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ImageRights' logo. Click here to visit the ImageRights website! ImageRights offers free anti-piracy service
(Thursday, July 1, 2010 - 00:39 EDT)

ImageRights Inc. has announced an addition to its offerings that helps professional photographers and illustrators protect their copyrighted works at a very affordable price -- free of charge.

ImageRights' new free offering works in the same manner as the existing Basic, Standard and Pro-level paid services, with the company's servers automatically scanning websites and blogs for images, which are then compared to a database of images provided by customers to check for matches. The ImageRights image crawler can recognize images even when they've been cropped, rotated, color adjusted or otherwise altered. The free offering allows up to 10,000 images to be monitored for reuse, the same number as can be monitored by the paid service. Where matches are found, ImageRights reports their location, allowing users to confirm that the use has been properly licensed.

If an image is found to have been reused without permission, ImageRights will begin offering a recovery program next month for both free and paid members. The optional program will see ImageRights take action to receive compensation on the user's behalf, with a portion of the proceeds being split with ImageRights. It's here where the free program differs from that of paid members, in that free members taking advantage of the recovery service must split compensation 50/50 with ImageRights, where paid users will keep 65% of recovered compensation. It's important to note, though, that the recovery service is entirely optional for both free and paid members. All users have the option to take legal action themselves (or with their own chosen lawyer) where unauthorized use is found.

Paid members can continue their accounts on the same terms, with Basic members paying around $10/month to protect 250 images, Standard members getting 1,000 image protection for around $20/month, and top-tier Pro members receiving protection for 10,000 images at a cost of $40/month.

More details can be found in the press release below, and individuals wishing to protect their images free of charge can do so by clicking the green "Sign Up Now Free" button on the ImageRights website.

Original Source Press Release:

ImageRights International offers free service to help professional photographers identify digital image theft

Powerful visual search technology detects photo copyright violations, stock photo piracy

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. ─ June 29, 2010 ─ ImageRights International, Inc., a company that helps professional photographers and illustrators discover the illegal use of their intellectual property on the Web, is offering a free version of its online image recognition and recovery service to further expand efforts against image piracy.

With this new offering, the company’s advanced visual search and crawler technology will continuously scan websites and blogs to protect up to 10,000 images for professional photographers and illustrators. The crawler indexes millions of new images every month and uses powerful image recognition technology to compare customers’ photos and illustrations against images found on the Web. It then detects where the customers’ images have been used, even if the stolen photos have been altered, cropped, rotated or color adjusted. The customer receives a full report, including a picture of the original image, its use online, and the URL and ownership information for the website where it was found.

“As an advocate for photographers and illustrators, our goal is to help artistic professionals monitor how their work is being used on the Internet, and to partner with them to recoup lost profits when it’s being used illegally,” said Maria Kessler, senior vice president of business development at ImageRights and former president of the Picture Archive Council of America (PACA). “Image piracy is rampant online and by making these services more accessible, we’re enabling creatives to have more control over how their images are used, while sending a clear message that we are patrolling for unauthorized uses.”

Customers who take advantage of ImageRights’ free service may also participate in the company’s new, optional Recovery Program, which will launch next month to help photographers and illustrators obtain compensation for the unauthorized use of their images.

ImageRights will continue to offer its Basic, Standard and Pro packages for a monthly fee of $9.95, $19.95 and $39.95, respectively. Customers who select a paid program and opt into the Recovery Program will share 35 percent of their recovered fees with ImageRights; those who select the free service will share 50 percent of their compensation. Users are welcome to opt out of the ImageRights’ Recovery Program to pursue compensation on their own or with the help of their own attorney.

For information about ImageRights or to create your free account and start uploading your images now, go to www.imagerights.com.

About ImageRights International
ImageRights International protects professional photographers and illustrators’ intellectual property online by identifying illegal use of images and providing a support system to receive proper compensation. With its industrial strength crawler technology continuously scanning business sites, blogs, news/media sites and more, ImageRights works as an agent to support proper compensation for image use. Founded in 2008, ImageRights International is a global company headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. It is a proud member of the APA (www.apanational.com), CEPIC (www.cepic.org), and PACA (www.paca.org).

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