WHAT TO DO IF YOUR IMAGES HAVE BEEN STOLEN

You have found that your images have been stolen… now what?

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR IMAGES HAVE BEEN STOLEN

You have a few different options on what you can do besides only reporting the theft to Photo Stealers.

1.  Send a Cease & Desist letter.  This is an email (you can find various form letters via Google) where you are requesting removal of your intellectual works from the website within a set amount of days before you pursue legal action.  This is not a requirement.  If you choose, you can skip to any of the following steps.

2.  File a DMCA. Often the stealer refuses to remove the copyrighted works so you need to move on to reporting the image as your intellectual property to the online host of the image – be it a website, Facebook etc.  To file a DMCA for a website, use Who is Hosting This to find the website host.  Here is a great walkthrough from the Photo Attorney.  If you need help with this, please feel free to contact me.  Facebook makes it pretty easy to file a DMCA – use the report feature and follow the links until you get an option to flag the image as your intellectual property.  Most other social media sites have a similar report feature.

3.  Send an Invoice.  Send the photographer/business an invoice outlining your cost for the use of the image for the length of time and purpose they used it for.  I highly recommend this method if you have had images stolen by a business but many have had luck with this method with photographers as well.

4.  File a lawsuit.  If you have had enough or have had no luck with the above steps, call a lawyer and file a lawsuit.  Note that you can sue even if the image was taken down when you requested.  You get more damages if your watermark was removed and/or if you have registered the image so make sure you are doing both!

 

Invisible Watermarks

The final approach Morgani discusses is a bit more advanced and, as a result, it costs money. Using a paid service like Digimarc, you can add “invisible” watermarks to your image. We put invisible in quotes because pixel peepers might be able to sniff it out in Photoshop, but otherwise it’s extremely difficult for the human eye to detect.

Can you see the watermark? It’s there…

“But what good is a watermark if it’s invisible?” you may ask. Digimarc uses these invisible marks to find your images online with their own special reverse image search, generating a report that shows you everywhere your photo has been shared with and without permission.

True, it’s a paid service, but if you’re serious about keeping track of your images and finding infringers, this approach is hard to beat.

 

Here are four ways to find your stolen photos online

https://www.pixsy.com/

https://tineye.com/

https://images.google.com/

https://www.prepostseo.com/reverse-image-search

 

Examples of laters:

Hello,

I work for _____ and we noticed you used one of our images in your article here: [link to their post]
You can see that we are the owner of the image here: [link to your original post]

We are OK with you using our image as long as you reference us. Please add a link to [term/phrase] in your article to [link on your site].

If you don't want to add a link we totally understand, but we'll need to ask that you remove the image as this is something created by us.
Thank you, if you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Name
[link to your site]

Hello,

I work for _____ and we noticed you used one of our images in your article here: [link to their post]
You can see that we are the owner of the image here: [link to your original post]

We would kindly ask that you remove and or replace this image.
Thank you, if you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Name
[link to your site]

Hello,

I work for _____ and haven't heard back from you regarding my first email.

We noticed you used one of our images in your article here: [link to their post]
You can see that we are the owner of the image here: [link to your original post]

We would kindly ask that you remove and or replace this image. If we don't hear back from you within the next two weeks we will have to file a DMCA complaint.

Name
[link to your site]


 

How to Setup Hotlink Protection

Best Effort Policy

Any issues with adjusting your .htaccess file fall under our Best Effort support policy. Best Effort does not include content management, coding or designing for your websites. We may also direct you to a better resource for your issue, such as Plugin Developer, Designer, Software Author etc. Best Effort is not covered under the same SLA’s as our supported services and does not guarantee any future support for any issue. Please understand that Best Effort issues may take longer to resolve.

When you create your website you tend to also add images and other content to make things look better and add some character to your site. In doing so you will upload an image and add it to your pages to be viewed. It is also possible, though not recommended, to use images that have been uploaded by others without needing to download and then upload that image to your site. This is called hotlinking. Unfortunately, for people whose images have been hotlinked in this manner, they will likely notice an increase in their server resource usage as the new site using those images begin using your server’s resources. Fortunately, you can prevent this by enabling hotlink protection on your site. This tutorial will walk you through the process of enabling hotlink protection on your site. This tutorial also assumes that you are familiar with accessing your site via SFTP

  1. First, you will need to sign into your site via SFTP
  2. You will now need to download the .htaccess file from your /web/content folder
  3. Once you’ve got the .htaccess file on your computer you will want to add the following lines to that file:
    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)mydomain.com/.*$ [NC]
    RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg|jpeg|bmp|zip|rar|mp3|flv|swf|xml|php|png|css|pdf)$ - [F]

    Make sure that you alter mydomain.com to match your domain. Also, please be sure that you do not modify any other code within the .htaccess file.

  4. Once you’ve added the above lines you will then want to upload the .htaccess file back to your /web/content directory
  5. Once uploaded disconnect from SFTP and check your site to make sure that there are no errors.

 

Removing Content From Google

http://bit.ly/2oQi96f

 

Convert any image to pure CSS

This is a tool that can convert any image into a pure css image.
Try it! (It’s cpu heavy, please try with a small image first).

img2css

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