Copyright & Law

These Are the Three Most Stolen Images as Reported to Copytrack

June 13, 2017

By Greg Scoblete

(c) Bildagentur Online GmbH

Photographers don’t need to be reminded how pervasive image theft is online, but a new study from CopyTrack shines light on the types of images being scooped up by photo thieves.

Evaluating a pool of 50,000 image theft claims submitted to the CopyTrack system from April 2016 – April 2017, the company found the above image of a cup of tea was used illegally 234 times, the most illegal uses of any of the submitted images.

(c) Marketingberatung Dornieden

In second place with 123 illegal uses was a product photo (above) of a woman photographed walking around Hong Kong in painted jeans.

(c) Novarc Images

And in third place is an image of the Dubai skyline with 120 unauthorized uses.

According to CopyTrack, the stolen images were used for a variety of commercial and editorial purposes. Health product sites appropriated the tea photo while lifestyle magazines favored the image of the women in body-painted jeans.

Interestingly, while the Dubai image from Novarc ranked third in terms of illegal uses, CopyTrack was able to recover the most money for that image (1,010 Euros).