I often receive questions about how to protect against image piracy on the Web. Let’s face it, monitoring the Internet for the unauthorized use of your images can be a full-time job and, if you’re trying to make a living in this business, I wouldn’t recommend it.

However, I would recommend that you check out today’s announcement from ImageRights, which talks about their new – and free – image search and discovery service.

ImageRights now offers the same advanced, visual search and crawler technology that the company introduced last year with its monthly fee-based packages, but now it’s entirely free. You can upload up to 10,000 images and the ImageRights’ crawler will use an image recognition technology to compare your work with that which is found on the Web. It can even detect images that have been altered, cropped, rotated or color adjusted. Once your images are discovered online, ImageRights will send you a full report of its findings, including a picture of the original image, its use online, and the URL and ownership information for the website where it was found.

You may not make your living as a professional photographer. If not, you may not care about compensation for infringement. But you still may want the right to demand attribution or take down. ImageRights can help you make that happen.

ImageRights is one of the companies at the forefront of helping arm photographers with the tools they need to seek out proper compensation for the unauthorized use of their images. To that end, they’re launching a new Recovery Program next month to help photographers recoup lost fees and increase their revenue stream. Photographers who chose to opt into this program will share 50 percent of their compensation with ImageRights. If you’d like to keep more of the money that you recoup, you can still pay for the Basic ($9.95), Standard ($19.95) or Pro (39.95) monthly package and receive 65% of any recovered fees. Of course, you can always hire a lawyer and chase down the perpetrator on your own.

For those of you who don’t have the resources to go after infringers on your own, ImageRights may be the perfect partner. Full disclosure: I am on ImageRights’ advisory board.
This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store

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