Among the many things Google has been in front of the European Commission for is image searches. Getty Images filed a complaint with the regulatory body against Google Search in April 2016. The stock photo agency wanted the company to stop surfacing high-resolution photos through image search.
The versions of the photos were copyrighted the company argued and Google Search makes it too easy for people to use the images for free. Finally, Google has decided to bow to the complaint. The search giant says it has introduced changes to image searching to help Getty Images.
In fact, the changes will help all intellectual property from photographers. In an agreement between Google and Getty Images, the search will now remove the “View Image” button. This will make it harder for users to get high-resolution images for free.
Additionally, Google Search will also make sure licensing information is more prominently viewable in results. At the moment, it is unclear if Google has made the concessions solely for Getty Images, or will roll them out across its service.
One things we would have liked to have seen is a specific section where users can eliminate images from stock photo providers.
It seems more likely the changes will be made across the board. In a further move, Google and Getty have announced a multi-year licensing deal. This will allow Getty Images to be officially available across Google's services.
It seems Getty's ethos was, if you can't beat them, join them.
“This agreement between Getty Images and Google sets the stage for a very productive, collaborative relationship between our companies,” said Dawn Airey, CEO, Getty Images. “We will licence our market leading content to Google, working closely with them to improve attribution of our contributors' work and thereby growing the ecosystem.”
“We're excited to have signed this licence agreement with Getty Images, and we'll be using their images across many of our products and services, starting immediately,” said Cathy Edwards, Engineering Director at Google.