How To Find Out if Images Have Been Stolen

Are you curious if your images and/or written works have been stolen?  Here are some sources to use online to track your intellectual works.   If you want to narrow down the selection, I suggest starting with the images most pinned on Pinterest that you’ve taken and going from there as that’s one of the most typical sources for stolen images.

1.  Google Reverse Image Search.  This is my default go-to for looking out sources of images.  You click on the camera icon in the search bar and upload the image.  Google then brings up the sources for the image that you searched for.

2.  TinEye.  This works in a similar way as Google Reverse Image Search and the results are usually the same but not always.

3.  Copyscape.  This works in the same way as the above but for written words instead of pictures.

  • davewyman

    Thanks for this. I just discovered that one of my images, available on one of my photo galleries, has been filched over 50 times. Late last night I began sending out requests for removal of and payment for my image and I’ve already gotten an apology from one person, who included, as an excuse, the lie that I was given attribution for use of the image.

    I’ve got thousands of potentially stolen images (among many thousands more I’m sure aren’t going to interest anyone). I’m not going to catch everyone, but anyone who’s stolen my work will be a potential target.

    • Factitious_Detector

      I know I would love to hear about what happens if you ever have to take one of these a-holes to court or something similar, and I am sure I am not alone!

      • davewyman

        So far, even on a Sunday, I’ve gotten a reply and a request to hold off until the proper person ton contact returns from a vacation, as well as the mea culpa. I note a webpage associated with ESPN has posted the photo, too, and I have the contact info for their legal department. And a Belgium website – permission machine – that licenses photos is licensing my photo, which particularly annoys me.

        I do think I have some leverage by threatening to use social media to reveal the thefts, at least to get my photos removed. I’m not expecting much in payment from invoices I’m attaching to my emails, but I may be able to knock my photo off some of these webpages by threatening public shaming.

        • davewyman

          Just to let anyone who’s reading know, I took the time to write to about a dozen websites that illegally posted my photo (which is legally here – don’t pilfer it! –

          I’ve had about a 50% compliance so far, or at least a promise to remove my photo, with removals from a Facebook and twitter page, a page for a church website in a remote part of Arizona, etc.

          So far, no response from a call to ESPN, and a company in London which doesn’t have a working email address, nor from a university instructor’s blog site, and a few others. It’s only been a day, though.

          • U Really That Dumb?

            A call to the University President will have it removed in minutes. Guaranteed. Let them know that they have 4 hours to remove or they start getting billed by the day, backdated to the date of the blog post.

            As for ESPN will pay if you send them a bill. Especially if it comes from an attorney. Typically within 10 days of receipt.

            All in all, GOOD ON YOU!

          • U Really That Dumb?

            BTW: Great Pic!
            Love that it was shot with the first 5MP camera ever to hit the market and edited with PSE-2.0 on a Mac!

    • Bart

      Good Job! Keep after them, Some will pay$$$! Remember you can always send a DMCA takedown notice to their web provider and have the whole website taken down.