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Google To Kill Off 'View Image' Button In Search 153

Google is removing the "view image" button that appeared when you clicked on a picture, which allowed you to open the image alone. The provision to remove the button is part of a deal Google has made with stock-photo agency Getty to end their legal battle. The Register reported last week that the two companies announced a partnership that "will allow Google to continue carrying Getty-owned photographs in its image and web search results." The Verge reports: The change is essentially meant to frustrate users. Google has long been under fire from photographers and publishers who felt that image search allowed people to steal their pictures, and the removal of the view image button is one of many changes being made in response. The intention seems to be either stopping people from taking an image altogether or driving them through to the website where the image is found, so that the website can serve ads and get revenue and so people are more likely to see any associated copyright information. That's great news for publishers, but it's an annoying additional step for someone trying to find a picture. Now you'll have to wait for a website to load and then scroll through it to find the image. Websites sometimes disable the ability to right click, too, which would make it even harder for someone to grab a photo they're looking for.

In addition to removing the "view image" button, Google has also removed the "search by image" button that appeared when you opened up a photo, too. This change isn't quite as big, however. You'll still be able to do a reverse image search by dragging the image to the search bar, and Google will still display related images when you click on a search result. The button may have been used by people to find un-watermarked versions of images they were interested in, which is likely part of why Google pulled it.
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Google To Kill Off 'View Image' Button In Search

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  • Easier solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ChunderDownunder ( 709234 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @07:26PM (#56131538)

    Don't display Getty media in your search results.

    That'll learn 'em.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @07:35PM (#56131592) Journal

      Indeed! Agree on a meta-tag to exclude such image-convenience-features, and sites that want to be Scrooges can add it to the pages.

      Jeeez, stop slowing down my porn browsing to make a few bad apples happy.

      • Indeed! Agree on a meta-tag to exclude such image-convenience-features, and sites that want to be Scrooges can add it to the pages.

        Jeeez, stop slowing down my porn browsing to make a few bad apples happy.

        Everyone knows that's the one area that bing outperforms google anyway. Switch to bing for that.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Exactly. I want a checkbox to exclude Getty, they don't have any good pr0n anyways!

      • Exactly. I want a checkbox to exclude Getty, they don't have any good pr0n anyways!

        I would settle for a way to exclude a site from the search terms. You might think it would be trivially easy (and if others think it is, I would be glad to see examples) but recently while tracking down the source of an image, my results were swamped with reposts from that sucking tar-pit of image sites, Pinterest. I wanted to exclude all such, and spent about half an hour reading the notes for google's advanced image search options, which read like perl on acid. None of the examples I tried worked, so I dr

        • by qeveren ( 318805 )

          Once upon a time, you could actually set Google Search to ignore results from specific sites on an ongoing basis. But that was too useful a feature and had to be axed...

        • As was pointed out by others you can remove sites with -site: but it would be handy if Google would let you set up some parameters that always get passed to searches (unless turned off with a checkbox near the search entry). This way you wouldn't have to enter in -site:getty.com if you always wanted to exclude Getty from your image searches. I'm imagining preferences for each type of search (main, image, news, ...).

    • Don't display Getty media in your search results.
      That'll learn 'em.

      Getty Images is one of the largest and most significant photo archives in the world with over 80 million images and some 50,000 hours of video. Its stock images are prime goods and any professional in the field knows this.

      • Re:Yeah, right. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @09:21PM (#56132142)

        So what? Regular users who use this function aren't after copyrighted images from Getty Images.

        They're after the original versions of funny images without the watermarks automatically added by the dozens of websites hosting them. Those websites are not the owners of those images and yet they put those freakin' watermarks on them anyway. Fuck those websites.

        The function is also useful when you're trying to find the original version of an image: a high-resolution PNG, instead of a low-resolution JPEG compressed to shit.

    • Re:Easier solution (Score:4, Insightful)

      by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @09:24PM (#56132176) Journal
      A site thats been restrictive should not alter the way result for the internet get displayed. Change around the site not the way the internet results are presented.
    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

      Don't display Getty media in your search results.

      That'll learn 'em.

      While I usually agree and even encourage this tactic when companies sue Google over search results, exactly how would one do that in this case? Ask Getty for a copy of every photo they ever had so they can filter search results? These won't just show up on Getty's site, but on sites that have licensed images for web use from them.

