For those of us who create and voraciously defend material of our own copyright, TinEye looks right up our alley. The theory behind it is that you can feed it an image and it will look for images which are very similar on the web at large.
Here you can see I fed it a picture of a handsome devil from my hard drive and it found a similar picture, albeit smaller, on a WordPress blog which happens to be owned by yours truly.
The software is still in beta and only has a portion of the web indexed at this time but it offers the potential of individual artists being able to seek out users of their copyrighted material and determining their legality or the need for a ‘cease and desist’ letter.
As copyright defense becomes ever more important, a tool like TinEye can be a great utility. It is also available as a browser plug-in so that you can access it with a right-click.
Rikk Flohr © 2008