Despite technologies such as watermarking and other technologies, it has been almost impossible for photographs to protect their art and images online from copyright infringement. There are techniques which have been used by photographers and artists to discourage people from copying and using their images. Photographers can use watermarks, copyright symbols and refrain from not uploading high quality originals.
TinEye is the first web-based image search engine to use image identification technology. Idee, an image-recognition software company is behind the technology which will enable you to protect and track your photos online. You can quickly ascertain whether an image is unique to a page or copied from elsewhere. TinEye has already indexed 1,730,154,374 images from the web to help you find images of interest to you. It will prove to be an important tool to resolving issues over ownership of copyright images on the web.
You can perform up to 50 searches of images per day free using various formats, such as JPEG, PNG and GIF images. You can filter searches by different parameters, including ‘best match’, ‘most heavily edited’ or ‘most altered’.
Those in the photography industry will recognise the image recognition based products and services used by the world’s leading imaging firms which have been used by photographers and artists to protect their images online. Idee was responsible for the development of PixID, Pixsimilar, PixMatch and TinEye API.
You can find out not about where an image came from originally with TinEye but also how it has been used, whether modified versions of the image or photo exist and if there are any higher resolution versions on the web. It can be used by researchers to discover clues to the origin of a photo, or even by photographers who have taken a picture and can’t remember where to locate it!
Digital watermarking is different to a normal watermark which is invisible. The copyright information is embedded in the image or multimedia file using a method that renders it more difficult to being erased. Digital watermarking when used in tandem with the use of tracking technology can vastly improve the success of the monitoring of your images online.
Digital fingerprinting has been used to track text based files to locate plagiarised articles. However up until now pictures, images and photos have been much harder to search as search engines rely mostly on tags and surrounding text. Sophisticated algorithms have been used in digital fingerprinting, giving rise to controversy about their accuracy, by the music and motion picture industry to track down infringing files used by copyright infringers on peer to peer networks.
TinEye have made this type of fingerprinting technology accessible to online photographers and artists and website owners wanting to track and protect the use of their images online. tinyeye allows a user to upload an image and locate where it is being used on the web searching using the image itself and is the first image search engine to use image identification technology rather than keywords, metadata or watermarks. It finds exact matches including those that have been cropped, edited or resized. TinEye is arguably the best reverse search image engine in the world and offers image alert services to it’s subscribers.
You submit you image, either uploading it or submitting the URL, and TinEye creates a unique fingerprint based on it’s features and then searches to locate other images with the same or a partial fingerprint match. As stated, the search returns images that are the same as the original as distinct from images that relate to similar subject matter. There is also a plug-in now available for firefox and chrome users.
Check out this page unearthing some of the original and manipulated images of French President Nicolas Sarkovsky.
TinEye can also detect instances of images that have been digitally altered or manipulated making it an ideal and affordable tool for online artists and photographers to detect copyright infringers. TinEye offers users image comparisons, so photographer can compare images that look similar, but have been colour adjusted, resized, heavily edited or slightly rotated to avoid detection.
This makes it much easier to contact the infringer and either negotiate a license fee for your image or issue a take down notice.
It is also a great tool to find images you might want to use on your website as it indicates whether an image is copyright protected or whether it uses a creative commons licence.
Reverse image search services such as TinEye and GazoPa make it much easier for online artists to protect their images online in an affordable and effective manner.
The tool could also be useful in the context of the abuse of images via sexting to minimise harmful abuses of privacy.