      • Re:Easier solution (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @12:24AM (#56133118)

        how would one do that in this case? Ask Getty for a copy of every photo they ever had so they can filter search results? These won't just show up on Getty's site, but on sites that have licensed images for web use from them.

        One of the features of Google Images is a "find other sizes of this image" function. If Getty did provide Google with copies of all their images [gettyimages.com], it'd be pretty easy for Google to block copies [google.com] from Google Images. (Note: the pic I selected is one of Getty's royalty-free pics.)

        That's what baffles me about Getty suing Google over this. Google Images is the best thing that could happen to Getty. Not because of the publicity, but because Google Images makes it trivial to find copyright violations. Getty just has to put the URL for one of their copyrighted images into Google Images, and use the "find other sizes of this image" function to get a list of websites using that image. It's then trivial for them to cross-reference the list of websites to confirm they've properly licensed the image. Asking Google to neuter Google Images just reeks of a decision by some clueless manager or lawyer, with no input from someone who's actually on the front lines trying to find copyright violations for Getty. This is going to result in more violations of Getty's copyrights, not less.

    • Re:Easier solution (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SNRatio ( 4430571 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @11:01PM (#56132726)
      Actually I've been hoping for a "stock photo blocker" extension for a long time now. If a news source took a picture that is relevant to the story, that's great. But a stock image really doesn't add anything to a news story. Basically just search the image tags and title for all the usual suspects.

      If it is a stock image replace it with whitespace or the top result from the google image search for "stick figure" and the image caption or title.

      For example: "stick figure" and "trump". See? Much better than whatever the original image was.

    • I don't think its that easy. People buy the right to use a Getty image and then host it on their own web server. That is why Getty are unhappy that Google Image Search allows a user to easily find that photo someone else has paid for and reuse it for free. Therefore removing getty.com hosted images won't fix the problem as all their customers host them.
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @07:26PM (#56131540)
    but then of course they'd cease to exist on the Internet. They want the best of both worlds, and thanks to our legal system's emphasis on property rights over fair use looks like they got it.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Robots.txt is too simplistic. If it allowed, say, permissions like "can index but no snippets or direct image links" it would help here. It was never designed for this kind of thing.

      The other issue is sites that licence images from people like Getty. If Google links directly to the image then the accompanying copyright notice might not be displayed. Getty can't really stop its customers using the images they licensed, but they can demand Google ensures that the copyright notice is shown.

    • They want the benefits of their images being included in search results but they are QQing.

    • --

      HI! please make a Firefox plug-in that blocks stock photos. Preferably it would replace them with the top result in a google search for "stick figure" and the image title, but white space will do in a pinch.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Or just push them to search images with another search engine?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    When I want to remove my pics from Google I just deny their referrers. /shrug Don't people use Bing for images, anyway? *wink*

  • Can't servers (at least Apache) be configured with mod_rewrite to prevent leeching of images?

    • by TheDarkMaster ( 1292526 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @09:22PM (#56132152)
      If you do not want someone to copy your image, do not post it on the internet. This should have been learned a long time ago but we still have people completely ignorant of how the Internet works.
      • What you seem to mean is that it's trivial in terms of techniques to copy an image. That doesn't affect whether you should or not.

  • by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @07:30PM (#56131568)

    ...24 hours before a plugin comes up to get the functionality back.

    • Functionality? Did you catch what the problem is?

      Google has long been under fire from photographers and publishers who felt that image search allowed people to steal their pictures...

      Photographers and publishers want google to send your computer images, that you can't save.

      It's DRM all over. "I want to send you something over the internet that you can see/hear, but that can't get saved on your computer."

      Sure, you could restore this with a plugin, but it barely requires that. If it's on your screen, you can save it. FFS, it's already on your hard drive somewhere. I don't know of too many browsers that just store images in ram. Or is that

      • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

        FFS, it's already on your hard drive somewhere. I don't know of too many browsers that just store images in ram. Or is that why Chrome is such a damn memory hog....

        Coming soon: Encrypted browser cache!
        Only the browser executable has the ability to read the files it creates on the hard drive.

