Image Plagiarism – Track Duplicate Images Using Google

tracking image plagiarism - poster

Whether you are a photographer, a graphic designer, an internet marketer or a personal hobby blogger, you would probably won’t like someone stealing your copyright images without any due permission and credit! Right? And if you are curious (or concerned enough, I must say) to know who is making an unauthorized use of your copyright images online, then you are at the right post, at the right time 😉

For bloggers who actively accept guest articles, detecting image plagiarism is even more important – you don’t know, you might end up receiving a DMCA notice from the actual copyright holder the very next day! Therefore to avoid any trouble, for guest bloggers who proudly claim that they are the actual copyright holder of the attached images, it is very important for you to check how genuine their claim is!

Checking Duplicate Images Using Google

Step one –  Switch to Google Images. There you will see a small camera icon near the blue search button.

google images camera

Click on that camera icon and upload your copyright photo (either directly from your hard drive Or paste the URL of the image file)

google images search

In this experiment, i will be using Android Authority’s “iPhone 4S Vs. Galaxy S3” copyright image for my example.

Once you have uploaded your “image search query”, Google will give you a comprehensive list of websites using visually similar photos (often exactly the same photos). Voila! thieves caught 😀

duplicate images check on google search

However, If a person is clever, he would definitely try to crop out the watermark text/logo on the photo and rename the file with a more generic name (like -smartphones, phones, comparison, Apple-Samsung, etc.) But unfortunately, one can’t be smarter than Google – its incredible image detection technology can still track those using the same copyrighted photos…

Have a look – In this experiment I cropped the watermark logo and renamed the image file as “smartphones” instead of “iPhone 4S Vs. Galaxy S3” (this is what any unscrupulous guest blogger or any other person might do!)

cropping of copyright image

And here are the search results:

duplicate images search results on google

To simplify the process, Google has released an extension called “search by image” for Chrome and Firefox.

duplicate image search plugin

This extension enables one to initiate a Google image search just by right clicking on any image on the web. So if you are concerned whether someone is stealing your beloved images from your website, then chasing those thieves is just a click away 😉

I know that it’s not necessary that everyone will care about such duplicate results. But if you are one of those photographers OR graphic designers who can’t condone the unaccredited use of your copyright images online, then you should take an action as soon as possible – shoot the offenders an email to take those photos down OR file a DMCA complaint if nothing else works! All the best & have fun tracking down the image thieves 😉

So how do you check image plagiarism? Do you also prefer to use Google? And if yes, do you care about those results? Feel free to express your thoughts 😉

What are your thoughts on this post? Please add your comment below...

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  1. M Carly says

    Thank you so much for this post Abhishek! I’m a photographer based in London and this is really gonna help me a lot in finding out those who are using my work without any permission 😉

  2. says

    Awesome! I really didn’t know that image plagiarism could be so easily detected with Google. But there is one question though – will it also work for re-sized images that well?

  3. Sean says

    That’s one way to do this, but there are also tools for searching duplicates of pictures online, for example this one and I don’t know which method is better, because I guess that in either case there is a way of beating the system… Just like someone mentioned above, by cropping the picture or something like that.

  4. says

    There are so many website on the net based on similar category, so it is obvious that a common image can be found in many sites…
    what is the best way of using photos from another website? Can i use photos from the official site? As you can see my site is a site based on mobile information. So how i can i collect photos that need to put into my site?

    • says

      Hi Shahadat, you can use photos from the official sources as long as you agree to their copyright conditions (if any), like linking back to the original source, attribution, etc. If there’s nothing mentioned regarding the copyrights, then you are free to use those images. However, linking back or mentioning the original source of the image is always ethical and it doesn’t hurt at all. But make sure that you’re linking/mentioning the “original source” only.

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