I thought it might be a good time to talk about images and the internet.  I can assume that most people have seen the “catfish” type stories about people that have created profiles using images and pictures that did not belong to them.  This can be very disturbing to the person that really does belong to those images but what about businesses?
How do you protect your images online?

The sad truth is if you don’t want people to be able to use a picture you posted somewhere on the internet then you should not post it.

You can attempt to code your site so that people are not able to save an image but you can’t stop them from print screening and cropping any image online.

If you are an artist that uses a website to showcase your art then you can watermark your images however with Photoshop and a little time, even a watermark can be removed. 

The only recourse you have is to request that your image be removed from a site once you find it.  If you feel that there was malicious intent, and that a company was actively attempting to profit from an image that you have clearly watermarked then you may be able to seek damages.

The problem is that with the amount of photo sharing sites as well as the most utilized (Google Images) it tends to be not so much as malicious intent as it is convenience and need.

If your company has created an image to use for your sales or promotional material, using branded text in your image could slow down the use of the photo but people and software can, again, remove text and allow them to replace it with their own.

Using images found under image searches are simply a way of life in this new era of social sharing.  It is not easy to keep your images away from the billions of users on the net.  In 99% of the cases there is no monetary reward that will be in your favor for finding one of your images being used. 

Do you know how to find your images online?

Simple – Go to Google Images.  In the search bar you will see the icon shown in the image below that shows a camera, click on that and you will see options to provide a link or to upload an image.

Google will then provide you with the results.  You will be able to see approximately how many results show up online for that image as well as similar images.  There is a link to “report images” as shown in the image below.

Bottom line is that people will use and reuse the same images over and over on the net.  Image searches are readily available to find any type of image that a person is looking for.  If you are really determined to keep your images off others pages then your only real option is to not post them on any site.  The next best way to keep the use of your images down to minimum is to place a watermark on the image. 

Hope this information helps.

If your business is looking for dynamic graphics for your website, call our office today at 719 302-5029 and our designers can work with you to create the perfect image.

Complete Web Solutions is a US based web design and Development Company.