Getty Images filed a complaint against Google before the European Commission in April 2016 for allegedly making available high-resolution versions of copyrighted photos via its image search service. Nearly two years later, the complaint has prompted the search giant to introduce changes to Google Images intended to help protect the intellectual property of photographers.
As per an agreement between Google and Getty Images, the search giant will reportedly ditch the 'View Image' button, which will make it more difficult to obtain high-resolution versions of images for users. Additionally, the company will also display licensing information more prominently in its image search results. It's not yet clear whether the 'View image' button will be removed for all results, or just the ones hosted by Getty.
Furthermore, the search engine provider and the stock photo company have inked a multi-year licensing deal that will officially make Getty's images available across Google's products and services.
Getty's issue with regards to having its images presented in search results is certainly interesting; as Google's crawlers can only access images that are already publicly accessible, making them harder to discover seems illogical. Google proposed opting out of image search results to Getty as a solution in 2016, but that was clearly not seen as ideal.