This Tool Helps You Find Copies of Your Images on the Internet

This Tool Helps You Find Copies of Your Images on the Internet

Even if you’re not one to loose sleep over possible image thievery, we’re all at least a little curious to know if copies of our images are floating out there, somewhere unbeknownst to us.

Enter TinEye, a free “reverse image search engine” that lets you submit an image to find out where it came from, how it’s being used, and if modified versions exist. Check out this example image of Kanye West ruining Taylor Swift’s moment at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009:

Copy of the original image.

Cropped picture used by

A modified image used by


How does TinEye work? When you submit an image to be searched, TinEye creates a unique and compact digital signature for it, then compares this to every other image in its index to retrieve matches. So far, over 2 billion images have been indexed by TinEye.

TinEye finds exact and altered copies of the images – those that have been cropped, color adjusted, resized, heavily edited, or slightly rotated. When you submit a photo and do a search, you can compare your submitted image with the results side-by-side to highlight any differences.

Note that if you choose not to register with TinEye, which is free, your search images will be discarded after 72 hours.

Toggle between a submitted image and the matches found to highlight any differences.

TinEye is brought to you by Idee Inc., an advanced image recognition and software company. We’re pretty excited about what they’re doing, so we’re pumped to announce that Leila Boujnane, who leads the TinEye team, is speaking at Luminance 2012. Leila will discuss the future of image recognition, and the idea of human vision at machine scale.

Head over to TinEye to see more of what they’re doing, and then check out our 20+ Luminance speakers – there’s sure to be someone you’ve been dying to see.


Interested in learning more about Luminance? Get all our ticket and pricing information here.

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There are 8 comments for this article
  1. Pingback: Images stolen and given away free by LTA - Page 2
  2. John Dunne at 6:40 am

    TinyEye is another great tool for the Photographer’s arsenal to help manage infringements. I do find that Google’s own Image Search to be very powerful also and I will regularly use both as part of my workflow.

    It is also helpful that they both have ‘right-click’ extensions for browsers like Chrome and Firefox that makes it a cinch to create searches directly from your PhotoShelter galleries.

  3. Fredrik Naumann at 9:58 am

    Following the terror attacks in Norway a year ago some of my images were stolen. I tried using TinEye some time ago, but didn’t get any hits. A reverse search on Google however got over 800 hits on one image alone!! Today, after a year, TinEye gets only seven hits. I am not impressed.

  4. Jeremy at 11:49 pm

    I started using TinEye after testing it a week ago. It seemed to work pretty well then.

    This week, I used it again, but the results were less than impressive. Not sure if its a temporary issue, but I’ll be trying it out again in the next few days.

  5. Pingback: Are they using your photo without paying you? | PhotoEmpowerBlogs
  6. Rick B at 10:29 am

    The photo you use as an example is not a crop of the original. That is evident by the position of the man’s arm and the lights at the bottom.

  7. achman at 5:30 pm

    If you look closely, though, the two Taylor Swift pictures are not the same. Kanye’s arm is in a different position, and the statue is lower also. You should have caught this.

    Looks like a great tool, though, I will begin using it today.

  8. Tobbe at 1:18 pm

    The pictures I have searched for has been found sometimes, then I try google and get other results, back to tineye and don’t get any results at al?!! And they want me to pay for that! Stupid….

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