May 6, 2013

Duplicate Image Search

A while back I discovered that someone was trying to pass off my photos of Nicki as photos of her own child. I immediatly turned to Google reverse image search to see if anyone else was using my photos without permission. The process was so slow and tedious to enter the URL of each image from my blog that I gave up after checking just a few. There had to be a better way.

I know I’m not the first blogger who has had images of her child appear elsewhere. I’m not even the first blogger in my twitter stream this year that this has happened to. Internet strangers doing inappropriate things with baby photos is something that keeps some of bloggers up at night, and makes some of us hang up our blogging hat altogether. To make it easier to detect this sort of thing, I wrote a Duplicate Image Search utility script.

duplicateimagesearch

Simply give the script the URL of a webpage you want to check. The script finds all images on the page and displays them. The images are hotlinked, meaning I am not caching them or saving them to my server. My script is basically just a proxy service. Clicking on an image will open Google’s reverse image search and you can verify that only authorized sites are the ones displaying your images.

I had bloggers in particular in mind when creating this utility script. In order to make it more useful I attempt to atomically parse the page looking for a “next” button. You could start with your main index page, and slowly comb through your entire blog.

The script isn’t perfect. I wanted to parse out the search results and just return the web address of any unusual domains that might be using your photos without permissions. Alas the only APIs I could find that would let me do this are prohibitively expensive. If I get enough interest in this script that I can amortize the cost, I’ll consider making the improvements in the future. In the mean time, I hope it helps you stop anyone from using your photos without your permission.

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  1. […] that this was a real, honest to goodness, human leaving the comment. But it was left on the “Duplicate Image Search” blog post, which was my response to the fact that someone had been passing of my photos of […]


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