It is so easy find and use text and images from the Internet. People forget that someone created that content (whether prose or picture), and the person who creates it, owns it.
Lately, I’ve had inquiries about how folks can protect their creative works from being used (or abused) through the Internet. While I’m not sure that you can completely prevent your content from being used without your permission, you can find unauthorized use on the Internet, through the use of a few good search tools:
Copyscape– checks URL (websites) for plagiarism (text).
Tineye – allows you to upload an image to search against.
There are a number of image search engines that allow you to search for images by words and phrases – here are two to get you started:
(PS – all the images I use on my website are either free, licensed, or created by me. Just so you know.)
UPDATE – February 3, 2009
Today’s issue of Blue Avocado has a great article about copyright protection – for more information, check it out: