How to tell if someone is stealing your images – Google reverse image search

how to tell if someone is stealing your images

Sadly, someone has taken an image from this site and used it on a commercial site. It’s a montage of my little girl on holiday. This makes me equally sad as it does mad. You see, if you ask to use one of my images, I am most likely to be flattered and allow use of it, within reason. However, I will not tolerate theft of my images to be used commercially. I wont tolerate theft at all, but commercially is beyond belief. I am a small store owner. I often see pictures of kids wearing things they have bought from me. I ALWAYS ask if I can use them. That’s how it works. This scenario is still playing itself out so I will report back.

Anyway, I mentioned this on twitter and had lots of responses asking how I knew that someone was stealing/using my images. The answer is easily.

I periodically check who is using my images and how they’re using them.

I  do this on my popular posts – they’re the ones people are finding via search, and on my favourite images.


There’s two ways you can do this.

  1. Right click on the image you want to check, copy the URL of the image, go to Google Images and paste the copied URL in to the text input field. Then click the little camera icon. Easy.
  2. Download the image from your site to your desktop, I just drag it off on my mac. Go to Google Images and drag and drop the image from your desktop in to where you would normally add text. The box will expand.

You will then get the instances of your photo on the internet. It picks up G+, pinterest etc and of course websites. It doesn’t matter if the image’s filename has changed, it’s a visual search. Sadly it doesn’t pick up Instagram or Facebook.

It’s a time sink. You will do this and keep doing this … but it’s a good way to stay on top of what is happening.

Theft is wrong

Image theft is so annoying. This case because it’s commercial. However both Kara and Katie have had their images stolen and people have used them to create a fake online life. Seriously. People are off their heads. And check out what happened with Bodie & Fou (see this and this). Un-fucking-believable. There’s being inspired by someone and being a tw@t.