Google's Search by Image makes photo crowdsourcing more reliable

By Andrew Gibson

Google's Search by Image can help Web publishers detect whether
user-submitted photos are infringing on copyrights.
Asking readers to submit pictures can be a brilliant way to encourage participation on news websites and blogs. But before you fill your home page with strangers' scrapbooks, check whether the photos are violating copyrights.

Search by Image might be the most efficient way to make sure John Doe isn't copying a photo from another website, slapping his byline on it and sending it to your inbox. The tool allows users to upload pictures and then scour the Web for pages containing the same image or similar ones. If you get a photo as an email attachment, drag it to your desktop, and then upload it to the search bar. You may discover that Doe's ostensibly brilliant photo might not be his at all.

Users can also drag and drop images into the search bar or paste image URLs there. If you have Firefox or Chrome, right-click extensions are available. 

Remember, however, that anyone can repost images that have
Creative Commons licenses as long as that person obeys the creator's chosen license. If Google's reverse search shows that the Web is teeming with a certain image, check whether it originated in Flickr's Creative Commons or another CC-participating website

SBI can also solve some amusing social-media mysteries. 

"Let’s say someone added you on Twitter or Facebook," ZDNet blogger Stephen Chapman writes. "You see their main picture and you think yourself, 'man, that sure is an attractive person… almost 
too attractive to have just added me to their list of friends!' "

Well, drop that person's profile picture into the search bar and see what you find. Maybe it's a copy-and-pasted photo of a supermodel. Or maybe it's an original photo -- just one that appears on 20 other accounts. 

Never again will you have to wonder if @HotnessInYaFace23479 is some celebrity 'wannabe' or an actual celebrity!" Chapman writes. 

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