July 5, 2013

Who is Stealing Your Pictures?

Tonight I read on Elva's Field Notes that you can easily search for any image using Googles Image Search. Just click on the little camera next to the search box and upload your image.

I tried this using a photo of McConnell's Mill that I had once given permission to one person to post on Facebook. And sure enough, there were other people using it without permission.

My images are copyrighted. Now I sign most of my pictures but this one was four years old so perhaps people thought they could take it without repercussions.

I wrote to a person who used it for an ad asking him to pay me for it. I decided to ignore a nonprofit site. Another site looked to be a user-generated collection so I just asked them to delete it. On the second page of search results there were several sites from Russia. I know from experience that sites with the .ru extension are often scams trying to get clicks so I didn't even go to them.

Have you found people using your pictures without permission? How do you handle it?


  1. Wow, that's wild. My stuff is copyrighted, but I've always granted permission when emailed asking to use pictures. I don't know if my stuff is being used - probably so since I've been blogging for 3.5 years and take tons of pictures. I guess I have other stuff to worry about though.

  2. Wow, I didn't know you could search for images like that.

  3. thanks for the tip on image search.

    i once had a blogger friend read about a blogger in brazil who stole some of her photos and re-posted them. when she went to the offender's site, she recognized my dogs! the brazil blogger had stolen several of my dog photos and sunrise photos and posted them as if they were her own. i started marking my photos, then. i did contact her and asked her to remove them. she did. apologized with a 'but i thought they were beautiful!'

  4. I handle this problem by taking bad pictures that no one wants to steal. A group of us discussed this problem recently & usually, when asked or threatened with a lawsuit, the offenders take down the images.

  5. How do you copy right a picture? I am going to have to check that out.

  6. Not yet, but I haven't yet tried to search for my images that way. I guess I've not had a chance to figure out a lot of this stuff, but kind of creepy to think others are just using your stuff without you knowing. Maybe I should start putting my signature on photos...beyond that I'm not sure how to stop people...

  7. My understanding is that your photos are copyrighted if you include a copyright statement including your name on the photo and then publish it. However, this only offers partial protection so if the particular photo is unique and possibly valuable, register it as detailed here: ww.popphoto.com/how-to/2013/04/how-to-registering-copyrights-your-photography

  8. Thanks a lot for the search tip. A couple years ago, I did stumble upon a trillium picture of mine that a rental cabin owner was using. Then I wrote them and asked them to give credit and include a link back to my site.

    What software do you use to put your name/watermark on your images?


The View from Squirrel Ridge features thousands of views of the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding area. I post frequently so please visit often.

Your comments are appreciated. If you are responding to a post older than a few days, your comment will be held until we have a chance to approve it. Thanks for your patience!

Sorry, anonymous comments cannot be accepted because of the large number of spam comments that come in that way. Also, links that are ads will be deleted.