What is infringement monitoring?

Infringement monitoring is when you upload images, and we constantly search them to find infringements. When we find a new website using one of the images, we send you a notification. As we search over the long term we try different search methodologies, engines, and locations to uncover as many infringements as possible. For very popular images, monitoring for several weeks is the only way to get a complete list of websites using them. Monitoring also means that we can find new infringements as soon as possible after they happen.

For example, one extremely popular image resulted in 1,555 infringements across 335 websites in its first search. We have been monitoring this image for years, and have found an average of about 7 new websites using it per day. Currently, after two years of monitoring, we know about 9,941 infringements across 2,555 websites. You can view the live monitoring of this image here

In addition to frequent searching for new results, our verification service periodically visits every page found hosting your monitored images to verify that the images exist on the page, and scores them to identify false positives. This helps to monitor whether your photos are actively being used, and saves time when reviewing matches.

One-off searching

A one-off search is exactly what it sounds like: we search your images once. We use the methods and parameters that tend to get the best results, however some usages may be missed. One-off searching takes priority over monitored searching across our infrastructure, so tends to get much faster results. It is great for images with a small set of sites using them, but may only return a subset of usages for very popular images. Our verification service is not active for one-off searches.

We recommend that one-off searches are used to help determine which of your images should be monitored.

Why is there a difference?

Our results come from public sources and search engines. Rather than providing comprehensive results, these engines tend to optimise for speed and return results that they think will satisfy the user. We have developed techniques to get a full set of websites using images, however we must use these techniques over hundreds of iterating searches, so are only able to do these in monitoring. One-off searches tend to work better for images with less than a hundred infringements, as engines are able to give us a full set of results immediately.

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