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Copyright Fun

Posted by: Jenny Armitage on 05/07/2013 - 3:55 PM

I've been spending the morning reverse image searching some of my paintings. Copyright infringers so far: a sheet music company; a pastor's philosophical blog, two churches, a download on demand music store, a university music department, several foreign sites, and a band instructor. The worst is on of the churches who has made a poster advertising the church out of this painting:

Art Prints

I ask the guilty to either attribute and link to me or remove the paintings from their site. Usually they attribute and link. So far only the sheet music company has gotten back to me. He's already attributed the painting and linked it to my blog, just as I asked.

Do you image search your work? What do you do when you find it used to illustrate blogs and web pages?


Oldest Reply

Posted by: Cynthia Decker on 05/07/2013 - 4:01 PM

I search pretty regularly, and handle it the same as you do. I once had to have a lawyer friend draft a cease and desist letter for a company that was reselling my images as iPhone wallpaper, that was the most involved I've ever had to get.

90% of the time, people have my name and/or website there along with the images.


Posted by: Greg Jackson on 05/07/2013 - 4:17 PM

What site/method are you using to do the reverse image search? I've tinkered with TinEye before, with no results, which is a good thing I suppose. :)


Posted by: Cynthia Decker on 05/07/2013 - 4:19 PM

Google has a good reverse image search - that's what I use. Just go to Google Images and click the little camera on the right side of the search bar.


Posted by: Jenny Armitage on 05/07/2013 - 4:21 PM

I've used TinEye before. Today, I'm using Google's image search. Mostly what I get is FAA, Redbubble, and my blog. Like Cynthia, I find that most people do attribute and link. I consider that free advertising and let it stay. It can be funny though. A Google translation of a Portuguese blog yielded this gem: "Jenny Armitage is an American artist in his 50s, obsessed by painting, especially watercolors." It's not worth fixing. I can deal with being a man in his fifties.


Posted by: Mike Savad on 05/07/2013 - 4:57 PM

last night i found my image on ebay, selling as post cards. in order to get things off of ebay,you have to join a program giving them all your contact information. a link to my own site isn't enough to get the listing removed.

on flickr i found my image posted to his page, though while it had my name, it also had modified versions with badly cut out disney characters all over it. apparently yahoo owns flickr, and i have to use their dmca notice, which is very confusing to follow. it might be easier to leave a note on each image to tell him to take it down.

it's funny how people will just use it and think it's ok to use. and in your case, the church - not so holy.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Mike Savad on 05/07/2013 - 4:59 PM

tin eye is good if:

1. the image has been online for a LONG time.
2. if it's been modified, it can show all the different versions

google is better because it has a larger database. but it's bad because it has a hard time with modified versions. i use them both. i think yahoo has images but i don't know if they have a search. i find it's not worth the headache knowing. i mostly found those because i do search for my name every so often to see what blogs i appear on.

---Mike Savad


Posted by: Roy Erickson on 05/07/2013 - 5:02 PM

I searched several of mine using google image search - some don't even come up here on FAA - and they've been up here for a month or so. None came up anywhere else - not even the older ones that are here and on RB and IK.
Apparently no one looks or cares.


Posted by: Cynthia Decker on 05/07/2013 - 5:24 PM

One of mine was turned into a loving tribute to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They took my image and did a bad cut and paste job of Ahmadinejad, sitting peacefully, drinking tea, surrounded by roses and butterflies and sparkly hearts with some script. It appeared on DeviantArt, I wrote to them and reported the image, it was gone 10 minutes later.


Posted by: Sydne Archambault on 05/07/2013 - 5:49 PM

Well isn't that interesting a couple have been used so far. One for a dance place somewhere in Europe, the other was on a Russian art site and French website for sci fi stuff. Funny thing this one Sell Art Online they took her completely out, leaving this universe kind of effect. How do they do that?


Posted by: Jenny Armitage on 05/07/2013 - 6:11 PM

@ Mike, I find churches, universities and charities are the most likely to use my images without attribution. Maybe they're just so sure I want to donate my copyright that they don't bother to ask. ;) Business usually ask. Bloggers usually attribute but don't ask.


Posted by: Jeffery Johnson on 05/07/2013 - 6:16 PM

Interesting I did a search for the following under Google image search and for some odd reason it states paintings.


Posted by: Tom Druin on 05/07/2013 - 6:49 PM

jenny ... can you tell me the other places you have downloaded "quilted brass " other than FAA .


Posted by: Jenny Armitage on 05/07/2013 - 7:06 PM


Sure: My blog, FAA and redbubble. My guess is that my blog is the easiest to steal from.


Posted by: Jenny Armitage on 05/07/2013 - 7:08 PM

The church has taken my painting down. :) They never did respond to me.


Posted by: Ginny Schmidt on 05/07/2013 - 7:23 PM

OK I tried this with three of mine - went to google images, clicked on the little camera, and pasted the URL and came up with - nothing - zip, nada, zilch ... in fact the screen refreshes and offers me the box again and says enter image URL here - endlessly. When I googled the titles, only Chartreuse Abstract came up with a number of hits, some of them mine that seem linked to FAA. Is there more I should be doing to "reverse image search"? I never heard the term before, but it sounds interesting, and I would like to find out more about it.


Posted by: Janine Riley on 05/07/2013 - 7:28 PM

Ginny - Google is acting wonky right now. I am trying Tineye - not much better. It's the evening, & "primetime".

