Service searches Web for copyrighted images

Copyright lawyers who represent photographers and image suppliers may soon have a new tool for enforcing their clients’ rights. An Israeli company that specializes in advanced image recognition software is making it easier to police infringements of copyrighted photographs on the Internet, according to the blog The Stock Photo Industry. The company, PicScout, which already counts a number of top stock distributors as customers, is working with StockArtistsAlliance, a stock photographers’ organization, and plans to roll out an affordable service for individual photographers early this year. Currently, PicScout is scouring the Internet for some 1.5 million images, according to a company spokesperson quoted in the report.

The report, originally published in Stock Asylum, says that PicScout uses technology developed for the Israeli military to compare images from distributors’ archives with images found on the Internet. “The sophisticated computer algorithms often find matches even when images have been cropped, colorized or otherwise altered,” the report quotes the spokesperson as saying.