Is Imagelogr.com Trying to Be the Largest Copyright Infringer of All Time?

One of My Full Sized Images on Imagelogr

My friends ZeeAnna! and Burnt Umber tipped me off today to a new search engine operating out there called Imagelogr. Only it’s not like your traditional image search engine. Most image search engines like Google or Bing include a link back to the images that they search from the web.

Not so with Imagelogr.

Imagelogr claims to be scraping the entire “free web” and seems to have hit Flickr especially hard, copying full-sized images of yours and mine to their own servers where they are hosting them without any attribution or links back to the original image in violation of all available licenses on Flickr. If people on Imagelogr want to they can manipulate your images, rotate them, see them at different sizes up to 300% and even download the images with a download button directly from the site.

Want to know if they’ve stolen some of your flickr Images? Just go here and type in your flickr name in the search box and see if any come back.

I don’t know much about the new search engine. There is not much information to identify who is actually behind it. According to their masked domain registation, the site, currently registered with godaddy, was set up there in April of 2010. The site currently boasts to be tracking over 24 *billion* (yes, billion with a B) images. If their numbers are true, this may in fact be the largest image grab in the history of Flickr.

At the site under a “legal” link there is a Terms of Service page that reads “coming soon.” Under their contact link they provide you the email address: imagelogr [at] gmail [dot] com. I emailed them to ask what is up with their view of image licensing and will report back if I get an answer back from them.

Under their main page of the site they have a site description that reads as follows: “Imagelogr.com is an image & picture search engine. We try to index pretty much every picture & image currently available on the free internet. With our powerful search engine finding these images should be fairly easy. We also offer a few image manipulation tools to stand out from the competition.”

I think it’s a bit misleading for them to try and tie their search engine with the “free” internet. It might give people the impression that any images that are on their site can be used for free, which is definitely not the case. People who erroneously assume that they can use the images on this site may end up being liable for copyright infringement if they do.

Interestingly enough, it looks like they are even indexing a bunch of Getty Images photographs, which I guarantee you won’t last long. In fact it appears that while the thumbnail images for Getty are still there, if you click through to the larger sized images many are already showing as not available on the site.

Some users at Flickr started complaining about this in a thread in the Flickr Help Forum, but in usual Flickr fashion they censored the thread by locking it down. Wouldn’t want it getting out there now that there was a wholesale rip off of flickr images going on. Thanks alot Flickr!

Update: It looks like Imagelogr is rapidly trying to do damage control. Since I wrote this post they have added a disclaimer on images that they may be copyrighted as well as added a source link to images and a link to their site for “image removal” which reads as follows:

“If you are the owner of copyrighted content that is displayed on Imagelogr.com, we will gladly remove those images.

Please email us the exact links of the image pages where your content is being displayed.

Make sure you send us the links to the image page, NOT the search pages.

GOOD EXAMPLE: http://www.imagelogr.com/image/nUE0pQbiY2Mupz00YaA0LKEcLl5zoTywn3VhL29gYmZjZwNiZmN4Zmp1BGp5AS9xATSwLwSwLwN0YzcjMj==/5+PM+New+York+City/jpeg
BAD EXAMPLE: http://www.imagelogr.com/images.php?q=new+york

Email your removal URL’s to imagelogr [at] gmail [dot] com and we will remove them within 48 hours.”

I’m not sure why they’d think that giving people a way to have their images removed absolves them from image theft, but we’ll see what happens. They seem to be adapting quickly.

Update #2: Imagelogr is now offline, if you go to their url it is replaced with the following message: “Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Due to copyright issues we are now changing some stuff around to make people happy. Please check back soon.”

Update #3: On Slashdot here.

Update #4: A site called domainlogr.com is claiming responsibility for imagelogr with the following explanation:

“What Happened To Imagelogr.com?

If you are wondering why you are being redirected to domainlogr.com instead of landing on imagelogr.com, this page is for you.

We recently launched a little site called imagelogr.com using the Yahoo! BOSS api. It was a little image search engine that was far from finished. The site was just online, didn’t have any traffic, and we didn’t actually host any images. The whole site was maybe 50kb of php files :)

Because the ‘back-to-source’ links were still missing, someone started a post on Flickr claiming we stole billions of images. The counter on our frontpage stating (We are now indexing 25.000.000.00 images) was just a number made up by us, and actually didn’t mean much. It was a guess number of how many images Yahoo! would have in its database approximately.