      • Re:I give it... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TheDarkMaster ( 1292526 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @09:24PM (#56132166)
        Somedays I think photographers and publishers have no idea how the internet works.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Somedays I think photographers and publishers have no idea how the internet works.

          Of course they don't. I work at a web hosting company and my bosses don't know how the internet works either.

        • Re:I give it... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by xenobyte ( 446878 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @10:05AM (#56134598)

          Somedays I think photographers and publishers have no idea how the internet works.

          Around 95% of the world population don't know how the internet works, especially so-called 'experts' commenting on hacking, malware or similar. They obviously don't know what they're talking about and they have no clue how to be critical of their sources.

          Just yesterday the danish secretary of defense claimed that the WannaCry attack was the work of Russian government hackers (his source: NATO experts). No it wasn't. It was the work of a Russian cyber criminal, nothing more.

          • The most perfect knowledge of how the Internet works won't help you distinguish between malware from a Russian government agency and malware from a Russian cyber criminal (if there's a real difference).

        • Some people don't know exactly what the complaint was about, either. Specifically, most of /. users I'm reading here.

      • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

        Sure, you could restore this with a plugin, but it barely requires that. If it's on your screen, you can save it.

        The original image isn't on your screen, the crappy Google thumbnail is.

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      ...24 hours before a plugin comes up to get the functionality back.

      There's a web browser that still allows you to expand its functionality in a meaningful way?

    • It's My internet, bitches.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What the hell I use both of these functions on a regular basis.

  • About 27,400,000 results (0.32 seconds)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 15, 2018 @07:38PM (#56131608)

    This is essentially what was discussed rather extensively for the earlier decades of the internet at large, before and at the early eras of the world wide web.

    As commercial forces work their way in, they see less and less of the technical marvel that makes the whole thing work and excel and what it does, and desire it to exist purely as a funnel of whatever is important to them at the moment.

    And thanks to the wonders of the legal system, they can force that interpretation on everyone else, no matter the cost and waste of the platform in general.

    The images this company posts are just that, they're images on a server. The server, well, serves them up to anyone that can make a request. If they don't like that, then they SHOULD have to figure out a special different way of accessing that data, and convince people to be willing to use that different interface, then close off the general access... but nah, they can't be bothered to do that - better to demand everyone else change the way they access those servers to be less generic, and only just how they'd like.

    • by Falos ( 2905315 )

      If your server is openly and unreservedly serving any files, by your design, then you don't get to bitch about the files doing exactly what you configured.

      What's that? Making your website anything but openly-and-unreservedly might cost you viewers?

      [_] PICK
      [_] ONE

      boo hoo, woe is me, fucking engineers in the 80's and 90's, bunch of fucking eggheads, making shit functional, don't they know anything about business, anything about "managing" consumers, didn't ANYONE sensible sit in on their summits and protocol

    • by cstacy ( 534252 )

      This is essentially what was discussed rather extensively for the earlier decades of the internet at large, before and at the early eras of the world wide web.

      As commercial forces work their way in, they see less and less of the technical marvel that makes the whole thing work and excel and what it does, and desire it to exist purely as a funnel of whatever is important to them at the moment.

      The most interesting thing to me is how people equate "The Internet" with "Google". If you can't Google up something, it's "not on the Internet" (and to most people, therefore "it doesn't exist".) That's people's concept of "The Internet".

  • Block Getty (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slazzy ( 864185 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @07:53PM (#56131686) Homepage Journal
    I wish Google would just block Getty images.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And Pinterest, while they're at it.

      • And Pinterest, while they're at it.

        Yes please. Most of the time you click the [Visit Page] button on Pinterest image hits in Goole Image searches you won't find the image (or anything like it) on the page that comes up. Complete waste of time. Pinterest is balls.

    • by Misagon ( 1135 )

      Absolutely. Google is already indexing images by how similar they are to other images.
      They could therefore filter away images that they have found on one of their blocked sites - or better: redirect to the original site, which in this case would be Getty Images' site itself.

      Often when you are searching for a particular photo that has been shared a lot, you want to find the original source anyway.

  • by innocent_white_lamb ( 151825 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @08:01PM (#56131718)

    The work-around is in the article:
     
      Fortunately, there's still at least one way around it: if you right click, you can select "open image in new tab" or "view image" (or whatever your browser's equivalent option is), and you'll still open up the full-size picture. It's just a bit less likely that everyone will realize this is an option.

