Google - Do no evil? - Dreamstime

© Sebcz

Google is famous for its motto "do no evil" but when it comes to copyright protection individual creators, I would argue they are in league with the devil.

Google Images allows one to search the web for images based on keyword or even to search for images based on another image. This is great for overall exposure of ones image but the problem is the images come up with no copyright information.

With all the amazing products that Google has brought out and all the money and talent they have, don't you think they could come up with a way to display an images copyright information in the search?

With all of their expertise in selling online advertising don't you think they could come up with a way to work with stock agencies so that buying information would come up when say a Dreamstime image is in the search results?

Google could partner with a Dreamstime so that a potential buyers could purchase the images right from the search results.

Or Google could decide to totally bypass the agencies and start offering their own stock service. Imagine this, if the stock agencies don't move first, Google could have a sign up area where users could register individual images and then receive payments when they get downloaded.

I do see where in the advanced search function one can search for:

- All images, regardless of license labeling

- Only images labeled for reuse. Conditions might apply. More info

- Also limit to images labeled for:

- Commercial use

- Modification

But the majority of users are probably clueless about copyrights and usage, so I'd expect a company like Google who basically earns its money off the efforts of content providers to do more to educate its users about copyrights.

Of course it also starts with education. I know my son's middle school emphasizes sourcing all data, but I'm not sure about images. I don't believe they teach anything about copyrighting on images.

UPDATE: I found this great idea for revenge on photo thieves. Perhaps Dreamstime could automate something like this:

UPDATE: Actually thinking about this more perhaps its the browser manufacturers who could help out the most. Microsoft, Google etc could include a copyright feature in the browsers which would allow the view to see copyright information about any photo from information embedded in the image.

Photo credits: Peanutroaster, Sebastian Czapnik.

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October 13, 2011


Gmargittai - I think prevention is better than a cure

The powers that be who benefit from the individual should be doing all they can to help those individuals.

October 13, 2011


An interesting and useful article on dpreview dealing with how to protect your IP:
How to battle copyright infringment

October 13, 2011


"Disabling the right click" only works against the laziest of image thieves. It not much of a deterrent.

October 13, 2011


I have seen some sites where you can see an image but "right button mouse functions" like "copy-paste" aren't available, that could work for all sites including google. Your point of view is very true.

October 13, 2011


I'd add Abobe to the list. They make their living off of photographers and designers. They could be partnering with companies like Google to work on this issue.

October 13, 2011


I have spent my professional career in the computer software/hardware arena. It seems to me that issues such as intellectual property rights were always the focus of professional organizations such as IEEE. Where are the professional organizations for stock photographers? do they exist? are the majority of us members? what are they doing to work with the Googles and other vendors of the world to look after their members interests?

I would be very interested in hearing peoples views. I'm new to this area and hadn't given much thought about becoming active in the professional issues until now. Maybe it's time we all get active instead of just pontificating on the issues????

Thanks Edward for raising this important issue.

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