Illustration showing copyright infringements by continent, used with permission

Image rights enforcement company Copytrack has released its new Global Infringement Report 2019 study detailing the current state of unauthorized image use around the world. According to the company, it performed a statistical analysis of more than 12,000 Copytrack user profiles as part of its new report, which details the number of 'potential copyright violations' the company dealt with from December 2017 to December 2018.

Based on its analysis, Copytrack estimates more than 2.5 billion images are stolen every day with potential daily damages estimated at up €532.5 billion / $598 billion. Due to the vast number of images used daily, the company found that most photographers and agencies were unaware of many instances of image infringement.

Illustration showing the top 20 most image infringing countries, used with permission

The study found that the majority of copyright infringement cases originated from North America at 33.90%, with Europe coming in second at 31.40% and Asia in third with 29.38%. The company isn't able to answer why Asia had lower rates of infringement than NA and EU regions but speculated it may be due, in part, to the percentage of regular Internet users in each continent.

Looking at infringement numbers by country, Copytrack found the US had the highest percentage at 22.96%, followed by Panama at 6.76%, China at 6.57% and Germany at 6.32%. The percentage drop quickly from there, coming in at 3.75% for the UK all the way down to 1.25% for Switzerland, 1.16% for the Netherlands and 1.05% for Vietnam.

Below is the report in its entirety:

Of the infringing use, Copytrack found Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution images were the most commonly used. Most unauthorized use involved images with 3:2, 2:3, and 1:1 format ratios, as well as 640 x 400 and 800 x 800 resolutions. Copytrack concludes its report, stating, 'This problem will most likely continue at a similar rate until major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and the like figure out a way to reliably identify the authors of images posted online.'