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Old 01-14-2009, 08:58 AM
Location: Cary, NC
34,281 posts, read 59,604,944 times
Reputation: 33307


I have several thousand photos on Flickr, with more to come.
Lately, I have found a couple of them on other sites, although my Flickr licensing status is "All Rights Reserved."
I guess it is a compliment if my stuff is good enough to swipe.

I have had a Google alert set for my Flickr account, but can't get the individual photo URL. Well.....I get the individual URL when I embed a photo in MY own site.
But, otherwise, I get my photostream URL.

Can I set a Google alert for individual photos and individual URLs with a wild card * alert, and if so, how might that be done?

Or how can I Google search for particular images?
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:26 PM
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,511 posts, read 55,435,808 times
Reputation: 32216
The short answer is you can't. The label and description are what G wants to focus on. Say you have a photo of your female cocker spaniel and post it to flicker with the photo name of Rhoda. Some porn site could copy your photo, re-label it, and put in on the web as "dog in heat," or bi*ch in heat and you wouldn't ever see it. It is the nature of the beast (the net, not your dog).

What some sites have to to limit the theft of images is to break them into sections. If you click on an image you might get just the upper left 1/4th of that image. Most casual copiers will move on to easier pickings. Some, however, will capture the screen and grab the image from that. That means that some sites will do more obtuse stuff, and so on.
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:57 PM
Location: Cary, NC
34,281 posts, read 59,604,944 times
Reputation: 33307
Thanks, Harry.

About what I figured...
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:13 AM
40,169 posts, read 41,782,366 times
Reputation: 16740
You can serve a DMCA notice to the site(s) using your photos. If no response go directly to their host and you will get an immediate response because if they don't take action they can be held responsible.

As far as protecting them you can slow people down but you'll never be able to stop someone such as me from copying them no matter what you do. If it can be seen I can make copy of it if not directly getting the file then there is certainly many other tools available. Most of the methods involve tricks used in HTML, for example you can set the image as a background image in an HTML element such as a table cell then place a transparent .gif over the top of it. When they right click and save the image they are saving the transparent .gif Simple trick but quite effective to stop those that don't know any better.

Other things you can do is use the EXIF/IPTC meta data in images. You can use tools like Irfanview or Exifer to insert your copyright. They both have batch modes so you can do a mulititude of images with a few clicks. One thing to note is this information can be changed or even deleted by someone else. Matter fact the "Save for web" option in most imaging applications deletes this by default to save a few bytes. Some software doesn't preserve it and even server software that my resize or manipulate images may discard it. I'm not aware of any search engines that index this information but I'm sure at some point you can expect Google to use it so it might be prudent to take advantage of it.

Lastly you can watermark the image and there are two methods to doing this. A visible watermark is the most common, I'd suggest using a transparent one with a textured gradient color fill as these are the hardest to remove manually. The other method is an invisible watermark, there are services for this and plug-ins available. Digimarc is one comapany that offers this. The transprent watermark can't be seen but can be detected by softwre looking for it.

The one issue with transparent watermarks is they are mebedded in the image data itself and if the image is resampled it can be destroyed in the process. I'm not aware of any free options for applying these but I'm sure they exist.
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