Sunday, January 27, 2013

Some Terrible, Terrible News.

You heard it here first. Pinterest's greatest "contribution" to the internet is to set off a tsunami of image theft from every direction, inspiring countless websites to join the fray of image vampires.

Google has now rolled out a new Image Search - as if the search engine giant was trying to "undercut" Pinterest in the highly popular image-theft business.

Try it yourself: got to Google Images, launch a search query, and click on any image.

You'll see that Google now displays a large version of that image WITHIN GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH. That's right; Google has no longer confines itself to the use of thumbnails. Why not, since the copyright-infringement trailblazer Pinterest remains to this day free of serious legal challenges?

Adding insult to injury, Google has neglected to provide an opt out mechanism for webmasters to block the display of large images.

And here we are again, in some bizarre situation where we have to take action if we want our copyright to be respected.

Google, if it chose to do so, would have the ability to give webmasters a disadvantage in search engine results should they decide to opt out of image theft. This is quite a sinister development.

For more: Plagiarism Today.
The issues of Google hotlinking larger images or encouraging others to misuse images aren’t going to subside.


ohnostudio said...

More of a case for big fat juicy watermarks if you are a photographer. And shooters also now have the Getty Google Drive issue to contend with now. I'm glad I don't depend on the web for promotion.

Cindy Schnackel said...

Agree, add a watermark/signature to your images, not a clear layer that can be gotten around but part of the image. Save an unmarked version in your files for your paying customers who buy real prints from you. I sell some small reprints of my art on a Print On Demand site and that is where the majority of infringements on my work happen, because it's easy to get around the site's no pin code, watermark, and right click disabling. The images I put my name and copyright symbol on, as part of the image, not a removable layer, are less infringed. And they are identifiable if they are infringed/shared without credit. A few DO cover or remove my mark, but the majority are just lazy idiots who believe myths about copyrights. Deterring the majority cuts way down on the amount of time I have to spend on copyright problems.

I hope that these issues are settled in favor of copyright owners in court cases soon. But that could be years away, even if it all goes our way. In the meantime, we have to protect our work the best we can, while still trying to spend most of our time producing and trying to stay sane.

Leslie Hawes said...

Grim news, indeed.
I can see that I will ultimately have to remove all of my art images and photos from all locations other than one website for which I pay for the hosting, so that I am in control of deleting images from the database.
It essentially renders the internet limited or worse,useless, for me to "share" (gawd I'm starting to hate that word) my artwork in an effort to promote my work.
I participate in artists groups that post work to share and now most of my images are linked to those sites rather than to sites that I can control.
It's all kinda, infuriating.
As for watermarking...For me, and image with a large watermark that links to someone elses site because they used the image does me no good whatsoever.