How to monitor and protect against unauthorised image use?
August 12, 2011 1:21 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend any services that protect and/or monitor original images online from unauthorised or unlicensed use?

As part of expanding our business, we are embarking on a project that will be displaying a large number of images of original creative content online, and I am looking for some sort of service or system that will allow us to track unauthorised use.

The closest I have seen is Picscout's Imagetracker, which was recently bought by Getty. They have a service which essentially is what I am looking for in terms of using spiders to track any unauthorised use of registered images, however they only deal with a minimum of 30,000 images, which is far over the limit of what we are starting out with, so I am trying to find a comparable alternative solution.

Obviously watermarking is an option, but I would prefer a more elegant and advanced solution if it exists. Does anyone know if such a service exists in any form?
posted by LongDrive to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
http://www.tineye.com/ comes to mind.
posted by TrinsicWS at 1:48 AM on August 12, 2011


As part of expanding our business, we are embarking on a project that will be displaying a large number of images of original creative content online, and I am looking for some sort of service or system that will allow us to track unauthorised use.

What is your reason for tracking "unauthorised use"? Is it so that you can send take-down notices? What happens when a someone ignores your request? Are you going to sue them for copyright infringement? What if the site is in another country? What about all of the private "unauthorised use" - off the grid - that you have no hope of tracking?

Any business model that is based on "displaying a large number of images" on the internet and then trying to prevent anyone from using those images in an "unauthorized" manner is a business model which includes spending a lot of time chasing people and a lot of money on law firms to do the chasing. Do you really want to do this?

Why not put up images that can be freely distributed (such as under a CC license) and use this to drive business to you? Low res images and thumbnails of course are one option. Placing advertisements for your business on your images might be another way.
posted by three blind mice at 2:07 AM on August 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks Trinsic! The tineye Commercial API definitely looks promising, however would probably require a bit more manual labour than I would ideally like to do.

Three Blind Mice: Definitely valid points and concerns, however slightly off-topic. The business model is not based on displaying the images, its just a by-product of one particular segment of a much larger operation.

Would love to hear any other suggestions if anyone has them! Thanks again!
posted by LongDrive at 4:16 AM on August 12, 2011


Small Update: Thanks to the tineye suggestion I came across PixMatch in the API Faq - Could be a winner!
posted by LongDrive at 4:20 AM on August 12, 2011


Digimarc is built into Photoshop so it would probably be the most direct solution.
posted by JJ86 at 6:12 AM on August 12, 2011


i was going to suggest tineye as well.
posted by zombieApoc at 6:18 AM on August 12, 2011


Ah, totally forgot about Digimarc! Excellent, thank you! Have contacted sales at both Tineye and Digimarc at present.
posted by LongDrive at 6:39 AM on August 12, 2011


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