    • That only gives you a Google-generated (and Google-hosted) thumbnail, not the original image, whether you do it on the main results list or the expanded details box after you click a result. That is not an acceptable workaround for any original image much above thumbnail size (i.e. almost all of those that someone is likely to search for).
      • by Calydor ( 739835 )

        The idea is that Getty wants you to load the page the image is on (and the ads on the page the image is on). From that page you CAN right-click -> Open in new tab.

  • Stuff like this will slowly kill google. It will just get more and more restrictive and useless and people will move on.
  • I use the picture view a lot to find objects, what about the other items - videos - maps etc. ?

    Oh well down it goes.... maybe other search engines win over google on this one...

  • I used both of those functions on a regular basis, but usually just to adorn a smart-ass post with a smart-ass image.

    Humour? Who needs it? Nothing I can't live without (as a married man).

    Why Women Aren't Funny [vanityfair.com]

    Perhaps Google can add a click that automatically opens the target website with Firefox's Media Preview tab (or your equivalent)—or an extension can be written to do the same; ideally, the extension would arrange the page's images in a Image Search–like image gallery (optional: middle fin

  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Thursday February 15, 2018 @09:08PM (#56132066) Journal

    A company like Getty is displaying usable images on the Internet and getting pissed off about copyright? How hard would it be for them to overlay a watermark that can't be easily 'shopped out? How many pixels are they displaying anyway? Anybody who's legit is going to want to scrub the watermark and resize the image without losing any more quality than necessary. They should be hiding high quality images behind a paid login if they care that much. Even Flickr can do that. Come on, Getty. Put on your big boy pants.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Getty bills people to use shit they don't own.

      http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-getty-copyright-20160729-snap-story.html

      They are fucking scum.

  • Only user input needed is so it can transfer money from your bank account to copyright holders.

  • Getty Images has now earned the privilege of being added to Adblock, or a new equivalent plugin.
  • But you can still right click on the picture in the search results and select "open image in new tab", and it loads the original picture from the remote host. Heh.
  • If I were them, I'd have just told Getty's lawyer that they need to hire a decent webmaster. Any beginner should know how to Google and then copy-n-paste...

    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?mydomain.com/.*$ [NC]
    RewriteRule \.(gif|jpg|js|css)$ - [F]

    ...and I'm sure if they're not using Apache, they can do something similar with whatever web server they're using.

  • I use Hover Zoom+ to get immediate views of the images without clicking anything. https://github.com/extesy/hove... [github.com] https://chrome.google.com/webs... [google.com]
  • Problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by religionofpeas ( 4511805 ) on Friday February 16, 2018 @03:57AM (#56133668)

    The problem with following the link to the web site where the image is found is that very often the page is dynamic ("hottest news stories of today") and the image is nowhere to be found.

  • The change is essentially meant to frustrate users.

    No, it's meant to protect photographer's rights.

  • tineye.com, drag, drop.

  • I'll just use Yandex' image search.

    Its results are far less censored anyway.

    https://yandex.com/images/ [yandex.com]

  • To me, finding a getty image is a failed search. Block them as I have exactly zero interest in their over posed images of business people in cheap ill-fitting suits and dead eyes.
  • I realize Getty does not seem to represent "the little guy"... but
    Google knows how the internet works, artists and publishers do not?

    Let's get real. Google exists because they serve ads.
    An artist, photographer, publisher exists online because they serve ads,
    or entice interested parties to learn more about them.
    How else do you sell or generate revenue on the internet?
    Some unknown is supposed to put up a paywall?

  • Not a problem automation can't solve.

    Getty Images should play ball and come up with image provisioning that doesn't suck. Should.

    But in my experience design companies are among the most conservative and dumbest when it comes to digital. The fuss and hassle that Font companies cause with their abysmally shitty licensing schemes cause people to move to FOSS fonts in droves. Just last year IBM moved from Helvetica to their own FOSS font design called Plex, giving the big font fondries a huge middle finger and

  • (For now), Bing still has a 'view source image' option.

    Seems to work fine.
  • To just get rid of Getty's shit from image search? That crap just clutters up the search results anyway.

  • It'll change nothing, just add a slight (and i do mean slight) bit of inconvenience...

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