Friday, February 24, 2012

Finding Your Images on the Web

Recently an artist friend of mine had an image of his artwork stolen from the web and then entered into a competition under the thief's own name. Luckily my friend was onto this quite quickly and filed a complaint with the competition organisers who withdrew the thief's entry.

But how do you know when or where an image or photo you created and uploaded to your blog, website or social media page is then taken and re-used by someone else? There are millions of sites out there. Your images could be anywhere, masquerading as someone else's creative talent, or simply used without any reference to you as the creator and copyright holder.

The answer is simple. Google has introduced 'Search by Image'. You can easily drag and drop an image from your computer into the 'Search Box' or upload one from your computer and then search the entire web for every website where your image appears. Just like magic!


The other handy use for 'Search by Image' is if you find an image on the web and want to find out more about it. Perhaps you want to know who the artist or photographer is. Simply copy the image URL and go to images.google.com, then right click on the camera icon and paste the URL; or if you have Chrome Extension or Firefox Extension you can just right click on any image on the web. Quite handy for research.

Of course I've tried this with one of my own illustrations, fully expecting to find my artwork on a heap of sites. It turned up on three: here on my blog, my website and the third was the blog of a friend of mine. That was fine with me, but she did forget to reference the image with my full name and a link to my website - online etiquette. If she had, it would've turned up on the Google Alert I have out on my own name and I would've been informed by email - another handy Google tool.

Have a go at searching for your own images and then come back and leave a comment on whether you found anything. Perhaps you'll uncover a following you didn't know you had or ... a den of online thieves!

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