Copyright Infringement: Who’s stealing your photos?

The key intellectual property of stock images websites are their images. But how can stock owners know if their photos are being published without permission or even sold by a competitor?

To protect their property, stock images site owners are employing people, if not companies, to constantly search the web for their own images.

According to a Google Transparency Report, in 2014 copyright infringement requests hit a high of 12 million requests per week.

Photo thieves are smart; whenever they detect automated traffic that is searching for stolen images, they block it, or fool it by not displaying the stolen photos. Consequently, there’s no point in paying web crawling companies or building an automated solution to do the job, if the information they find is not accurate.

So how can you protect your IP in the digital age?

A popular solution for crawlers is using traditional proxy networks, which operate through IPs located in data centers. Crawlers re-route their traffic through the proxy networks, and thus make it more difficult for the infringing sites to know that they are being checked.

However, IPs in proxy networks are located in data centers, and therefore they are relatively easy for infringers to identify. This makes this solution not the most reliable one: Publishers may prefer relying on residential IPs and keep their confidence in the search results.

As a consequence, experts are relying on the Luminati network - a global P2P proxy network. IP owners route their requests through millions of residential IPs of the Luminati network to ensure and enforce their intellectual property rights, without being fooled by infringers.

Online media owners can now discover who’s stealing their photos in a few clicks, and protect their ownership thanks to Luminati.

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