Google has announced an update to Google Images designed to make it easier to license pictures that are covered by copyright. This feature should help publishers as they help users identify photos that can be licensed as well as find out how to properly license them.
Images with licensing information provided by the publisher will now appear in search results with a “Licensable” badge over the thumbnail. Google’s new Licensable badge aims to make it easier for photo purchasers to find photos they can license. If you click a badged photo to view, you will see credit/ copyright/ creator information and a link to the license details of that photo. Licensors can specify a purchasing link that differs from the page the image has been found.
It will also be possible to filter image search results by the type of license information. The Usage Rights drop-down menu has been simplified to just three options: “All”, “Creative Commons licenses” and “Commercial & other licenses.”
Google Images was previously free for all users that compiled pictures across the internet. Over time Google has made changes to soothe copyright owners who claimed that it made stealing images too easy. These new changes may help reduce misuse and make it more common for photographers to generate sales of their work through Google Images.