Protect Yourself From Photo Thieves

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Protect Yourself From Photo Thieves

It’s a sad fact, but thievery is all too common in the photography world. Some photographers have no qualms with passing other people’s images off as their own, and the ease with which one can do so doesn’t help.Though you can’t always keep your photos out of the hands of thieves, you can keep an eye out for misuse of those images. A number of tools have cropped up that allow you to search the internet for a specific image. Searching for your own images lets you know that you’ve been wronged.

Here are a few of those tools:

  • Google Image Search – Free, super easy, and just plain fun to use. Follow the link, then drag an image into the search bar. It shows similar (or duplicate) images it found throughout the web.
  • ImageRights – This is a service that helps photographers protect their images in a number of ways, including searching for violators. They offer paid and free accounts.
  • – A free or paid service similar to the above.
  • Photo Stealers – A site that publicly calls out photo thieves, giving clear examples of their thievery. This site is often good for a laugh (or a cry) because it shows how blatant these thieves can be.


Quick-Tip: Thieves are too lazy to shoot their own photos, and they’re also often too lazy to change your photo before reusing it. Use this against them by adding your name or a unique code into the comment field of the EXIF data. You may be able to find and identify your images by searching for that code. Quick-Tip: Our friends at Photoshelter have a great article about protecting your photos online. Check it out for advice on copyrighting your images and prosecuting unauthorized use of them.
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  1. It’s sad that people that people can’t use their own images for marketing purposes. It’s flat out disgusting that they think it’s acceptable to “borrow” someones else’s work.