Image-based search isn't brand new, nor is image usage monitoring, but what is new about the ImageRights model is that it is free for photographers for up to 10,000 images.
ImageRights.com has just announced a new, free image-based search service for photographers who want to monitor authorized and unauthorized image usage on the internet. It's really quite a simple proposition: upload your shots and if ImageRights discovers a match, it generates a report showing the usage, site ownership and contact information.
Upload up to 10,000 of your photos you want monitored to ImageRights, and if it finds a usage, it will send you a report with detailed site information.
From there, if you want to use ImageRights to pursue licensing fees for unauthorized usages, any money collected is split 50/50. (There are also paid options to monitor more than 10K images, and/or to make the collection split 65/35.) Or you can also opt to pursue damages personally without employing this service of ImageRights.com.
All in all, this looks like it could be a very good thing for photographers who want to protect their work and their livelihoods.
Know of any other great resources for photographers to protect their work? Let us know!