Google: all your images are belong to us


Google has updated Google images, so that you no longer need to visit the website Google got the image from when you click it!

In fact, those clever boffins from California have also ensured you see nothing of the website that provided the image - instead, Google provides a page with a black background, and simply a link attribution.

You can see it at work here.

Google say it'll make Google images work faster, and list what webmasters can expect. What they don't mention is that webmasters are now out of the loop, and Google is taking your content and keeping it on their domains, thank you very much.

Mashable are more interested in reported new porn filters.

In the meantime, webmasters, thank you providing free content for a billion-dollar multinational. Google no longer need you.

(PS: And remember, copyright is opt-in!)



It's kind of interesting.

It's kind of interesting. Gone are the popups, but if you mouse over an image, the domain name is displayed. Click on an image and the top/bottom rows of images split apart to reveal a black band across the page, upon which is displayed the image, plus a little more information and links ("buttons") inviting one to "Visit page" or "View original image". And, at the bottom of the black band, it says "Image may be subject to copyright."

Not discussing anything about copyright (just what I saw on my brief visit), but I'd say it's much better without the annoying popups.

visual improvement but server impact?

Ok so the presentation looks far better but I'm still unsure about the change in impact on your server resources? Google image traffic has been something of a vampire on resources in the past for some sites so wondering if this is going to change?

I think it would be great for webmasters if they included a thumbnail image preview of the site to encourage more people to atleast visit the original site. I've looked at Google Webmaster Tools data but too early to see if there is any uplift in CTR from the new image results.

I think they could make the copyright information and notice larger but with all that spare space I assume new features might be coming such as "purchase" this image or find out Creative Commons details.

Strange. In Firefox, I get

(Sorry; caching error.)

Mart looks great in the 15th

Mart looks great in the 15th image :-)

This is not a concordance . . .

This might be problematic.  De facto it has become "fair use" to index words in an inverted index for the purpose of organic search.  Inverted indices are like a concordance of the Bible.  It's a gray area, esp. without exact keyword positions (like 'Gen 13:7b' or whatever) because it's 'lossy' and cannot be converted to the exact original work via algorithm.  IOW, you're still going to need to visit the original work to figure out if God is really going to smite you or something.

This, however, is different could be challenged.  They're taking the entirety of your work and publishing it on their pages with only a link saying basically, "we lifted this."  They're potentially profiting from it with nary a mention of you — unlike organic when they actually are likely to drive some traffic to you and there's a symbiosis leading to a "nod and a wink" re: de facto acceptance.

It's not like you want to look the other way because they might send traffic your way, because they probably won't in this case.  The old site-in-the-background trick was much less subject to lawyer-attention and much more "do-no-evil-like."  I also doubt having your site in the background was an accident.  Google's lawyers told them to do it.  It was also the right thing to do.

As for "better for the user," that's bollocks.  Google isn't "UX Robin Hood," and we're a nation of laws and precedent.  Law is paramount over experience (and what about the artists' experience?), and it's a potential erosion of copyright law if it isn't.

It's also better for poor people if I can break into the supermarket and hand them bread and — while I'm at it — free winning lotto tickets.  Why not?  Because that's still illegal.  I think Google should backpedal on this one for various reasons.

I find it difficult to understand...

why Google's legal eagles ddn't steer them away from this path. Attribution isn't a license to snag a work in its entirety and cut the artist out of the loop. Unfortunately, this new feature isn't showing up here yet, so I haven't been able to play with it yet, but on the surface, I'd say it puts them in a tenuous legal position. Maybe they're thinking they can claim "fair use"? I don't see that flying.

Yeah, neither do I.  The

Yeah, neither do I.  The other approach left the resource in context (i.e. they're just kind of highlighting the work) and deals with other potential aggravation from the artist with the value proposition of sending them traffic.  They'd never sue because there's some symbiosis and the spirit of the implementation is very friendly.  This does none of that :(

Not good.

It will make what faster? Basically, Google has just gone from framejacking websites to hotlinking images, using up webmasters' bandwidth without giving them as much traffic. Google speeds up, but the other websites' servers slow down.

The black screen will probably cause non-tech savvy users to pay even less attention to the fact that the images are copyrighted.

Should be illegal.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.