Google vs Getty images: a legal battle over photo piracy

Google vs Getty images: a legal battle over photo piracy

In a recent announcement by Getty images declared a legal battle over photo piracy against Google. Getty images filling a competition law complaint against Google Inc. with the European Commission.


It’s a “Complaint, in support of the European Commission’s investigation into Google. Aims to address Google’s anti-competitive practices and use of scraped third party imagery through Google Images that diminishes a fair marketplace for content creators.

Google vs Getty images: a legal battle over photo piracy
Google vs Getty images: a legal battle over photo piracy

Getty says “Google Images displays full-screen slideshows of high-resolution copyrighted images. This is hurting the stock agency’s licensing business as well as content creators worldwide. Google first introduced the feature in January 2013. Previously, the search engine only displayed tiny thumbnails of images.”

“Getty Images represents over 200,000 photojournalists, content creators and artists. They rely on us to protect their ability to be compensated for their work.” Says Yoko Miyashita, Getty Images’ general counsel. “Google’s behaviour is adversely affecting our contributors. It also impacts lives and livelihoods of artists around the word, present and future.”

“Google Image’s currently promotes “right click” piracy. It makes high resolution image easily available. User don’t have to go to the source site to find out how they might legally license or seek permission to use the image in question.” says Getty.

Google’s practices involve presenting content in such a way that it deters users from engaging with content creators. This impacts artists’ ability to monetize users’ interest. Thereby reduces the level of reinvestment available for the creation of new content.

Getty said its web traffic collapsed in 2013 after the changes implemented by Google in UK. Traffic remained unchanged in France and Germany Google sites, where changes were not applied in January 2013.

In a statement to Times, Getty claims “We want [Google] to go back to search functioning as search. Not search functioning as a substitute of publishers.”

Getty Images is the one of the trusted source of visual content in the world. With almost 200 million assets available through its industry-leading sites Getty Images and iStocks.

A freelance Technical Writer, worked as a Software and Web Developer, a Product Support Specialist in World Wide Web, experienced in Digital Marketing and a Technical Journalist in computer publishing industry.