Terry Karney let me know of the existence of Tin Eye; an image search engine with a difference. This one doesn’t search for pictures of kittens; you give it a picture, and it finds copies of that picture. The copies can be found even if they’ve been rotated, used in a collage, and so on.
The site is in beta, and they point out that they’ve only indexed a fraction of the images on the net. Nevertheless, I found that art and photography of mine is being used without credit all over the place. Obviously I knew that was likely to be the case, but here is the rub; I’m an indifferent photographer and my art is highly specialised. My guess is that if your art and photos are more usable than mine, they’ll be nicked more.
Some of the uses don’t trouble me; if you want to crop a picture of mine for an 100 pixel icon, I can live with that, though I’d like a credit. But whole pictures, large resolution, with no credit and a new watermark? Selling a photo of mine as a t-shirt? Putting photos of my kids in a reel of funny photos? I found all of those through Tin Eye, and I’m not sure I want information to be quite that free.
Anyway, it struck me that quite a lot of you might also be interested to find out who’s using your stuff too. It’s a private beta at the moment, but I emailed them and requested an invite, and got one within hours.