You may think it's wonderful if someone else uses an image taken from your site... or you may consider it theft. If you are in the latter category, please read on...
We're all familiar with Digimarc, and I've subscribed to it for years. I'm about to let my subscription lapse, because it appears that there are more all-inclusive (and less work) solutions available.
Now admittedly, fine art photos are a less lot likely to be infringed upon that stock images, but now, as technology has progressed, there are several other options available.
I've only just discovered these, so I cannot comment based on much (in some cases, any) experience, but thought I'd share them anyway. (Of course, there may be several I've missed. Feel free to add your favorites.)
These services seem to use AI to match images, and then will report (proposed) matches to you. If you agree, they will do all the rest of the work: contact the infringer, file a lawsuit and pursue it, and collect. In return, they get 40% - 50% of what they collect.
Given that's what a typical gallery keeps, it seems to me well worth it to avoid all the hassle. You are free to disagree.
Since photo-recognition software is still in its infancy, 2 of the three of these are still beta-invitations.
That said, here are three variations on that theme.
Imagerights (as I understand it) will not only seek out your images online, but offers a Lightroom plugin to help file a copyright with the USCO (US only.) While the plugin is free, the registration service is a bit pricy, so read their fees carefully. However, when you consider that the USCO's $55 fee is -included- in their $89 fee, the edge is taken off by a bit. (You can simply do this yourself for $55, with an upload of a batch of images at one time. Visit http://www.copyright.gov/eco/ for more info). That said, the plugin/fee does provide some nice extra benefits, although again: you'll have to decide if the convenience is worth the cost.
Personally, the $34 difference is worth it to me, so I signed up with Imagerights. YMMV. (Your Mileage May Vary.)
Next up is TinEye.com. If you are a corporation, this may interest you. Currently in beta, however, if you suspect a particular image of yours might be infringed, you can either upload the image, or put in the URL to it on your own website, and see if they find it, just for curiosity's sake. (Not being a huge corporation, I passed on this one.)
Finally, and also in beta, there's https://www.pixsy.com. I discovered Pixsy based on a recommendation I read elsewhere. Pixsy is free to use, but will only go after infringers who have deep pockets, such as commercial, institutional and organizational misuse. (I requested to be added, got a nice email reply, and am waiting to see if they will add me.)
So: now you know what I know, and I hope this post helps someone.
Tracy Valleau, moderator