image of digital web

From image upload to hit results – CTO Stefan Baer talks in detail about the COPYTRACK process

A service like Copytrack might look pretty simple on the face of things but what actually happens after the image is upload?  In today’s article, Copytrack takes a look behind the scenes and explains – in detail – what happens between image upload and hit display.

Image Upload Aftermath

After the image is upload to Copytrack our system scales the images to an optimal size. Our software then extracts an individual fingerprint from the uploaded images, which is stored in the Copytrack image index. The Copytrack image index forms the basis for the comparison with other images in the World Wide Web.

Worldwide Search

We have to search the internet before we can show hits. To do this we use multiple types of web crawlers. Web crawlers are programs that analyse web pages automatically. For example, our web crawlers cross-link the Internet from page to page, blogs, shops, message pages and popular social networks. We also have other web crawlers that specifically search marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. This ensures that we search millions of websites every day and collect millions of images for comparison with the COPYTRACK image index.

Viele Divices

COPYTRACK image index comparison  

All found images are matched with the COPYTRACK image index. In the direct comparison of the individual fingerprint, possible changes such as scaling, colour change, colouring, blanks or collages are also considered.  If we were to collect 10 million images, we must be able to compare these 10 million images with the COPYTRACK image index. The result matches are then temporarily stored by our system and prepared for the hit display.

Refinement of information

Before a hit is presented, a lot of data must be added to the found matches. In addition to the information of the page location and location of the hit image, we now automatically determine how long the image has been used for and also define the operator of the found page. We do all this using different methods. This bundled information is helpful in helping our users quickly determine whether their images have already been licensed by the operator.

In the event that the images were not legally licensed, we will calculate in advance the potential amount that the rights holder may require for a post-license.

Results display

If all hits are packed with all additional information, the user is shown all the finds in the Inbox of the COPYTRACK customer app and the user can start processing hits.

© COPYTRACK | Stefan Bär



With Copytrack you can quickly and easily find out where your images are used on the Internet. Registration only takes 2 minutes.

About Copytrack

COPYTRACK was founded in 2015 by Marcus Schmitt. Our service is aimed at photographers, publishers, picture agencies and e-commerce providers. We enable free detection of stolen images on the Internet, as well as, international legal enforcement.


We are fighting for fair payment for photographers, picture agencies and publishers. Use Copytrack to find illegally used images free of charge on the Internet, and to take legal action against copyright infringements.