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How do companies like Getty Images hunt down Stock Images violators?

Discussion in 'Graphic Design' started by reisuke, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. reisuke

    reisuke Registered Member

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    As Above.

    I am wondering how they hunt down stock images violators.
    Let's say someone used the search engine and stole from someone who purchased it, how do they verify that that must be a stolen image and not someone who bought it?

    I feel that there's absolutely no way to track it, other than false maligning.
     
  2. pixelgrinder

    pixelgrinder Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Where did some one say Getty Images hunts down violators? Did I miss something?
     
  3. TheTK

    TheTK Registered Member

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    In a lot of cases they look at the use i.e. if you paid for a personal site license and use it on a corporate site they'll email you asking for proof of license. Other times they may have an email/domain on file to compare it against.

    Some other stock image sites simply search for their images, find it on a site and request proof of license. Once you've shown it once they'll throw it on a "do not ask list".

    It's a pretty horrible system, I've had plenty of emails for my web clients being like "you need to provide proof or purchase or pay this fine" even though we bought it legitimately.
     
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  4. reisuke

    reisuke Registered Member

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    I did a search before i decided to open this thread, they have been handling out letters to violators, from what i read, they used spiders, comparing exif info, meta deta info.. but i still dont get the technology that's behind it. How are they so sure that that very image is not purchased but it's a stolen image.

    what TheTK said make sense, but again, what if a photo is really popular, for example 7000 downloads worldwide, are they going to request all 7000 websites to ask for proof of license?

    Several black hater said that 'just ignore the email and you will be fine' lol.
     
  5. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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  6. agente808

    agente808 Regular Member

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    they use technology similar to this:
    http://tineye.com/

    there's lots of money in this for Getty, so they have a staff of people dedicated to monitoring usage of their images.

    This doesn't happen. Even royalty-free images on Getty for simple common objects are $15 for the smallest size available (the same image could go up to $400 for a high resolution). Rights-managed images are much more expensive. They aren't selling 7000 of a file that costs $15+

    Even on low-cost royalty-free images sites, like http://www.dreamstime.com (where you can see how many times an image has been downloaded)
    you would be hard-pressed to find an image that has been purchased/downloaded more than 20 times.

    The bigger question is: given the huge amount of free / extremely low cost stock photos available, why bother with stealing Getty images?
    Is there really an image you need that you can't find a free version of?
     
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  7. YoungCeaser

    YoungCeaser BANNED BANNED

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    I guess the easiest way to foorprint a picture by a computer is by md5 sum. Add a water mark or a black pixel to picture and the hash shum should be completely different.
     
  8. reisuke

    reisuke Registered Member

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    @agente808

    wow thanks for you reply, i used getty as an example, as their policies are really aggressive.

    honestly, free high res images can be found anywhere on the internet (if you know how, but that's stealing ..), but i just want to keep myself well informed as i believe it's just a matter of time, low cost stock images companies like photodune, dreamstime may start taking action.
     
  9. agente808

    agente808 Regular Member

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    @reisuke - don't confuse "free" with "stolen" - there are millions of free high-resolution images, no stealing necessary: http://www.everystockphoto.com/

    As far as low-cost stock agencies taking action, it does happen. They don't have the resources to monitor images as closely - but most images on those sites are uploaded by freelance photographers/designers who make a commission on sales. Many of those artists DO monitor tineye for their images (curiosity as much as monitoring stealing) and when they find their images being used illegally, they will usually try to take whatever actions they can.
     
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