Imagelogr Causes Uproar Over Photo Indexing Practices, Goes Offline

It looks like Imagelogr, a new search engine for images, has gotten off on the wrong foot. Only weeks old, the service has sparked quite a response from photographers after it became clear that the service was offering copyrighted photographs for download without any links or attribution.

Their “about us” section states, 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.

The problem was, photographs that weren’t “free” were being indexed as well, including Flickr images marked “All Rights Reserved.”

After learning of the service, notable Flickr photog Thomas Hawk wrote a post on his blog today titled, “Is Trying to Be the Largest Copyright Infringer of All Time?“:

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. […] 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.

A thread about the service was also created in the Flickr forums, but was quickly closed by the Flickr staff, since they felt that the thread was going down “Lynch Mob Road”.

Hours later, the service was taken offline, and was replaced with a simple message stating, 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.

We don’t know much about this service, and hadn’t heard of it prior to today’s events. Their domain name was registered last month, and details are so non-existant that it feels almost like a class project. However, the fact that they’ve indexed 24 billion photos seems to argue against that possibility.

When they come back online, you might want to type in your Flickr username to see if your photographs show up.

Image credit: Screenshot by Thomas Hawk

  • Nicholas Kreidberg

    Wow I couldn't think of a worse way to get a start-up off the ground than with a massive copyright issue. You only get one chance to make a first impression and as a result I think that any changes they make at this juncture will not redeem their public image.

  • Nicolas Laplante


  • Happy Tinfoil Cat

    Didn't a similar business model bode well for YouTube?

  • Michael Zhang

    I think the difference is user submitted versus automatically harvested. If youtube automatically crawled the web for all the videos it could find, then I think that would have been quite a different story :-)

  • jonliebold

    I like how they say they are “making people happy” as if it is everyone else's fault they violated copyrights and ticked people off.

  • JC

    i think a publicity stunt to make people know about imagelogr

  • Bryansix

    Actually, that's exactly how works and they are both owned by them.

  • schrauch

    The domain is offline. The story is here:

  • jonliebold

    Yes, but Google just provides you a thumbnail and a link to the video. They're not hosting it on Google.Com themselves.

  • Ross Hall

    Judging by the comments on the link from schrauch I wonder if there was a massive bit of overreaction on the flickr side, fuelled by poor comms on the imagelogr side.

    Interesting to see how this plays out.

  • Bryansix

    That is really of no consequence that Google doesn't host the videos (anymore). The point is that it's the same as a picture. You can put as much DRM as you want but if you can see if with your eyes then you can copy it. The only real way to stop image theft is with hard encoded watermarks and by not posting the full resolution file in an accessible place. That's why I use Zenfolio. They do all that for me automatically.

  • kombizz

    nice shot