Unauthorized Usage of an Image

Today as a random thing I decided to do a Google reverse image search on one of my more popular photos. Usually Google seems to come up empty handed with most images on the web, but this one time it showed that photo as a banner on a French website promoting Colorado. I am really excited that people do take an interest in my photography, but the photo was used without my permission, without any credit and without any compensation.

Now I am not a hard person to get along with, but if someone wants to use one of my images ask me first. I more than likely will say yes and depending on the usage I will probably request some kind of monetary compensation, not to say that will be the case every time especially if it involves nonprofits that I support. In essence,  yes I have donated photos before, and to a regional nonprofit and a local historical society quite recently as examples. For commercial uses you bet I will ask for at least an average rights managed usage compensation.


Below is the image of unauthorized usage


This blog post is in no means an attempt to shame any individuals, businesses or websites. It is an informative post to show the necessity to regularly check the internet for unauthorized usages of ones own images. Something I should have done before, but now I am joining is ImageRights  they have a free service for photographers, such as myself, who don’t have a huge problem of copyright infringement. It includes up to 1000 images for their free services.

I am curious to hear from everyone. Anyone else have their images used without permission, and if so what did you do in response?




Author: paulscoloradophotography

Nature and landscape photographer from Denver metro, Colorado. I also do extensive urban and night time photography. I originally started photography as a means to document my climbs of Colorado's many high mountain peaks, then it evolved from there. The biggest thing about landscape photography is being in nature and capturing those short lived and sublime moments that occur. There is nothing quite like being at a mountain lake feeling that cold mountain air, looking up at those dramatic peaks and spires, or being up late at night looking up at the incredible amount of stars visible from the Earth, something that very few people are able to experience any more this is the true source of my inspiration. I have had several gallery showings including with the Denver Photo Art Gallery owned by renowned nature photographer John Fielder, and a two week exhibit during the Democratic National Convention. I currently have 2 books out in collaboration with other people, plus working on a 3rd one about Loveland Pass region, this last one is still an ongoing project. Plus I have been published from other sources including Smith Southwestern and am a regular contributor in stock with Shutterstock and Dreamstime. I have had large scale corporate sales and numerous individual sales of my photos. This includes numerous photos with the Plenary Group and photos in the home of a well known actor

2 thoughts on “Unauthorized Usage of an Image”

  1. Thanks for sharing this story, Paul! It’s always frustrating to see how some people and companies think that it’s ok to just grab someone’s photo, just because it’s online, and use it for their own, often commercial, purposes. I personally love this story from one of Pixsy photographers on his single-handed fight against image theft: http://caughtinpixels.com/my-fight-against-copyright-infringement-and-how-i-found-pixsy-com/

    Pixsy is another reverse image search tool you might want to consider. It also helps photographers get compensation if their work was stolen. It’s free, easy-to-use, and has lots of one-click image import options. Disclosure: I work there and I love it 🙂

    Let me know if you want to give Pixsy a try — I’d be happy to help and walk you through the process!

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