Amid growing concern of misuse of its platform and hefty penalty imposed by antitrust body across the globe, including the recent fine of Rs 136 crore (13.6 million) imposed by India’s antitrust body, Completion Commission of India (CCI), comes the good news for Google. The search giant has reached an agreement with Getty Images to end the later complaint over photo copyrights to European Commission. Both the firm said in a statement that they have signed a multi-year global licensing partnership, enabling Google to use Getty Images’ content within its various products and services.
According to reports, this is being done in exchange for reforming Google’s approach to copyright in image search. Now, Google will do more to highlight copyright attribution for the photos, so the users know whether or not they would need to pay for a picture. It will also pull “view image” links for pictures to reduce the number of direct downloads.
“We will licence our market leading content to Google, working closely with them to improve attribution of our contributors’ work and thereby growing the ecosystem,” said Dawn Airey, CEO, Getty Images.
On the other hand, Cathy Edwards, Engineering Director at Google said, “We’re excited to have signed this licence agreement with Getty Images, and we’ll be using their images across many of our products and services, starting immediately.”
In April 2016, Getty had filed an official complaint against Google stating that it was unhappy with the high-resolution images that Google had started including in search for images. Getty had claimed that in 2013 Google changed its service to stop linking through to source websites automatically, impacting Getty because nobody needed to visit its own site anymore. Getty had accused Google of effectively being a one-stop piracy shop. It had said one could easily download and view copyrighted photos without visiting the host site or understanding the legality of a download.
Getty had said, once people had seen the high resolution, large format Getty photo on Google, they no longer had a reason to visit Getty’s own site to view the image. “These changes have allowed Google to reinforce its role as the Internet’s dominant search engine, maintaining monopoly over site traffic, engagement data and advertising spend,” Getty Images general counsel Yoko Miyashita had said in the statement. “This has also promoted piracy, resulting in widespread copyright infringement, turning users into accidental pirates.”
Both the companies did not disclose about the details or cost of the deal, or neither they confirm as to when case would be withdrawn but an analyst said that “Getty is now not likely to pursue the antitrust case.” Google is already facing slew of antitrust cases including an investigating by EU over alleged anti-competitive practices linked to its Android smartphone operating software and its web search business and a shopping-related antitrust fine and tax disputes.