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Google Makes Huge Change On How To Search For Images

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Woman holding a smartphone while searching through Google. [Shutterstock - Denys Prykhodov] Woman holding a smartphone while searching through Google. [Shutterstock – Denys Prykhodov] Photo of Eric Lieberman

10:44 AM 02/16/2018

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Google is no longer offering the “View Image” option while browsing on its popular search platform.

While ostensibly a minor move, the removal of the button is critical because it appears to represent an effort to reduce the amount of copyright infringement that occurs so casually and with presumed prevalence. Publishers have long battled with Google over a fair display of their content, as well as the monetary benefits that naturally come.

Today we’re launching some changes on Google Images to help connect users and useful websites. This will include removing the View Image button. The Visit button remains, so users can see images in the context of the webpages they’re on. pic.twitter.com/n76KUj4ioD

— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) February 15, 2018

The tech giant attributes the decision, at least partially, to a recent deal it made with Getty Images, a highly prominent American stock photo company. The parties officially entered into a a global licensing partnership last week, likely marking the end to a competition law complaint levied by Getty on Google. Stipulations within the contract entail upgrading the attribution for the content found on Google’s platform, which includes ensuring copyright notices are more noticeable. The agreement also includes the aforementioned removal of the “View Image” feature, which was often used as a way to directly download images, and thus more quickly circumvent intellectual property law.

Ultimately, Google Images is a way for people to discover information in cases where browsing images is a better experience than text. Having a single button that takes people to actionable information about the image is good for users, web publishers and copyright holders.

— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) February 15, 2018

The “Search by Image” button is also being removed, according to Google.

Google did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for further details in time of publication.

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