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Getty Images complains to EU that Google coerced it into image search

socialmediapowerAdding to the potential antitrust woes for Google in Europe, Getty images filed a complaint against Google Image search. According to reports Getty claims that high-resolution Google image search results, “scraped” from its customers’ sites, are “siphoning traffic and profits from photographers.” Talks between Getty Images and Google did not go well according to Getty, with Google’s response being ““accept the new image format or opt out of image search,”.

A similar complaint was filed in the EU in 2013 by the Center of the Picture Industry (CEPIC):

“Google presents images in full size and high resolution on its site and enables users to download them without ever having to click through to the original website hosting the image. Google does not even inform users properly about the origin of images and their copyright protection.

In addition, since summer 2013, Google uses third party images without their consent as so called “direct answers” on the results pages of its horizontal web search or in its “Knowledge Graph”.

As a result of these developments, Google diverts users’ attention from the legitimate rightholders to its own services, benefiting thereby from the rightholders’ investments. The image providers in turn are deprived of the credit and fruits of their work.”

The EC apparently declined to take action in that instance but it might be different this time with the other pending complaints against Google.