When the news started to spread that we posted full size images without a ‘back-to-source’ link, we quickly took action and added 2 source links on each page and added a copyright notice stating that he image shown might be copyrighted. After the news was posted on Slashdot and countless other blog and news sites, the emails with complains were coming in rapidly.

In the end we just decided to take the website offline.

This whole Imagelogr project was a non-profit website, we did not display a single ad on the site. We simply tried to make a better images search engine than the currently available ones.

For now the website will remain offline, and it is our plan to turn it into a Google Images like website (with frames linking to the original source) over the next couple of days. Until that time, we are forwarding all traffic to this domain.”

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121 comments on “Is Imagelogr.com Trying to Be the Largest Copyright Infringer of All Time?
  1. trent says:

    unbelievable! I did a search for my name and found many, many of my photos there.

  2. Mine are there as well, but…

    Doesn’t Google cache images and page content as well?

  3. Same here. Spreading the word now (ASMP, Copyright Alliance, Twitter, FB, etc.).

  4. Genie says:

    Oh my God. They’ve scraped not only Flickr, but my entire blog, too — they’ve done a huge WordPress scrape, as well.

    I have something like 17000 images up there. I want to vomit right now.

  5. They’re hosted by a company called Singlehop.net.

    Singlehop’s DMCA Agent registration info is at http://www.copyright.gov/onlinesp/agents/s/snglhopi.pdf

    According to Singlehop’s DMCA agent registration, sales@singlehop.net would be the email address for DMCA complaints.

  6. Gary says:

    Wow… everything of mine I searched for is there. F***ers.

  7. Genie says:

    There’s no way to usefully use their image removal procedure — I do not have time to send them 17,000 links to 17,000 photos.

    I think Steven’s right — this has to be dealt with at a higher level than that. But I don’t even know who begins that process.

  8. Thomas Hawk says:

    Adam, I think the difference with Google would be that Google only shows thumbnails in the search results, if you actually click through on a thumbnail it takes you to a page that uses 90% of the screen to actually feature the page that the image is on. Thereby taking you directly to the image page for every single request. Imagelogr doesn’t seem to do that.

    Example here: http://goo.gl/ihDx

  9. @genie: me too — there’s no way I can copy-paste every single image’s URL

  10. Don says:

    Their server IP resolves to this organization:

    OrgName: SingleHop, Inc.
    OrgID: SINGL-8
    Address: 621 W. Randolph St.
    Address: 3rd Floor
    City: Chicago
    StateProv: IL
    PostalCode: 60661
    Country: US

    The WHOIS for them lists the following abuse contact:

    RAbuseHandle: ABUSE2492-ARIN
    RAbuseName: Abuse Department
    RAbusePhone: +1-866-817-2811
    RAbuseEmail: abuse@singlehop.com

    I’m going to mail them right now and inform them what’s going on at that site. It’s worth pointing out that while they have updated the links to the photos they’re still not in compliance with the Flickr rules – they link to the raw image url, not the photo page where you can actually see whose photo it is and what uses are approved.

  11. Eric says:

    And, the site is gone.

    “Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Please check back soon.”

  12. Lee Shelly says:

    Done. All you get now on any page is the following…
    “Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Please check back soon.”

  13. Thanks for letting me know about this
    There was a bunch of images of mine on their all of which are copyrighted
    I’ve sent them an email asking them to either remove them or pay for their use
    We’ll see what happens
    Cheers

  14. LAME says:

    Crap. Same here, a bunch of pics just showed up, but now the site “Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Please check back soon.”
    Hmmmm….

  15. Lioness says:

    And in the middle of my search, the site came down. Too much traffic or more damage control?

  16. Lee Shelly says:

    Somebody just had their hopes and dreams crushed. LOL!

  17. Serafina says:

    Hah: “Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Please check back soon.”

  18. Vicster says:

    Found a few photos over there a few minutes ago. Just tried to look at the site again but it says “Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Please check back soon.”

  19. Bryan Hunter says:

    This site just went down a few moments ago – after I found all my flickr photos on it.

    The message they display is:
    “Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Please check back soon.”

    Let’s hope they won’t be back

  20. Kai Kronfield says:

    Wow. A massive amount of mine were on there and in the time it took to read this comment string, this: “Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Please check back soon.” has been put on their website.

    Thieving bastards.

    Thanks for the heads-up Thomas.

  21. Michael says:

    The site is offline for ‘improvements’ at the moment, but before that I’d found at least 220 of my photos on there. Here’s hoping someone with some big money lawyers bends them over.

  22. Looks like the word’s gotten to them- the site’s offline “for improvement.”

  23. analyzediz says:

    This just in…. ImageLogr appears to be offline. Not sure if it’s temporary from too much load or they willfully brought it down.

    But I got this message just now “Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Please check back soon.”

  24. RuanNiemann says:

    seems they got the message. check out the site…

  25. Kati says:

    Just went to check. They are offline, but have posted the following message:

    “Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Due to copyright issues we are now changing some stuff around to make people happy. Please check back soon.”

    “To make people happy.” What a chop shop!

  26. analyzediz says:

    “Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Due to copyright issues we are now changing some stuff around to make people happy. Please check back soon.”

  27. Danielle says:

    Seems like a case of Flickr sharing gone wrong….just went on Imagelogr.com and got this message “Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Due to copyright issues we are now changing some stuff around to make people happy. Please check back soon.”

    Hopefully that means rethinking their business model!

  28. Lee Shelly says:

    Updated message on their site “Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Due to copyright issues we are now changing some stuff around to make people happy. Please check back soon.”

  29. Craig Damlo says:

    Comments are coming up faster than I can read them, so someone already said the site was down, but the current message makes me laugh: “Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Due to copyright issues we are now changing some stuff around to make people happy. Please check back soon.” It makes it sound as if they took the site down because users where unhappy, not because they were violating copyright issues, and that if you content owners would just shut the feck up and give us all your images for free this wouldn’t be a problem. Let’s hope that not only do they not come back up, but that someone sues them into a Greek state.

  30. Michael says:

    Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Due to copyright issues we are now changing some stuff around to make people happy. Please check back soon.

  31. vanlandw says:

    Yeah it looks like they scraped all my flickr images as well as everything off my domain. Weak…thanks for bringing this site to my attention hopefully I can my pictures removed from their “service”.

  32. Heh. The site is ‘down for maintenance’ right now.

    Kevin

  33. I was able to view the page and search for my photos a few minutes ago — but now it’s showing this message: “Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Due to copyright issues we are now changing some stuff around to make people happy. Please check back soon.”

  34. Risamay says:

    “Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Due to copyright issues we are now changing some stuff around to make people happy. Please check back soon.”

    Uh, I think that due to copyright issues you need to simply shut down your site and go away. For good.

    Asshats.

  35. Jared Mehle says:

    They’ve got 848 of my Flickr photos. However, when I went to go look up some URL’s to email them, I got a message that they were updating.

    Looks like they heard you Thomas.

    “Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Due to copyright issues we are now changing some stuff around to make people happy. Please check back soon.”

  36. raceytay says:

    I managed to get a page of my photos copied and emailed to them before the convenient “we’re offline” message came up. I’m furious.

  37. That “we are now changing some stuff around to make people happy” bit sounds like they’re rather annoyed folks care about the copyright issues.

  38. Kevin says:

    I read through this and immediately went to check and see how many of our photos were up on the site; by the time I got there the site was already down due to copyright issues.

    To their credit it seems as though they reacted fairly quickly, however from what I’ve read that’s about all the credit they will get. I am not very impressed with the verbage used in their message, “…we are now changing some stuff around to make people happy.”

    That sounds very high-schoolish to me…I guess we will have to see.

  39. Amber says:

    “Imagelogr.com is currently offline as we are improving the website. Due to copyright issues we are now changing some stuff around to make people happy. Please check back soon.”

  40. I’ve just Tweeted it out there https://twitter.com/richardtkeech
    And posted it on my facebook group too
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Richard-Keech-Photography/89576997362
    Please visit and Fav/retweet/like etc to get the message out there

  41. Marcus says:

    When I emailed my “notice” I also CC’ed their ISP (SingleHop) to ensure that the ISP was aware of the issue as well due to the pervasiveness and extent of the issue.

    The DMCA doesn’t provide protection to “I’ll take it all and remove it when someone complains”, but it does provide protection to “someone else gave me this and I’ll remove it when someone complains.” Unfortunately for ImageLogr, they are doing the former, and it’s an indefensible position where not even Fair Use protects them.

  42. Bruce Grant says:

    Notice, too, that they have structured the “Image Removal” terms as onerously as possible. They have roughly 4,000 of my images, for example…all easily retrievable by searching on my flickr username. Yet their proposition is that I must send them each and every one of the >4K links individually. I just e-mailed them with the “BAD EXAMPLE” search link and told them, in effect, “You broke the law and illegally scraped my images. It’s on you, not on me, to determine which ones they are and take them down.”

  43. Lee Shelly says:

    Bruce…I sent a similar e-mail saying that it’s not my problem that they may have a hard time finding them all…because it’s their own fault for not providing attribution ion the 1st place.

