What’s the skinny? Google is launching new features on Google images that will highlight the licensing information for images. The tech giant is hoping these new licensing features will make it easier for users to use images responsibly.
For the last few years, Google has been collaborating with the image licensing industry to raise awareness of licensing requirements for content found through Google Images. In 2018 Google began supporting IPTC Image Rights metadata, and more recently, back in February of this year (2020), they announced a new metadata framework through Schema.org and IPTC for licensable images.
Starting today, images that include licensing information will receive a “licensable” badge on the results page. Google will also show a link to the license details page and or terms page. If available, they will also include a link to where the user can acquire the image.
Google says they are making it easier to find images with licensing metadata by enhancing the usage rights drop-down menu in Google Images. You can modify your search to include either creative commons licenses, commercial & other licenses, or all of the above.
What are the benefits to image licensors?
- As noted earlier, if licensing metadata is provided from the image licensor, then the licensable badge, license details page and image acquisition page will be surfaced in the images viewer, making it easier for users to purchase or license the image from the licensor
- If an image resides on a page that isn’t set up to let a user acquire it (e.g. a portfolio, article, or gallery page), image licensors can link to a new URL from Google Images which takes the user directly to the page where they can purchase or license the image
- For image licensors, the metadata can also be applied by publishers who have purchased your images, enabling your licensing details to be visible with your images when they’re used by your customers. (This requires your customers to not remove or alter the IPTC metadata that you provide them.)
Google stated that: “We believe this is a step towards helping people better understand the nature of the content they’re looking at on Google Images and how they can use it responsibly.”
“A collaboration between Google and CEPIC, which started some four years ago, has ensured that authors and rights holders are identified on Google Images. Now, the last link of the chain, determining which images are licensable, has been implemented thanks to our fruitful collaboration with Google. We are thrilled at the window of opportunities that are opening up for photography agencies and the wider image industry due to this collaboration. Thanks, Google.”– Alfonso Gutierrez, President of CEPIC