Millions of images and photos are available for free access on the Web, so anyone can download them and use for their projects. However, there are photos and other creative works protected by copyright, so they are not allowed to be freely used by anyone.
You would say “But most copyrighted photographs are watermarked, and this protects them from being stolen.” – No, not all copyrighted images are watermarked, in fact. Sometimes photographers and illustrators upload their works without any signs on Behance, Dribbble or into personal online portfolios just to show their mastery to potential customers.
These works are not allowed to be used for commercial needs, and any similar usage is considered to be an infringement of copyright. This means you can’t download the photos of different authors, for instance, from Behance, and start selling them as your own.
If you make an attempt to do this, for instance at Shutterstock, your account will be terminated without the right to restore it. Stock markets protect the right of their clients to download only unique photo works and they are responsible for meeting the copyright regulations when approving every single photo uploaded by a contributor before making it accessible for clients.
Let’s see you’re an author and you just want to protect your creation from theft. As an author, you will showcase your works in your portfolio, draw them to the order or sell them at stocks – every time you allow others take a look at your self-created images, you get into risk of your copyright infringement.
If you upload a photo to the stock market, it will be automatically watermarked before going live and becoming available for download. So every time when your photo is downloaded by someone, you will get a commission. But what if you aren’t about to sell your photos on stocks but you want to showcase them to a client? Do you have to trust them?
Sometimes yes, and sometimes it’s better to use specific services and check if your images have been used by anyone else for commercial needs. These services will also allow you find out if there are some photos similar to yours and then change your works not to get into risk to infringe someone else’s copyright.
So let’s see what services you can use.
This is a service which allows to upload a photo and get a certificate to witness the date of upload. After that you can either apply licenses, keep your OW private or share it. If you share your works on FB and Instagram, you can just add #myows hashtag and your images will go straight to your account at MyOws.
This service allows to create an evidence to protect and inform about your copyrights whenever you prefer. You choose a type of work you want to register at this service, upload a file that can prove your work identity, submit a title, author’s name and copyrights of your work and a service certifies the file’s content as well as the definite moment of registration. Now your evidence is ready.
There is a standard specifying the formats for photos made by digital cameras or smartphones, and it is called Exif (an exchangeable file format). This specification uses the definite file formats together with specific metadata tags. Thus the compressed images are identified as JPEG DCT (discrete cosine transform), and uncompressed images are identified as TIFF.
EXIF metadata format allows to create something like internal image verification because it allows to embed information into the image. This data can include your credentials as an author.
Sometimes it is very tough to edit EXIF files manually, especially when most of modern cameras add this information automatically without recognizing who exactly is taking the photo.
The following services will allow you edit EXIF data with ease.
This service allows to select your multimedia source and edit your EXIF metadata. The website allows to upload a multitude of files at a time. Once you’ve edited the data, you can download your works within 8 minutes before they are securely deleted.
This service allows to remove the existing EXIF from photos. Just upload your file and remove the EXIF on the fly. The limitation is 1MB per one JPEG image.
Everyone knows how to find the similar photos in ‘Google Images’, but this is not the only way to check your photograph for uniqueness. There are some cool services that allow to find the same images anywhere on the Web.
This is a cool service which allows to find where and how your images are used on the Web. In addition, it helps to recover compensation for unauthorized use.
Pixsy empowers creatives around the world to protect their work in a very simple way. You just link the platforms that host your images, for instance Flickr, DropBox, EyeEm, or others, and Pixsy will scan the Web to deliver matches if the unauthorized use of your works was detected.
Then you are able to submit case with one click, choosing this option from the suite of legal tools available. The network of legal partners of this service will pursue compensation on your behalf leaving you to do what you do best.
You just make awesome content and don’t have to worry about legal cases, this service is here to help you find and fight image theft.
And this service works the same as Google images. You just upload an image and search for the matches on the Web. If there are zero matches, then your photo is probably unique.
TinEye finds exact and altered copies of your images by scanning the actual pixels. This service doesn’t identify people or objects on the image.
You can start search without registration, however, you are free to sign up for this service, its alerts, API or services, and get more possibilities like mobile or multicolor engine, etc.
I hope this collection of services is the one you were looking for when resolving to fight with your copyrights infringement. Good luck!