TinEye, Google Images, and detecting art theft
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I've long wished for the ability to find an image online based upon the actual image rather than a verbal description, ever since I first started seeing friends' journals talking about art theft.  Now it seems technology is catching up a bit.

The first program/page I saw a while back was Tineye ( www.tineye.com/ ).  It's still under development, but it searches for instances a particular images is found online - including crops, recolors, etc.

Google Images also lets you find pictures based upon actual images now, if you enter the URL of a specific file.  It's kind of interesting in that it goes on to look for "similar" works and shows them as well.

In either case, I'm curious as to how effective these tools really are in finding unauthorized use of artwork.  It seems like either one could be helpful, depending on the circumstances.  TinEye is still archiving, and it seems to be a slow process ("slow" being a relative term, considering how many trillions-or-more images there are out there, to say nothing of the terabytes of information!)  It's possible to register collections of images as a means of establishing ownership, which sounds interesting and yet flawed.  What little I saw on their site assures that the submissions remain the property of the person/company submitting them and not TinEye, but one wonders how they establish ownership beyond the registrant's say-so.  :-/    Google Images may or may not have the same shortcomings; I've no idea.

So far (*knocks on wood*)  I haven't seen any of my own stuff anywhere it shouldn't be, though I admit I haven't done a thorough search through everything I have.

Is there anyone out there whose work has been stolen who has tried using either of these search tools?  I'm very curious to know just how well they work (or not).





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Comments2
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Isavarg's avatar
I have a question about this. I have been creating pixel art for a number of years now, but it is only recently that I started uploading my art on to DA. However, I found a curious thing - while trying to upload some files, I have found that a thumbnail doesn't appear on some images and I can't upload them unless there is a document asking for permission to up load them. At first, I thought that this was just because someone had used a similar base as mine (or even the same base) and that DA was detecting that. However, I uploaded a pixel file which was used on the same base as one of my dolls and had no problem uploading it. I am beginning to wonder if my pixel art has been stolen and uploaded on to DA by someone else, but when I did the Google image match, nothing came up apart from what was on my own sites and blogs. I am just wondering, why, if Google didn't detect any copies other than what was on my own sites, why I am unable to upload them to DA?
FugueState's avatar
FugueStateHobbyist General Artist
I have no idea. Have you tried submitting a Help ticket about this?
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