Getty to Google: ‘Get the high res photo off your image search page’

May 2, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Getty to Google: ‘Get the high res photo off your image search page’

May 2, 2016

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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Getty, probably the largest image agency in the world, just picked a fight with the largest… well.. anything in the world – Google. In an open letter, Getty accuses google of depriving sites of their traffic by displaying high-res photo in their image search.

And it does not stop there. Getty also filed a formal complaint with the European Union’s Competition Commission, there are more than just web pages filled with words flying around.

Yoko Miyashita, General Counsel of Getty Images took a pretty wide stance and filed the complaint on behalf of “content creators around the world“. I am just gonna quote the claim here (omitting his forward which includes just about everything that good was ever accused of):

Our complaint focuses specifically on changes made to Google Images in 2013, which have impacted the competitiveness of our business by siphoning off traffic and promoting piracy – to the detriment of the 200,000 contributors who rely on us to earn a living. On a broader scale, this has impacted the interests of content creators around the world, allowing Google not only to profit from their work, but also to reinforce its role as the internet’s dominant search engine and thus maintain its monopoly power

Mr. Miyashita explains:

Google’s behavior is adversely affecting not only our contributors, but the lives and livelihoods of artists around the word – present and future. By standing in the way of a fair marketplace for images, Google is threatening innovation, and jeopardizing artists’ ability to fund the creation of important future works. Artists need to earn a living in order to sustain creativity and licensing is paramount to this; however, this cannot happen if Google is siphoning traffic and creating an environment where it can claim the profits from individuals’ creations as its own

Getty even did a video to explain it to us all

https://vimeo.com/134243936

Of course this goes both ways, and I can see at least some reasons to having high-res images search, as thumbnails are not convenient to look at.

Where you do you stand on this? Do you think image search should be restricted to thumbnails only?

[gettyimages via dpreview]

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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6 responses to “Getty to Google: ‘Get the high res photo off your image search page’”

  1. Danny Garcia Avatar
    Danny Garcia

    Getty complaining about cheating people by affecting their livelihood…that’s rich.

  2. Sean Avatar
    Sean

    Pot…kettle…black. No love for Getty here.

  3. Alexy Frangieh Avatar
    Alexy Frangieh

    Would Getty and similar businesses tell us about their “slavery” of the content creators?

  4. Владимир Чмиленко Avatar
    Владимир Чмиленко
  5. Theuns Verwoerd Avatar
    Theuns Verwoerd

    http://blog.jeremynicholl.com/2014/01/13/agence-france-presse-and-getty-images-seek-new-trial-after-million-dollar-loss-in-morel-copyright-infringement-case/
    Getty doesn’t exactly have a sterling reputation for protecting content producers: this reads more like “stop making it harder for us to exploit people”.

  6. Danielle Avatar
    Danielle

    It would be cool if google became smart enough to never show duplicate images the first instance always considered the owner, but no telling if that’d ever be possible, especially when people scrub metadata.

    Getty could just make a condition for website license to disallow robots from crawling and indexing the image then it’d never end up there in the first place.

    It would also be cool if someone invented an image file format that you could save a layer of metadata that’s impossible to scrub with copyright information or even information about the sale of the photo like a built in receipt. Then it would be up to web developers designers and printers to make sure the receipt matches the person they’re helping; and could be easier to track down those who stole it.