Google image search is a very powerful tool, allowing you to find images relating to virtually any keywords, and even to search for images that are “similar” to another image.
But there are rising complaints that Google’s image search is too powerful, and makes it easy for users to illegal download or reuse copyright-protected images.
Google’s search results deliver a plethora of images in an easy-to-view format. It only takes a few clicks to find and download the original image file. There is no notice about ownership or copyright protection.
Many users simply don’t understand copyrights, and some believe that anything on the Internet is free to use. Even those that may understand the law often ignore it.
Google has essentially created a tool that facilitates the misuse of intellectual property,
Getty Images, a company in the business of selling image licenses, has filed complains against Google in the US and the EU, and is launching a campaign to spur congressional action. But make no mistake about it… it’s not only big companies that are being hurt. Anyone who places their work on the Internet is at risk, and Google has made it much more likely that high-quality creative work will be found and stolen.