One of my current projects involves the management of BaseballArt.com, a community of baseball artists and fans of baseball art. Earlier today, I was involved in a discussion about image copyrights and the increasing numbers of people who think nothing of taking another person’s work without permission or attribution, and using it as their own.
I was given a link to a website called Tin Eye, and asked to give it a look. TinEye is a reverse image search engine. According to Tin Eye’s own website, “it finds out where an image came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or if there is a higher resolution version.”
Tin Eye can be used by artists and photographers to see where their images might be appearing across the web. Curious, I uploaded one of my photographs of Isaiah Thomas from the early 90s and Tin Eye instantly revealed that my photograph was being used as part of some guy’s inspiration collage (with no permission or attribution).
In this case, the website could be described as personal rather than commercial, so I just left a message in the comments section of the blog requesting that the image be taken down, and that my images may not be used without permission.
I’m sure that Tin Eye will find other misuses of images that are far more malevolent. You can use Tin Eye’s basic service (up to 50 searches per day and 150 per week) for free. There are more sophisticated services available for a fee.
So give Tin Eye a look, and If you find any interesting misuses of your images, we’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.
Chris S. Cornell is Director of Social Media at WOW Production Services. He also teaches blogging and social media at Hudson Valley Writers’ Center and provides private instruction.