Google has announced new features for Google Images that will allow consumers to obtain licenses for copyrighted photos more easily, be it for personal or commercial use. The latest changes are a result of the company's work with image creators and copyright holders in recent years.
Images for which the publisher or image creator has provided licensing details will now display a “Licensable” badge in search results. When users click on that image, its licensing details will show up along with a link to where the image's license can be purchased, assuming it's provided by the publisher.
Users will also now be able to filter search results according to the kind of license an image has. For example, the results can be filtered to include only images that are covered under either a Creative Commons or commercial license. This can be done by clicking on the Usage Rights dropdown menu on Google Images and then selecting any of the licensing types provided.
Francois Spies, Product Manager for Google Images, wrote in a blog post that the new features are meant to address the need for "finding the right image to use, and knowing how to use that image responsibly".
The new features are the latest changes in Google's attempt to appease copyright holders who were not pleased with how easy it was to access their photos through Google Images. In 2018, Google removed the "view image" button in the search results, which previously allowed users to easily open an image alone.