Over 2.5 billion online images are stolen every day, Copytrack reports

Apr 1, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Over 2.5 billion online images are stolen every day, Copytrack reports

Apr 1, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Unfortunately, it’s very common that photos published online get stolen and used without permission. But a recent report by Copytrack shows just how common it is. According to this report, more than 2.5 billion images are stolen worldwide every day.

Copytrack has recently published its 2019 version of the Global Infringement Report. It used data collected over the course of one year, from December 2017 to December 2018. According to two studies from IMGembed and Copytrack, there are around 3 billion images shared on the internet every day. And what’s absolutely unbelievable is that as many as 85 percent of those are used without a valid license.

According to the report, in the majority of cases even the very artists, photographers, publishers, and image agencies are not aware just how often their photos get stolen. And these license violations can result in up to €532.5 billion (over $598 billion) in damages daily!

The study breaks down the copyright violations based on continents where they occur most frequently. North America takes the lead with the third of all copyright violations, or 33.9% to be exact. Europe follows with 31.4%, and Asia takes the third place with 29.38%. Only 2.57% occurs in South America, 1.48% in Africa, and 1.27% in Australia. The researchers go further into exploring the reasons of such distribution. It has to do mainly with the population density and the percentage of internet users per continent.

The report goes further into details by determining the country with most copyright infringements. The USA takes the first place with 22.96%. Panama is the second, with 6.76%, and China comes third with 6.57%.

When the images get stolen, what are the most common resolutions? According to Copytrack, the results were extremely varied. There were as many as 22,676 different resolutions registered for image search hits. However, there are some common denominators. A format ratio of 3:2, 2:3, or 1:1 is common to almost all of the resolutions searched. Copytrack found that the full-HD with 1920 x 1080 pixels is the most common resolution among illegally used images. “This format is usually used for full-screen images like wallpapers or large galleries,” the report reads. The second most common is 600 x 400, and the third place goes to 800 x 800.

You can read the full report via this link, and it’s pretty interesting. I thought I could imagine how many images get stolen every day. I think there’s no photographer who hasn’t experienced this at least once. But honestly – these results made me realize that I actually couldn’t imagine just how often that happens. Copytrack lets you discover if any of your photos have been stolen and submit a claim. And if you need a few more ways to check whether your photos have been used illegally, you can find them here.

[via DPReview]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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4 responses to “Over 2.5 billion online images are stolen every day, Copytrack reports”

  1. dracphelan Avatar
    dracphelan

    I wonder how they define the term stolen. More specifically, are they including things like memes in this study?

    1. MacDonald_Photo Avatar
      MacDonald_Photo

      Good point.

  2. Ole Husgaard Avatar
    Ole Husgaard

    Excuse me if I am a bit skeptical about this report.

    For example it claims daily damage of $598 billion per day, just for license violations of images.

    Lets multiply by that by 365 to get their claimed damages per year: $218 trillion. Lets compare this to the combined GDP of all countries in the world, which is about $76 trillion.

    So Copytrack is claiming that the damages due to image license violations is almost three times as high as the entire world economy.

  3. Ania Avatar
    Ania

    Being a part of PhotoClaim, I deal with image theft every day. Let me share some of our statistics. Over the last 6 years we have settled 3829 cases for copyright infringement and managed to regain over € 6 000 000 for the photographers. Each photo used without photographer’s consent classifies as a stolen one. There can be different types of usage but if someone else makes an income out of your work you should get what you deserve. Here is how to do it: https://photoclaim.com/en/application/