Fight copyright infringement

How to report copyright infringement on social media websites

By now, you must know about our reporting copyright infringement tool and perhaps you're already familiar with how to spot your images used without license.

You should also know that our DMCA tool can be used only if you are able to provide some standard info such as link to the copyrighted work or works that you claim have been infringed and information sufficient to permit Dreamstime to contact the infringing party (email or physical address). Even if those details are not clearly displayed on the website, the Whois tool should help you. Any contact address of the infringing party or hosting domain you find can be used in our reporting form.

Apart from our DMCA reporting tool, there are also other ways to fight copyright infringement you can always use. Since you are the rightful copyright owners of the images, it never hurts to send a DMCA notice yourselves too. Before taking the matter into your own hands, here are some important things you should know:

- Make sure the photo is not rightfully used and the person using it is not actually a buyer. Buyers really don't like to be wrongfully accused and they may not buy from you again if they encounter such problems. If the image is watermarked, then there are high chances the image was not licensed so you can use the reporting tool for such cases.

- Make sure the site is not one of our partners. The partner sites usually display a Dreamstime logo on the pages featuring our content so you should not have troubles differentiating partners from infringing sites. Whenever you have doubts, feel free to contact us and ask first before taking any action.

- Make sure you have made all possible efforts to convert the person misusing the image into a customer, rather than harassing him. We're here to sell images, not to spread hate around.

If you cannot find contact information and can't use our DMCA tool, note that most social media platforms have their own DMCA reporting pages which you can use. I'll list them below:

1. Facebook DMCA report

2. Twitter DMCA

3. Blogspot DMCA

4. Wordpress DMCA

5. Pinterest DMCA

6. Google Plus reporting copyright infringement instructions: click to open the album, photo, or video. Click Options, select Report, then select the Copyrighted material option.

If you fill in the information sorrectly, all of these platforms are pretty prompt in removing the copyright infringing content.

Photo credits: Geotrac.

Your article must be written in English



You asked for an example, I gave you one and you've given me the Dreamstime policy, which has a significant flaw in it and not answered the question.

It'd be easier if you said you didn't know but you prove my point and there are allowed uses (not just by buyers) that you haven't properly explained.


The answer is that our buyers can modify and crop the images according to their needs (incidental signs can become main subject after cropping), so we won't accept, in the royalty free section, pictures with visible copyrighted elements, regardless of the size of those elements.

This discussion is off topic anyway, since this article is not about copyrighted elements visible in your submissions, but about those who are using your images without buying them or asking for permission.

This article is about how to fight photo stealing, and it contains a few useful links for any content creator out there.


Consider a photo of a street where the street has signage on it, and the signs are incidental and not the primary subject of the image. What do you think the ruling is in that case? What do you think most people think the answer is? And what is the actual answer?


Do you have an example? Cause hypothetical talking doesn't really help in this case.


Authorized doesn't mean expert, correct or educated. Propagating myths and old or incorrect information doesn't help anyone. To me this a systemic issue created by a fundamental lack of understanding even the basics and clear failure of quality.


Well, all complaints are filtered by authorized personnel, so that shouldn't be a problem.


The alternate problem I see is people claiming something is copyright way beyond what the Copyright Act actually says and allows.


love your blog!


great blog. Thanks for sharing.. :D


Great post! Thanks for sharing!Merry Christmas!


Thank you, we'll look into it!


Hi! I send You the images as promised ;)


Great and useful article.
Thanks for sharing.


great blog. Thanks for sharing.


I don't know: it's arrived today. The important thing it is arrived! I'll send You some picture about the box. Thank you ;)


Gheburaseye, your email arrived and our support sent you a response, maybe you didn't see it or you have some filters on your email.


As a king, I have 3 servants who take care to convert the person misusing the image into a customer. Two females and one male. The male servant will get a new assignment: harassing :)


This is true ;)

We only have to hope that something will happen soon.
For now, we can report to dreamstime every violation we find in and out web! ;)


Well, Gheburaseye, I found very few people (if any) who really care about the "can be protected by copyright" message. I said that if stock agencies and Google are really commited in protecting the contributors, a technical solution can be found to prevent the indexing of these images who were legally bought, downloaded and then used on the web. Might be as simple as a little flag on the image file header. The same way the movies industry is trying to copy-protect the original DVD's.


Coral, sometimes the people uses images with watermark. Google images is a part of the problem (when you open an image in google images, it says that the image can be protected by copyright). I don't know who the problem can be solved, but punish who use image without sell them it's a good idea ;)


Viorel, I think your post is really good in showing DT users the direction to follow when they find such copyright infringements. However, the idea in this post is showing just the tip of the iceberg. The REAL copyright infringement is not the one you described in this post. People using these watermarked images are not getting any money out of the images, or at least they get very little out of the images they got without having propper permissions.

The real enemy in this copyright infringement war is in fact Google Images on one side and the microstock agencies on the other side. Google Image Search service is serving non-watermarked and sometimes high-resolution images to anybody who is searching with the proper keywords. I won't be more specific on this one, but the microstock agencies must adapt their workflow to prevent this kind of situations. Any image downloaded from DT or other stock image website and then used in a website without being altered at all by the buyer is at risk of being indexed and then served by Google Image to anybody on this planet. For free.

Think about this, then you'll realize that fighting small resolution image theft (with watermark) is a bit hilarious when compared with the real image theft mentioned above. I hope a solution, or some sort of agreement will be signed between microstock agencies and services like Google Image that will prevent indexing and serving copyrighted digital material. In other words: when you - as a contributor - have a sale and that image is being used on the web, you run the risk of having that image indexed by Google and then served at the max. downloaded resolution to someone who is searching for it.



I used the contact form here in Dreamstime. I sent the message on november, 3rd.

The enquire number is 33650883, but I don't know if it's really arrived or not ;)


It's a bit odd, because Dreamstime will answer to more than 99% of emails received, maybe your message didn't get to us? You have to use the contact form in order to send a message, posting on our Facebook page rarely has an effect.


P.S. on Your facebook page I posted another image used without payment! ;)


My problem is not my images. My problem are the images of other users! I found an image on a box in my supermarket. The image has the symbol of Dreamstime, so I think this was not downloaded under payment. I sent a message to dreamstime (two weeks ago): no answer. I found the image on dreamstime and I sent a message to the contributors: no answer!

What Have I to do with that box? It seems nobody is interested in this infringement!


Don't forget to bookmark this article, you might need it in the future :)


Thanks for sharing this useful info.


Thanks for the info!

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