There are a bunch of angry people of the internet, nothing new in that, who are angry about this new update that Google has recently rolled out. They’re angry at the “View Image” button vanishing from Google Image Search. The change follows alteration in Google’s terms with Getty Images following the lawsuit the latter filed on the former with the European Commission. But that was in 2016. Why is the change rolling out in 2018?
The change in Google’s Search results was noted and announced by Danny Sullivan, following which a lot on sharp words were sent Google’s way all over social media. The change results from the terms contained in a multi-year global licensing partnership agreed to by Google and Getty Images, a giant in image content that caters to people all over the internet.
Getty’s lawsuit to protect Copyright
It is not hard to see that the previous arrangement put copyright holders at a disadvantage. Image Search could bring the image to the search results, which others could then download from the page without even visiting the website. There was thus less of a exclusive hold over use, despite the search tools like searching by use license.
Following the airing of such concerns (which were obviously also causing a loss on business to the company), Getty Images is believed to have filed the case with the European Commission. The result is the removal of the View Image button. Danny Sullivan acknowledges a role of the settlement with Getty in the change introduced. Other factors have not been named or elaborated upon thus far.
The replacement in the search images now brings to users a new “Visit” button in place of the button now removed. This redirects visitors to the host site to bring it more traffic. This potentially also opens up the image-ranking market in fields like digital marketing. Other changes expected of the development include a rise in potential for competition among image content providers, both organised like Shutterstock, iStock and Getty, as well as their individual photographers and contributors. But what’s in it for the user?
Changes the User should expect rolling out
Apart from the change in the buttons in individual image search results, there is also talk of options like reverse searching making an exit soon, though the image search bar will still be able to bring you images like you want to see. The influence of such a move as it pertains to the spread and countering of lack of creator attribution, fake news and a ton of other such problems makes things especially tricky. Only time will tell how Google manages these issues and handles the concerns of users.
You can be sure users aren’t happy about the changes announced just recently. People are calling the move greedy, inviting others to turn to alternatives. Which honestly aren’t a bad option, TBH. But as intellectual property theft rightfully becomes more and more of an issue in our discourse, tough decisions seem likely to follow. Frankly, Google has little to lose with a bunch of people not using Google following the update. Not to mention, people may still be able to download and illegally use images updated to websites and blogs. It remains to be seen how that shall be handled by the search engine giant, if at all.