Google kills ‘view image’ button to avoid copyright infringement


In order to protect copyright images and avoid their lifting from its platform, Google has removed the “view image” button from its image search results.

“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,” Google SearchLiaison wrote in a tweet.

The change is seen as part of Google’s partnering with stock photo provider Getty Images. Google last week signed a multi-year global licensing deal with Getty Images, allowing it to use Getty’s content within its various products and services. According to a report in The Verge, Google will make copyright attribution and disclaimers more prominent in image search results. Now, users have to wait for a website to load and then scroll through it to find the image.

“The change is essentially meant to frustrate users. Google has long been under fire from photographers and publishers who felt that image search allowed people to steal their pictures, and the removal of the view image button is one of many changes being made in response,” the report said. Websites sometimes disable the ability to right-click, too, which would make it even harder for someone to grab a photo they’re looking for.

“Fortunately, there’s still at least one way around it: if you right click, you can select “open image in new tab” or “view image” (or whatever your browser’s equivalent option is), and you’ll still open up the full-size picture,” the report added. In addition to removing the ‘view image’ button, Google has also removed the ‘search by image’ button that appeared when people opened up an image.

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