Yesterday, we posted a video on how to do a reverse image search using TinEye. Artist Corrine Bayraktaroglu also alerted us to the online tool Google Reverse Image Search. She wrote: “Early in May, I had read somewhere that you can do a reverse image search on Google. So I tried it, and was shocked to find one of my photographs on a slide show for school digital backgrounds. Doing a reverse image search can help you find your images even if the infringer has renamed the file or stripped away the data. I continue to find other images being exploited and used for music covers, in music videos, by art and craft companies, etc.”
Corrine sent us a photo of her original easel painting portrait of her daughter. She keeps the painting in her home. Corrine wrote: “For privacy/professional reasons I don’t want to use my daughter’s name or photograph” published online at this time. The photo above shows a larger version of Corrine’s portrait painting of her daughter displayed in a street art project. However, the artist is convinced that the Zearle Youthful Folly album cover art is not only her easel painting version of the portrait, but also her own photograph of her easel painting that she had once posted to her blog and not a photograph of the street art version of her art. “Nobody could have taken the image (used on the album cover), the photo is based on an interior shot, the lighting would be a very different and a crisper version (of the image) had it been taken outdoors. Plus the person responsible has admitted to using my photo in his email to me. When I posted the photo online it was blurred (just as on the album cover),” Corrine wrote to us.
The artist has now become proactive when sharing her art images. Corrine wrote that when she started her blog 6 years ago, ” like any fairly new artist I wanted to promote my work. I made the mistake early on of putting out higher resolution pics.” Later, she posted only lower resolution photos of her work and eventually began using– ” a variety of means to try to protect my photographs and images of my paintings: using right-click features on my blog, reducing the size of the image, sometimes putting on a small watermark of my full name or an initial stamp with CB on the online version of the images.” For the most part she was able to keep track of the use of her images. She sent out cease and desist notices when needed. “I kept regular track of my work, but regular searches didn’t expose the current crop of images.” Only by using the reverse image search tool did Corrine make her discoveries. She has since deleted her Flickr account, removed many images from her Facebook page and her Picasa album, and put the bulk of her blog entries into draft mode. “I have taken screenshots of infringing sites and made HUGE changes on my site. I’m vigilant about filing DMCA reports and have asked Google to remove some of my images, plus I’ve added a no pin (Pinterest) meta tag to my blog.”
When Corrine Bayrak contacted Artist Marketing Resources, we shared copyright resources with the artist. As we were discussing options, the artist discovered another of her artwork reproduced on a second music album cover produced by Prospect Records—
My journey into copyright infringement is getting weirder– a wiki site mistakenly listed one of my spin paintings as being done by Damien Hirst and then I find a news article about a man arrested trying to sell fake Hirst paintings to Sotheby’s.
ps. I think my daughter has the spin art painting depicted in the news article hanging in her garage LOL.