Tineye is not even showing my FAA work.


Posted by: Jenny Armitage on 05/07/2013 - 7:34 PM

I'm not having a problem with google image right now. I'm getting between 4 and 8 pages of results per image. Use the URL of the largest image you can.


Posted by: Roy Erickson on 05/07/2013 - 7:34 PM

Ginny - did you try drop and dragging the image to the line instead of the URL?


Posted by: Roy Erickson on 05/07/2013 - 7:37 PM

Jenny's doing something right that the rest of us must not be. I put one of her images in the search - more than one page - but all I saw referred back to FAA


Posted by: EricaMaxine Price on 05/07/2013 - 7:41 PM

Sydne, it is quite easy to take an image out, make different colors, manipulate the picture. I'm not sure of other art programs but I use Photoshop CS5 and it does a great job.


Posted by: Jenny Armitage on 05/07/2013 - 7:45 PM

Roy, just searched this one

Art Prints

and got FAA and


Posted by: Jenny Armitage on 05/07/2013 - 7:48 PM

Ginny, just did this one

Photography Prints

and got FAA redbubble and


Posted by: Roy Erickson on 05/07/2013 - 7:49 PM

Really - well - that's one I didn't do ?!!! Tribal wars . net - sounds interesting. Thank you - see - I'm kinda lost - most of the time - on the internet - which is why no facebook account. Half the time I get into one of those things and it becomes boring - StumbleUpon - been there since early 2010 - no one has ever stumbleupon'd my page in all that time. I was on facebook and began getting spammed with junk - so I had to shut that down - skittish about going back.


Posted by: Gregory Scott on 05/07/2013 - 7:52 PM

Churches for years ignored copyright in their services, performing works without royalties. The better ones have smartened up, and found out how to deal with intellectual property properly. I found over the years that pastors are (willfully?) ignorant on the issue.


Posted by: Sydne Archambault on 05/07/2013 - 8:13 PM

Ginny I used the images. I did not do all of them because they need to be smaller than what I have. I tried the URL and it did not work for me at all. One thing I did notice, for the images that I have done a better job with descriptions and keywords they came up mostly on FAA.

@Erica I know they are pretty sneaky and you can do most anything in Photoshop!

However in the end I really do not care for the most part. I just do not have enough time to follow through. They pretty much cleaned Creation where I would have a hard time making a claim. For the other, Ocean Dance, they did not credit me, but my signature was on there. But it was interesting to see if some of my images had been stolen, I was surprised a couple had been.


Posted by: Jeff Kolker on 05/07/2013 - 8:26 PM

First image searched....

I am not sure how I feel about


Posted by: Jenny Armitage on 05/07/2013 - 8:30 PM

Jeff, That's a lovely painting. I bet if you ask she'll link to a place you can sell it. Like here.


Posted by: Sydne Archambault on 05/07/2013 - 8:34 PM

I can see why she stole it! Really beautiful Jeff!


Posted by: Jeff Kolker on 05/07/2013 - 8:39 PM

I may do that... and thanks Jenny, Sydne :)


Posted by: Rose Santuci-Sofranko on 05/07/2013 - 8:42 PM

How do we get the URL for the image we want to check (for Google) if we can't right click on our images here?


Posted by: Jenny Armitage on 05/07/2013 - 8:47 PM


Don't go to the image page. Go to your gallery instead. Right click on the thumbnail of the image you want to check. Choose copy image location.


Posted by: Rose Santuci-Sofranko on 05/07/2013 - 8:48 PM

Thanks....But doesn't that only check for the tiny image as opposed to our bigger ones?


Posted by: Rose Santuci-Sofranko on 05/07/2013 - 8:49 PM

It gives me one of mine and a gazzilion others that aren't mine. at trying this!


Posted by: Ginny Schmidt on 05/07/2013 - 8:53 PM

cooking my dinner and trying to catch up on the finale of Splash while I do this - i am not a born multitasker - Jenny, thanks - yes I put that image up on redbubble first, quite a while ago - almost forgot that I'd signed up on blue canvas and am not doing much on redbubble these days either, having all my fun on right here o FAA.

thanks for bringing this up and I will be trying from time to time to ferret out some of my stuff - also, i have found things of other people whose work I am familiar with used in places unbeknownst to the artist and i let them know - so i guess it is good to look out for each other, right?


Posted by: Roz Abellera on 05/08/2013 - 11:16 AM

That's why I highly recommend registering your images with the government so your copyright is on record. That way if you find someone is making money with your image without permission you can sue the pants off of them.


Posted by: Dan Turner on 05/08/2013 - 11:31 AM

"if you find someone is making money with your image without permission you can sue the pants off of them."

Or you can send them a thank you note for showing you how to make money with your images...and then copy what they're doing :-)

Dan Turner
Dan Turner Fine Art
Dan Turner's Seven Keys to Selling Art Online
To Enjoy Dan Turner's Pinterest Boards, Click Here


Posted by: Roz Abellera on 05/08/2013 - 11:54 AM

Right Dan. I'll thank them, copy them, and still sue them for not asking permission. :)


Posted by: Jenny Armitage on 05/08/2013 - 2:03 PM

I'm not really interested in suing the paints off anyone for posting my work on their webpage. What I generally want is to hop on board and treat it as advertising. But I don't go so far as to thank people for taking without asking.

If someone begins selling my image, yes I'd want compensation.


This discussion is closed.