Thursday, August 7, 2008
Are you using TinEye?
If you publish or share your images on the web you owe it to yourself to check out TinEye. It's like a search engine for images, but even better. Through some amazing algorithm they've developed, TinEye is able to locate copies of an image even when it has been drastically cropped or otherwise altered. For photographers (and other graphic artists) that means it has the ability to locate even heavily modified copies of your photos. Click on the slideshow above to see an example of 97 different variations of the Mona Lisa, complete with the website address where they were found.
So, how about the ability to locate violations of your copyright? Lots of photographers have been reporting in the forums of photo sites of their success in using TinEye to find violations. At the very least you can send a takedown notice, if you're a pro you can send an invoice. If you're one of those people who don't care about those things you can at least ask for credit and a link back to your site. If you give your images a Creative Commons license you can verify that people are complying with the terms.
Or if you sell images through a stock agency that doesn't tell you who is licensing your images, how cool to actually find copies in use?
Or maybe you're a parent who uploaded family photos before you realized just how wild the web can be and want to make sure that your cute teenage daughter's face isn't plastered someplace it's not supposed to be.
You can upload images to the TinEye server to run a search or you can use the (highly recommended!) Firefox add-on that lets you just right-click on any image and run a search. They also recently added a bookmarklet that lets you run a search from a bookmark in any web browser.
TinEye currently has over 7 million images in its database and they continue to crawl the web and add to that number every day. Your search results may not find images that you know are on the web (that's happened to me), but you can suggest new websites for the TinEye spider to crawl.
TinEye is in beta and right now it's free. You can request an invite and be put on the waiting list, or if you want to go to the head of the line you can send me an e-mail with your e-mail address and I'll send you one of my private invitations that will grant you instant access. I only have three invitations to give out, so first come first served!
Nothing after the jump.