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Flickr is fighting image theft with a new artificial intelligence tool

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Flickr is a massive photo-sharing website that often deals with copyright infringement issues and people who just copy images made by other creators.

Together with Pixsy, Flickr wants to make its users more protected by creating a new AI-powered feature that will be able to find copies of any given image. The service will be automatically provided to Flickr users with Pro subscription.

The feature allows users to add up to 1000 images to be monitored and searched for instances of the image that were used by other people without permission. The new service isn’t just about finding where your photos were used without consent. Flickr offers its users ten free DMCA takedown notices that you can send if the algorithm found your image somewhere on the internet.

The software is, reportedly, not as “clean” as some may want it to be. The BBC used it to find images of their reporter. While the first search resulted in an image posted on a different website, the second search resulted in flagging a picture of Stormy Daniels.

Pixsy has this feature available to any user for free. However, you will be limited to tracking 500 images. You will also have to send DMCA takedowns manually which is something that many people either don’t know how to do or think that it is inconvenient. Having a free DMCA takedown sent automatically is indeed a nice little bonus from Flickr.

Copytrack, a company that also searches images that were used illegally, released a report in which they claimed that 2.5 billion unlicensed images are being stolen every day. The number likely includes shares in social media and cases when users use images unknowingly of their copyright status.

Image theft is a tricky, problematic area that requires attention from governments and businesses alike. Efforts from Flickr can be a welcome addition to the overall push against illegal use of copyrighted imaged – assuming things don’t go too far.

Image recognition software can help us track down scammers who use photos of celebrities to steal money or reduce online harassment that many users experience due to their images being used without them knowing.

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