Image theft is normal on the Internet. Everyone steals everything. You can now just enter an image in the google image search and see what comes up. This is a bit tedious, if you want to check a website like pen-and-tell, with meanwhile 5410 images. You have to take a week off to check that. So I was looking for an automatic alternative that takes some of the work off my hands and came across Copytrack. You can upload up to 500 images, Copytrack searches the web for the images and then you only have to check what is illegal and Copytrack sends a lawyer who collects the money, keeps the commission and transfers the rest.
And the whole thing not only in Germany, but worldwide.
So I sat down and uploaded 418 pictures from pen-and-tell, rocksdorf18.de and fotografierer.com, which are online for several years. Let’s see if anyone has stolen them yet.
The first twelve days nothing happened. OK, I thought, obviously the pictures are so bad that nobody steals them. Maybe so. I forgot the number for the time being.
Then I received an e-mail, telling me to sign a piece of paper urgently, so that my claims could be pursued.
Uiiii. The dollar signs ran through my eyes, I went to Copytrack and looked:
Wow. Almost 60 hits. The detail page then looks like this, for example:
A stage photo with 620 euros, an ostrich with 405 euros and a winter landscape for 620 euros. Unfortunately, all the hits are from my own website. Sure, the pictures are from there. With “4 more pages” it was not about 4 more pages, as I had hoped, but only links to the same page, which come via keywords of the article.
On the second of February a few more pictures were found, on the 13th of February again.
Result: In 30 days, out of 420 images spread over three web pages, 68 were found. In exactly these three web pages. And this is not about similarities or different resolutions, but about exactly the same files.
My web pages are also not hidden somewhere, they were obviously even found after one and a half weeks.
So the tool is rather underperforming. Sure – I take care not to distribute my images in larger resolutions, not even in forums. For me 1024 resolution is the border. You can look wonderfully in the net, but otherwise not do much with it. Sure, the newspaper with the big headlines has also stolen 640×480 images and slapped them on the front page, but that’s rather the exception.
So if you’re seriously interested in where your images are floating around on the web, you should use a different tool. You can then still load the image into Copytrack and draw the gentlemen’s attention to the evil website by hand. From what you can read, the lawyer department seems to work quite well.