Do you know where your images are? You just might be surprised. Most professional photographers know copyright infringement is rampant and is a major drag on the industry. But do you really know how bad it is?
At ImageRights, we’ve been searching the web for photos since before there was such a thing as Google Image Search. Even in those early days, most of our photographers were shocked by the proliferation of their photos and overwhelmed by the workload we had just dumped on them. Hundreds or thousands of sightings required review in order to separate the infringements from the authorized uses.
Photographers would run a reverse image search on Google and then forward us pages of URL’s where their images popped up. That was even before social media took off as the primary means of disseminating photos with the advent of the ‘share’ button.
It didn’t take long to figure out that:
1) We needed to get really good, really fast at figuring out which websites to go after, and
2) We needed to figure out how to make the sightings review process way more manageable
Otherwise, everyone would just throw their hands up and say, “Screw it!”
To these ends, we developed our ImageRights Discovery service to be more than just a web crawler spewing out huge lists of URLs from all corners of the globe. Instead, it is a tool to help photographers easily makes sense of what is happening with their photos by identifying what types of websites are using them, where they are being used, and how they are being used.
Photographer Sergio Lanza says “ The [ImageRights] Discovery Service is outstanding. I had found some stolen images in the past using Google Reverse Image Search, but I find ImageRights’ service much more complete. Their system manages your sightings by filtering and organizing them into folders. The ability to create my own folders and flag sightings to easily sort them has allowed incorporating copyright infringement into my daily routine seamless. It is designed to make your experience as easy as possible.”
For copyright enforcement purposes, we don’t want you spending one second on a sighting that is not going to become a pursuable claim. Time is your most fleeting resource and you can never get it back. So the 10 or 20 minutes you may have to review sightings and submit infringement claims had better be spent on claims that are going to not only protect your business and your reputation but also net you some cash in the process.
That is why we have developed algorithms to sort sightings into categories, such as NonCommercial Blogs, eCommerce platforms, and Outside of the ImageRights Recovery Area. If you want to see what’s happening on those sites, we’ve saved those sightings for your review. But if you’re primarily interested in those sites that are most likely to be pursuable for damages, then look no further than your ImageRights Inbox.
Your Inbox sightings survived all of the filters intended to automatically root out low-quality claims and they are ranked by probability of success based on where the infringer is located, how favorable the laws are towards copyright holders, overall recovery prospects, and a slew of other factors. So you directly benefit from the collective experience we have gained from the thousands of claims we have pursued over the years on behalf of our photographers and agencies. That is quite a step up from running a Google reverse image search!
So who is using your photos, or should I say profiting from your photos, without your knowledge? We can help you find out pretty darn quick. And when you do find your photos in more places than you ever thought possible, lean on ImageRights Recovery to help you manage the load and convert those sightings into revenue opportunities.
Joe’s career spans more than twenty years in the design, development, operations, sales, and marketing of communications and internet-based services at eFax.com, j2 Global Communications, and WebMessenger. In 2007, Joe began collaborating with professional photographer Ted VanCleave on solutions to the challenges that commercial photographers, photo agencies and publishers face with respect to online copyright protection; and in 2008 the two founded ImageRights International, Inc. Joe holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, completed the Program for Leadership Development at Harvard Business School and has served on the Picture Archive Council of America’s International Committee.
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