Many people who have posted their photos online can empathize with photographer Jason Wilder, and now they have him to thank for being able to better combat copyright infringement.
Wilder, tired of seeing his work lifted and used elsewhere without his consent, has created the Copyright Infringement Finder (CIF) add-on for Firefox. Working in concert with Google’s image search, CIF allows users to right-click on an image and search online for other locations where the same image is posted.
Copyright owners can quickly see where their work has landed, and if they have not granted a license or other permission to use an image, they can move forward with rectifying the situation.
One option available in such instances is to simply contact the infringer personally to determine whether the problem can be handled quickly and easily, since as Wilder notes, some copyright infringement that occurs on the Internet isn’t malicious at all but rather stems from a misunderstanding of copyright law.
“A lot of people are misled and go by, ‘If it’s on the Internet, it’s fair game to use for whatever,’ and sadly it will be like that for a long time.”
But sometimes more action is necessary, namely in the form of a DMCA takedown request. Wilder believes that his add-on — and more action by photographers in particular — can help solve the rampant copyright infringement that occurs online.
“[T]he more photographers go after copyright theft and seek for damages,” said Wilder, “the more people and corporations get educated from the mistakes they made when they have to pay out thousands, instead of say, paying a $50 fee for a one-time use.”
Have you been the victim of copyright infringement on your work? How did you handle it? Have you used Wilder’s CIF tool, or will you?