What is the Copyright Infringement Finder and is it worth it? Photographer Jason Wilder had a problem common to nearly everyone who creates intellectual property: His work was routinely being used online without his permission and without payment. So Wilder did something about it, creating the Copyright Infringement Finder (CIF) add-on for the Firefox browser.
I have been a professional concert photographer for about 10 years now, and no one ever really wants to pay for concert photos, Wilder told CorpCounsel.com. Theyd rather take them without licensing them and hope no one finds out, instead of paying a small licensing fee.
The CIF add-on uses Googles image-searching technology and allows owners of images to right-click on an image in the Firefox browser window to find other sites that are using that same image. All my images are copyrighted, Wilder notes, and because I know which sites have licensed my work and which sites have not licensed my work, he can quickly scan the CIF results for potential infringement.
Wilder, who is based in Tampa, uploaded the original version of CIF in the summer of 2011, and has seen nearly 2,000 downloads since. Many of those users have been in touch with him, too: The majority of photographers that use the tool are happy, he says, because they have found their work being illegally used that they did not know about, which normally leads to being compensated for it.
While the short-term fee recoveries are good, Wilder is also enthusiastic about the long-term educational benefit to the CIF tool:
I am a firm advocate of owning copyrights of photos and getting compensated for them being used. My photos are my livelihood, and I do not work for free. A lot of people are misled and go by, If its on the Internet its fair game to use for whatever, and sadly it will be like that for a long time. But the more photographers go after copyright theft and seek for damages, 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.
The CIF add-on is available free for Firefox.
Finding Copyright Infringement With a Right-Click – Law.com
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