How to Find Your Stolen Photos Online

If you work as a photographer long enough, your pictures are going to be used without your permission somewhere. Tracking down where that's happened can be tough, but this great video will help you in that endeavor.

I'm personally not excessively stringent in pursuing every instance I find of my images being used without my permission online. It would be far too time-consuming to do so, so I generally just roll my eyes and move on. Where I do draw the line, however, is when that usage is in a manner that should either be generating money for me or is misrepresenting someone else to generate money for them. However, even just tracking down commercial misuses can take a good chunk of time, so it helps to automate the process a bit, as Anthony Morganti demonstrates in this video. One great trick is setting up Google alerts for your images or even using a paid service that will allow you to apply imperceptible watermarks to your photos and then crawl the web for them. In the end, it comes down to balancing how big a problem it is for you vs. the amount of effort you want to put in to rectify it. 

Log in or register to post comments


davidlovephotog's picture

I spend about 4 hours every week just sending takedown notices when someone sees my work being used. Reddit and Imgur exist to share stolen images and they know it, so they drag their bums removing anything and by then it's everywhere. I'd love to be part of a class action suit to bring them down if anyone ever starts one. (Just a nice dream I have.)

Josiah Moore's picture

I'm always torn, because I've had a few images/videos go viral through reddit. But a few times it wasn't from my upload. So I got NO huge benefit. A little instagram boost, but that's it. Would it be better to use massive branding or watermarks to circumvent this?

Have you had any luck one way or another with overcoming theft in this way?

davidlovephotog's picture

I watermark just so I can prove the image is mine to these sites and I also include the cosplayer or models name. Instagram crops so that ruins that but twitter and facebook don't so at least if they don't credit, the credit is still there. I'm not business to help others make money using my work to promote their companies so I don't mess around when I find something. Too many people letting it slide is probably why people figure they will take the chances.

Reza Evol's picture

I just logged in to say both you and Josiah Moore's work are super inspiring!

Josiah Moore's picture

Thank you Reza!

Josiah Moore's picture

That's super fair David. That's the part that is most frustrating, is seeing other companies or individuals making money off my work. And sometimes they even crop out the watermark etc. Happens more with my video work than photos actually. I'm flagging stuff on fbook every week it feels like.

Wish there was a strong repercussion available. It's frustrating that it's up to me to police my own work. Oh well...happy creating! :)

Jonathan Quinn's picture

I use to check myself all the time too, but then I just handed it over to copytrack. It can take ages, and most of the cases are rejected but I still got a lot of money for some of my images, which was nice considering they handled it all. it's not 100 per cent success, but as it's completely free I can't complain aha.

marknie's picture

I even used Pxsy with no luck. Like everyone, they just want your money and then they leave. Story of the millennials.

darlene amor's picture

With Psiphon for PC, you can access all such sites without any hassles. As mentioned above, the app runs fine on both android and personal computers.

Jio Phone's picture

After I initially commented I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the exact same comment. There has to be an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Kudos!

fignijartu fignijartu's picture

May I simply just say what a relief to discover someone that actually knows what they are talking about online. You actually know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people ought to look at this and understand this side of the story. It's surprising you aren't more popular given that you definitely possess the gift.

Maciej Nowakowski's picture

TIME is very precious these days, that's why I would give it to professionals, to let them sort copyright issues.

jio ram's picture
doyte ndkjhdj's picture

hey thanks and visit

fgfgfyrty yryehgdghdh's picture
Radhika Singh's picture
erewt rwertreter54's picture
Sanjay Johnes's picture

I just logged in to say both you and Josiah Moore's work are super inspiring!

Jio DTH's picture

I use Some GPS and Android apps Now a Days. But Still i am Not able to Find My Old Mobile

ahmi awan's picture

wow i really love this article really impressed this article made my day

ahmi awan's picture

thank admin for this visit

nico blog's picture

i hope this is really nice tips about phone stolen thank for sharing

nico blog's picture
Mahesh Singh's picture
Karl Willson's picture

All Kind of Software Download Free.

Karl Willson's picture All Kind of Software Download Free.

Karl Willson's picture All Kind of PC Games Download Free.