When you publish your photos online, they are highly likely to be stolen. That is if you stumble one of your photos online without your permission. Of course, the first time it happens, you may feel excited about it because you think that they are so good they get stolen by anyone. Suddenly, the realization sets in that you deserve to get paid or be recognized for your effort. Then, you start to question yourself, “How many of your photos have been stolen?”
Enter Phototracker Lite. It is a browser plug-in that allows photographers to find their photos being published anywhere without their permission. This tool simplifies the reverse image search function. The best thing of it all is that it is a free Chrome plug-in. It is not a new tool. PhotoTracker Lite has been around for a while, but its latest update includes a one-click search.
Does It Automate The Entire Process?
Unfortunately, it does not. However, it reduces the time of finding stolen images as it looks through the four major search engines with a one-click search feature. The plug-in’s magnifying glass appears on the corner of the photos. When you click it, it brings up a page of search results that show where the image was found. If you right click it, it brings up a “Look up this pic” feature.
The latest update allows photographers to go through their portfolio and click on the image. From there, the tool brings up where the image appears on the web. As mentioned earlier, it is not an automated tracking service. However, it makes reverse image search easier.
Although Google offers a similar plug-in, PhotoTracker Lite utilizes four major search engines in tracking stolen images. You can choose Google, Yandex, Bing and Tineye. This plugin is compatible with Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi, and Yandex.
Developers of this plug-in say that this tool can help photographers in a lot of different ways. For example, you can find out whether your profile photo on, say Facebook, has been used on other social media as profile photos.
But this plug-in is not only for photographers. Here’s another example where PhotoTracker can be useful:
“I found some product in some online shop, but it’s not in stock at this moment or too expensive for me. I can use Phototracker Lite to quickly look up the picture of the item to find other shops with this product.”
Or, if you are a blogger, you can use this tool to know how many times a public domain image is used.
With this and other functionalities of PhotoTracker Lite, it has become a “Shazam” for photos to find information on a painting’s creator or who are the people in that picture.
After learning that your photos have been stolen, it is up to you what actions you want to take. If it is not used commercially, then copyright violation may not be worth pursuing. However, if it is utilized in a digital advertisement, you may submit a DMCA claim.