Petapixel has published a surprising story about a fake photo reporter. It is not fake news, not fake images, it is about a fake photographer. This person pretended to be a war photo reporter in Iraq and Syria while no one there heard about him. As for the pictures, he has just copied and modified some from known photographers. This was not just posting pictures on social networks (although he was quite successful on Instagram with many followers), he had received real exposure in the media.

How can such usurpation be possible nowadays?

With just a few clicks on Google image, one could spot the usurpation, right? Submit one of his would-be photo, and Google would find the original ones, wouldn’t it?

The answer is no as related by Petapixel, due to the modifications he made on purpose. What crazy modifications exactly? Just a mirroring.

imatag original image ©thierry secretan>>>imatag mirrored image

Current image search engines are not professional tools to check a source

Google image is NOT a tool for scouting copyright infringement, because it can be easily deluded.

Imatag web-crawler is much more robust. In this case, it would have found that the modified images are copies of the originals (provided these are protected by Imatag, of course).