At some point anything you put online is liable to ‘borrowed’. With the advent of Tumblr, this has become even more prevalent, and although usually not malicious, one designer/developer – @Jarred – has come up with a practical solution.
Install the Src Img bookmarklet and it will let you ‘track back’ an image to its original source* by overlaying all the the images on a page with a clickable double question mark icon.
I tried it out on an image I’d ‘♥’d earlier from a friend’s Tumblr to see how it worked – more out of curiosity than anything, as she cites most of her sources anyway. I ended up in a rabbit hole of meta-reference that I quite enjoyed for its own sake, even more so once this blog post was published, and I used the bookmarklet on this page, but think that’s just me being perverse…
The first Tumblr image, from Anne-Made, which before that came from….
… a blog post on Graphic Dirt, that linked to….
… the original work on Borja Bonaque‘s website (although in a different colourway).
When you use Src Img on the originally uploaded image, and it can’t track it back any further…
… you end up on Google’s search page, showing ‘visually similar‘ results.
Applying Src Img on the ‘visually similar’ images I used in *this* blog post…
… it went into another ‘visually similar‘ result, which curiously led to lots of images with Japanese text and a sample of a Latin Gregorian chant.
I stopped there, and have now gone to double check I’ve credited any pics I may have previously referred to!
*I think this only really applies when people have linked to images from other sources online, as opposed to uploading an image yourself to your own webspace.