When people 'borrow' your images

What do you do when people use your images without permission?

Back in 1999 I took this photo in Dubai’s Gold Souk which I then used for my blog post about getting settled in Dubai.

The original gold souk image

In those days, the pipes to the interweb weren’t as fat as they are now. So the image was processed, cropped and over-optimised to produce the following:

Dubai gold souk

That still didn’t stop people (mostly websites out in Dubai) from saving the image off my site, uploading to their own without attributing the original source. Three pages worth of search results, showing sites borrowing that image.

The borrowed images

I was a little irritated when I first saw the plagiarism, but in the end, I’m not sure it wouldn’t be hypocritical to complain. I’ve probably done the same in the past before I learnt about copyright and fair use. It was only until I wanted to get permission to use a creative commons image that I started looking into how my photos are being used.

On my site, I’ve taken pretty much every photo myself. But there’s a few that I didn’t. This world trade center photo is one.

The world trade center under attack

But I can’t seem to find the source for the image. The best quality image is on a greek news site. But are they the source? If I can’t attribute it or get permission, should I take it down?

Hard to know what the best course of action is…