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2011, 11:18:40 AM »

Graham, thanks for posting...how do you find out the ISP hosting company to contact if my images have been lifted and my copyrights are being infringed?  Thanks!
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BFoto

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Re: Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2011, 12:09:52 PM »

What we need is this inside lightroom.  Searching 1 at a time is almost useless.
Awesome idea...

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2011, 12:18:08 PM »

There were three other posts by the time I posted my reply. One reminded me that I had a screen grab for an image of the Sydney Harbour Bridge search. This is one of most photographed places in Australia. A Google image search for Sydney Harbour Bridge got 1 480 000 hits....

Tom, I did not get the point of this post. Was that your image of the bridge?

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2011, 01:52:50 PM »

Holy crap!

I did play with Tin Eye or something similar in the past , but never found anything. This time, Google found several instances of unauthorized use. The first one was used as the main illustration on the subject in Wikipedia: (Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse). Clicking on the image contains another surprise: the image license is listed as:

"This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons... Commons is a freely licensed media file repository...You are free:

to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
to remix – to adapt the work..."


What!? WTF!? I never gave my permission for this!?

It then continues:

"...   This image, which was originally posted to Flickr, was reviewed on November 29, 2010 by the administrator or reviewer File Upload Bot (Magnus Manske), who confirmed that it was available on Flickr under the above license on that date..."

Thanks Magnus, buddy! You are the man! My images on Flickr were clearly labeled (by Flickr), from day one, as: "License: © All rights reserved by Slobodan Blagojevic" How our "friend" Magnus "confirmed" they are free, is beyond me. Furthermore, my files are available for download in all sizes, including the original, in spite of the fact that my Flickr Preferences are set, again from day one, to have original sizes downloadable only by me. Looks like I have not only Mr. Manske to "thank" for the steal, but Flickr as well.

What then follows is a wild-goose chase: clicking on Magnus' link, this is what he has to say:

"I (Magnus Manske), personally, do not (or rarely) upload pictures through this bot. It is part of my CommonsHelper and Flickr2Commons tools.
If some image with questionable copyright was uploaded, don't come to me. I (most likely) didn't upload it, and I don't know any more about it than you do. If it's evil, just nuke it..."


"Just nuke it"!? What is that supposed to mean!? I would rather "nuke" you, buddy! You set your bot's algorithm to pick images that are clearly designated as "all rights reserved".

Once it is free for all to use, no wander there are those who will: a New England travel site (with nothing but an email address to contact, with no idea who is behind the site), where they attributed the image to "creative commons".  And, yes, of course, another site appropriately named "free pictures of everything on earth". Duh! As a special touch, on this site, they attributed it to our "dear friend" Magnus Manske!

And if this is not enough to curl up and cry, wait till you try to figure out how to delete your "free" pictures on Wikimedia (the apparent source of all this "free" distribution). Get ready to get a four-year college degree parsing through their terms and instructions.

Does anybody know how to deal with Wikimedia, and other creatures mentioned above?



Gary Brown

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Re: Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2011, 02:25:38 PM »

Does anybody know how to deal with Wikimedia, and other creatures mentioned above?

See the Commons:Contact us page, specifically the third bullet under “Content and copyrights” regarding contacting them about copyright infringement.

BTW, it looks to me like it was actually somebody else who originally stole the image. Note the “source” link, which says Wikimedia got it from http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierraclub/4380313360/ which is no longer there, but that's apparently who had uploaded it and marked it as available for use, misleading the Wikimedia folks.
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Graham Mitchell

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Re: Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2011, 03:13:50 PM »

What we need is this inside lightroom.  Searching 1 at a time is almost useless.

Yes, either automation or even better - once you add an image to your google profile, you could receive a notification every time it finds a new occurence.
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Graham Mitchell

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Re: Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2011, 03:19:09 PM »

thanks for posting, this looks great but I cant get it to work for me. can you explain the literal steps I need to do?

Go to the Google image search page. If you see a small camera icon on the right side of the search field, then you are ready to go. Just drag an image over the search field. You can also search for the URL of an image and you will get a prompt asking if you want to search by image.
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Graham Mitchell

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Re: Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2011, 03:26:06 PM »

Graham, thanks for posting...how do you find out the ISP hosting company to contact if my images have been lifted and my copyrights are being infringed?  Thanks!

With most blogs it is obvious, as the blog will be hosted on a domain such as wordpress.com

Otherwise, go to http://www.whois.net and enter the domain name.

You should retrieve a record that looks a bit like this:

Registrant:
   Radical Talent Services, Inc.

   Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
   Domain Name: BLOGMAVERICK.COM

   Domain servers in listed order:
      NS1.WORDPRESS.COM
      NS2.WORDPRESS.COM
      NS3.WORDPRESS.COM

Some take more detective work than others.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2011, 03:34:48 PM »

Go to the Google image search page. If you see a small camera icon on the right side of the search field, then you are ready to go. Just drag an image over the search field...

Dragging does not always work. The camera icon might be grayed out, in which case you click on it first and then it will open a dialog box, where you will have an option to upload your image:

Steve Weldon

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Re: Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2011, 03:59:32 PM »

I'm using googles analytics with an optional tracker for more detail on my website.  Some time ago I remember something from them saying they're working on a feature you can add to your site which keeps track of the images on that site..

I looked for it and can't find it.  As I've been moving and my life has been helter skelter for the last few months I'm not surprised.  Anyone else receive this email and if so can you share it?  I've looked over on their analytics site and can't find anything.

But I think the person who mentioned this should be in LR is onto something.  A plug-in that allows background scanning would be ideal, with some sort of database/directory to store/organize the results.  And hey, build it to catch the offending sites contact information and give you the option to auto-generate email and I'm sold.. worth a lot to me.

I've already broached this with the DNN God's for my site's platform.. they weren't enthusiastic..
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tom b

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Re: Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2011, 04:04:17 PM »

Tom, I did not get the point of this post. Was that your image of the bridge?

Slobodan, the top image is of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and is what I was trying to find matches to. The ten images below are what Google thought were matches, they were not even close. Out of over one and a half million named images of the bridge plus other unnamed images there was no image of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Obviously Graham has had luck in finding unauthorised use of his images. In my basic test I was lucky to find two out of twelve images on a Google hosted website. The sample I showed had me scratching my head, three ducks crossing a bridge is a match for the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There is a long way to go…



Graham Mitchell

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Re: Reverse image search engines - your new best friend!
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2011, 04:18:35 PM »

Slobodan, the top image is of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and is what I was trying to find matches to. The ten images below are what Google thought were matches, they were not even close. Out of over one and a half million named images of the bridge plus other unnamed images there was no image of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Obviously Graham has had luck in finding unauthorised use of his images. In my basic test I was lucky to find two out of twelve images on a Google hosted website. The sample I showed had me scratching my head, three ducks crossing a bridge is a match for the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There is a long way to go…





Tom, the Google results are split into two types: direct matches and similar matches. For your particular image, there were no direct matches found, so you only saw the similar matches section. Normally you would see a list of exact matches first.
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