  44. Kimberly says:

    That is THE most passive agressive offline message I’ve ever seen. “to make people happy”. How about “to obey the law”. Jesus. I’m pretty sure my Flickr images are all licensed with CC that requires attribution.

  45. Kimberly says:

    Also, I’d like to point out that the Flickr employees have closed the thread to avoid Godwin’s law. They are taking action against the site. The closed thread has nothing to do with censorship.

  46. Tom says:

    This is one reason why I do not EVER put images on Flickr or any other photo sharing sites. The sites I do have images on are having enough problems dealing with theft of our images. I’m sorry, but too many people take the term “photo sharing” as being “Hey, it’s free, I can do whatever I want with it.” Unfortunately that isn’t the case. To give them the benefit of the doubt, may they it’s just a case of a “good idea gone bad”. Curious to see what this changing stuff around actually means.

    Not to point any fingers here, but on one site I deal with anytime someone’s image shows up somewhere they didn’t put it, they start screaming “thief”, “theft” and everything else. In a lot of cases it’s simply a matter of someone knowing absolutely nothing about copyrights.

    Keep in mind though I am behind the rest of you. It really sucks.

  47. My photographer just called this to my attention. I love the freedom of the internet, but it does have its disadvantages when it comes to copyright infringement. Good luck guys. I will spread the word about imagelogr.

  48. Arul says:

    The site has been down the last few hours. Is there a way of checking their cache for my photos?

  49. Anonymous says:

    omg! how do they justify a ‘free web’? i pay for my flickr account and my internet connection, and my digital gear, and..and..and…
    how is it ‘free’? that’s just a very greedy and lame mindset.
    and how can they scrape flickr when part of having a ‘paid member account’ is that it protects the images from downloading?
    what a mess!
    now we have to make time out of my life to track each link and report it? like i have time? bastards should be sued heavily if they come back on!

  50. Rick says:

    After reading this, I’m fairly scared. I haven’t been able to see if they snagged my images.
    I think perhaps I’ll just come up with a licensing rate and send them an invoice. If they decline, then I’ll send them an invoice for my time that I have to spend sorting through and finding my photos.

    Perhaps we’re all being too harsh on these guys. Maybe this is just a way to decrease unemployment? >:)

  51. Lee Kindness says:

    Probably of interest: http://www.killerstartups.com/Search/imagelogr-com-looking-for-pictures-images-online

    Some choice quotes…

    “objective of the site is to index every picture & image that is currently available for free on the Internet”

    “goes without saying that pictures can be downloaded on the spot”

    “saved for any ulterior usage you might envision when you first see them”

    Tossers.

  52. Svein Skogen says:

    I think the _ONLY_ correct method of doing this, is to file charges against this outfit for digital trespass, with a secondary charge of “X” cases of willful infringement. And insist that the same amount of damages _PER_ case of infringement is applied here, as they would’ve been in a case of mp3 music.

    //Svein

  53. Mike says:

    http://www.domainlogr.com/imagelogr.php

    This should explain everything

  54. Craig Damlo says:

    I think we should setup a photographers ban on this company. This was the worst “fuck you, we didn’t do anything wrong but we are taking the sit down because you are all ass holes” that I’ve ever read.

  55. Craig Damlo says:

    And just because you haven’t yet made a profit, I.e. Can’t sell ads yet, doesn’t make it non-profit. If it was non-profit, show us your paperwork. All non-profits need to register with the government not just claim they don’t have ads.

  56. Check it out Mr. Hawk:

    http://www.flickr.com/help/forum/en-us/72157623988899993/

    To the credit of the flickr staff, they appear to have been quick and efficient, and they’re fixed it so that the most of the external sites listed can’t crawl flickr any more.

    There’s one site, ‘wapfever’, that is copying the images though. This is their somewhat belligerent reply when asked to stop doing that:

    “hi,

    the. image search im using is a google script, so go talk to google if you don’t want your images to be downloaded freely. thanks”

    This will make them super-popular around here, I’m sure.

  57. The lighter side says:

    I wonder how many people outraged by this, actually rail against the judges ruling against isoHunt and the other torrent index sites.

  58. chad says:

    Thanks for the heads up. http://www.wapfever.com is doing the same thing, but offering images as a free download as wallpapers without attribution. Many of my photos listed there are also available for license with Getty Images.

    I suggest you check them out as well. I have sent a notice to them. Maybe if we all do the same, we can take them down as well.

    wapfever.com

    Chad