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Do any of these reverse search engines actually find images in use? I've experimented a little with Tin Eye, the Firefox extension, and with Google Image search.

 

Choosing several images which I know have been published on the internet they fail to find them - apart from one time. They just find the image on the stock site where it has come from/is also available. 

 

So, I can find images on multiple language Alamy and Getty sites, my own website but no actual real website uses. 

 

I understand that this is useful if you want to find where to go to license an image. But I have images that have been licensed and want to find where they are being used! 

 

Any ideas? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by geogphotos
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I find GIS works but finds barely a third of my uses, Tineye hardly at all. If you add -alamy.com (along with as many of the national sites as you can be bothered with) to the search string you can exclude a lot of the Alamy site results.

I did find an older use on Twitter today, licensed last year but only used recently (though it could be a reuse). So it may be worth waiting a while.

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Google reverse image search used to work really well, but lately it rarely finds anything. :( I never had much luck on Tineye to begin with so gave up on that one a long time ago.

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well, this extension searches for the identification of photos or images and not for keywords, I think it is by artificial intelligence, where a lot of screws can be interpreted as pasta! I dont know how to help you

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37 minutes ago, Gina Kelly said:

Google reverse image search used to work really well, but lately it rarely finds anything. :( I never had much luck on Tineye to begin with so gave up on that one a long time ago.

 +1

IME, for more than a year, Google has proved pretty poor - apart from Google Books. Tin Eye has only ever found one that wasn't easily found elsewhere.

 

Bing occasionally finds images not to be found by Google - and Yandex has been the engine which comes up with most unique finds.

 

As Allan B has mentioned in another thread, Google often tries to be too clever for it's own good. His example being that it separated allanbellimages into 3 separate words. When I search for my surname, I get lots of results for Alfred Hitchcock - because it splits Callcut into "call cut". Annoying.

 

On Android, the default search is now Google Lens - which is even worse than GIS.

 

I've tried DuckDuckGo and even gone back to Dogpile, but no joy so far. 

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2 hours ago, spacecadet said:

I think you can prevent that by putting it in quotes..

Nope. I always put it in quotes. That's what I mean about Google being too clever for it's own good. It is trying to pre-guess what I'm searching for, so returns results for the word separated into two - the same as Allan's pseudo split into three.

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11 hours ago, Gina Kelly said:

Google reverse image search used to work really well, but lately it rarely finds anything. :( I never had much luck on Tineye to begin with so gave up on that one a long time ago.

 

I agree Gina. With Google image search it won't find my images where previously it did, and pasting in the saved paper article url it's still there. Certainly not as effective as it used to be. Hopefully this thread will give better options than Google. Now to read the rest.

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I remember that Getty bought an Israeli company that was developing search technology to monitor copyright misuse - can't remember the name. The owner/developer used to be of various forums. Copytrack, Pixsy, and other similar companies must also use the same sort of technology but it has to be paid for. It seems that there isn't really any reliable method for photographers ( or agencies such as Alamy without its own dedicated technological solution) to track down image uses on the internet. As discussed above the available reverse search engines are about locating image sources not image uses. 

 

Google Image search seems to be a waste of time and getting worse.

Edited by geogphotos
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Thinking aloud...

 

Could it be that the reason that GIS is 'getting worse' (for users such as us - those seeking to find usages) is that their rationale has changed - in our favour? That is to say, when we do a reverse image search using Google, GIS knows that that image is available for licence - and so instead of primarily directing the searcher to all other examples around the Web, it deliberately prioritises links to locations where that image may be legally licensed? Which ironically makes finding illicit uses of the image more difficult.

 

Big organisations (most especially high tech firms and social media sites) have been facing huge problems over the last few years with backlash from individuals, other organisations &  businesses (esp. traditional media) and governments, regarding their role and responsibilities. Many of these businesses have been making, and continue to make changes in an attempt to alter how they are perceived. So, in our example, when Google displays images, when able it now increasingly adds IPTC tags - inc. copyright - and also provides information about where that image may be licensed. When an image is available for licence on Alamy, Google reverse image search seems to consistently return results where that image might be licensed on some/most/all of Alamy's European sites.

 

Another thought: could it be that where an image has had relatively few licences, then GIS is concluding that (clearly) the primary site(s) of relevance/importance are those where the image may be licensed, whereas where an image has had multiple licenses, more relative importance is given to those other sites - especially where the image has been interlinked across sites by a common thread - news, for example?

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Yes all that makes perfect sense because most users of search engines are looking to find the source of the image not all sorts of uses it has been previously put to. And more than that, the ability to do the sort of search WE want has to an extent been taken on by companies who have bought up the technology and want to charge us to use it. GIS and the rest make their money from serving up adverts to the masses and not from helping stock photographers track down image uses. 

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To be fair, I have used google reverse image search to find quite a few uses of my photographs. It even found a photograph which had been strongly edited and showed less than two thirds of my original photo - even to me, it looked nothing like my original photo.
Technology does have limitations. My very first sale on Alamy was of a local church, used on a page per day calendar. Typically, a calendar publisher wouldn't bother putting each and every page of each and every calendar they sell onto the interweb.
Also, reverse image searches run into problems if they have to reverse search pdf or Word doc files. Newspapers, coffee table magazines and company reports are often "published" onto the internet as a pdf, or a downloadable "word document", or a spreadsheet, or maybe even some unusual platform such as zinio. Not all of these formats are always visible to google. Sometimes, it can depend on whether the metadata has been stripped out of the photograph.

If a photograph has been licenced for use by a smaller company in their annual report, that annual report might have a print run of several hundred but it might not be published onto the internet. 

A photograph might even be licenced for usage in an in-house powerpoint presentation.

Last year, over 100 of my photographs were licenced on one day with one microstock agency. None of them are reverse searchable. Maybe they just had a monthly subscription with an unused allowance and downloaded random photos which they "might use one day" rather than waste their monthly allowance?

Hope that helps?
 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I only recently discovered COPYTRACK - someone made a reference to it in the "Have you seen an Alamy photo in February"  discussion.  My question is: If Copytrack does find one of my images being used without a licence, then who do I use to chase it up? Alamy or Copytrack?  If I use Copytrack and they extract a payment (taking a commission) , do I then have to let Alamy know about the sale and give them their commission?  

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15 minutes ago, Jim_Grady said:

I only recently discovered COPYTRACK - someone made a reference to it in the "Have you seen an Alamy photo in February"  discussion.  My question is: If Copytrack does find one of my images being used without a licence, then who do I use to chase it up? Alamy or Copytrack?  If I use Copytrack and they extract a payment (taking a commission) , do I then have to let Alamy know about the sale and give them their commission?  

Check with Alamy first to see if it's a legitimate license. If it's a lift from a licensed image you have to give Alamy first refusal over pursuing it. If they can't get a result they will hand it over to you. But you don't have to pay commission over an infringement.

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23 minutes ago, Jim_Grady said:

Thank you Spacecadet.

Recommend you get promoted to SpaceCaptain

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorf

 

With his experience he should be UniverseAdmiral.

 

Allan

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

 

With his experience he should be UniverseAdmiral.

 

Allan

 

 

Actually Allan you've been submitting longer than I have. 2006 is a red herring. I didn't have a DSLR until 2009.

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Doing some Google searches I came across some old reports about how Alamy had teamed up with Picscout.

 

https://picscout.com/

 

No idea if that is still happening.

 

Getty bought Picscout about 10 years ago and were going to develop it as an industry resource. Or that was what they said at the time. 

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