Some may know that I’m very protective of my copyright. It is extremely important to me, and it’s no secret that I actively protect and enforce it. Why shouldn’t I? I work hard to produce my work, and if somebody thinks it’s worth making use of, then it’s only fair that I should be paid accordingly. In a Utopian society, it might be nice to think that everyone works for free and helps each other, but lets face it – life isn’t like that. The Government tax us, we have to pay to heat our homes and put fuel in our cars to get to our workplace… therefore it’s impractical, if not impossible to genuinely work for free.
So, recently I have been testing a new image search engine designed for photographers who wish to call in the lost license fees from their work which has been misappropriated.
As a ‘small’ test, I tried a batch of just over 5,000 images from my library. After a few hours, my report was ready, and to my horror, there were over 3000 matches.
That is a frightening statistic. 60% of my sample batch of images were found online. Now, that’s not to say that all 60% were infringing.. there were some images that looked very similar.. EXTREMELY similar.. taken by a photographer at the same event, stood right next to me.. thankfully though, I can still recognise my own images and can discount these from the infringing batch…