Google bends over for new "partner' Getty

Google removes 'View Image' and 'Search by Image' from search:

Google announced a few changes to its image search today, one of which being the removal of its option to check out an image without visiting the site that hosts it. [...] Since it was a stipulation of Google's settlement with Getty Images, it was only a matter of time before it happened. [...]

In 2016, Getty Images filed a complaint against Google to the European Union claiming that the company's image search promoted piracy. Getty Images told Time that having easy access to high-resolution photos through Google Images means "there is little impetus to view the image on the original source site." [...]

The two announced earlier this month that they had reached a deal. As part of the agreement, Google will obtain a multi-year license to use Getty's photos in its products, but it had to agree to change a few aspects of its image search. One change was the removal of "View Image"[...] Google also announced today that it has taken away the "Search by Image" button as well, but it noted that reverse image search through the Google Image search bar still works.

Beware that some other credulous "news" outlets (that I won't link to) are reporting this using Corporate Preferred Phrasing such as:

The change is the result of a new partnership announced last week between Getty Images and Google.

Hey, raise your hand if you instead wished Image Search would just entirely exclude by default all the parasitic link-farmers like Getty? (And Pinterest.)

But wow, it sure is great for Google that now they get to use Getty's massive collection of stultifyingly banal clip art in their future ad campaigns and web site banners. That's a pretty sweet capitulation in return for kneecapping their second-most-useful product.

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12 Responses:

  1. Great. That means more chances to get onto some dreadful wallpaper site with poonched content that never wants you to leave.

  2. Joe Shelby says:

    The hassle is it also means you can't drag your own images onto google image search in order to see if someone else stole a copy of it and posted it to getty to sell illegally.

    • raven says:

      That's what I used it for too. Because it's so fun when people steal your art and sell it on amazon/ebay/etc :(

  3. Andrew Klossner says:

    Right click the image and "view image". That seems to do what the old "view image" button did.

    I didn't know that Google could search for images. I've always used

    • jwz says:

      No, the "View Image" button used to give you the original full-sized image. Context menu "View Image" gives you Google's scaled-down thumbnail.

      • Zach says:

        There's already an extension to restore the real "view image" button that gives the original full-sized image.

      • Douglas Knight says:

        No, really, it works.

        I think how it used to work was that google would show a page of thumbnails and if you clicked on one it would show a medium sized image, served by google, along with buttons "visit site" and "original image." But now when you click on a thumbnail it loads the full image from the original site.

        The whole point is probably to allow this workaround and to encourage the creations of extensions to restore the old behavior.

        • Aristotle says:

          Same here. My first instinct was to check whether they put the URL of the original in the a href or something somewhere that a bookmarklet-or-whatever can get at it… and they do, but I didn’t go anywhere with that, because I also tried to confirm that Open Image In New Tab is useless… and instead found that on the image detail view pane (not the thumbnail on the results page!) it does the right thing. I don’t know if that’s new. I hope it stays this way.

  4. Johny says:

    I too hate pinterist. It keeps coming up, I foolishly keep click on the links, and then I'm stuck looking at small images that I can't work out how to get the original wbesite or a large size image. Maybe 'cause I browse without javascript I miss out. But fuck 'em.

  5. thielges says:


    • Elusis says:

      Unsplash just did a huge funding round. Given that their current business model is "offer images free for use," I'm concerned about where this is going.

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