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Agency Based Discussion => Dreamstime.com => Topic started by: luissantos84 on February 04, 2013, 16:45

Title: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: luissantos84 on February 04, 2013, 16:45
Serban blog

http://blog.dreamstime.com/2013/02/04/google-images-new-layout-how-this-impacts-photographers-and-webmasters_art38649 (http://blog.dreamstime.com/2013/02/04/google-images-new-layout-how-this-impacts-photographers-and-webmasters_art38649)
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cathyslife on February 04, 2013, 16:58
I haven't read the blog and I don't intend to, but assuming he's talking about how google is not protecting contributors works, I find it funny, coming from the agency who partners with Pinterest.  >:(
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: tickstock on February 04, 2013, 17:00
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Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: tab62 on February 04, 2013, 17:02
"When Dreamstime is leading the fight for contributors we have a big problem."

Sort of like going to war with someone that forgot to bring the bullets...
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: lisafx on February 04, 2013, 19:00
When Dreamstime is leading the fight for contributors we have a big problem.


Sorry, I disagree.  I understand the cynicism here, and I share it generally.  But I am not about to complain when one of the agencies actually steps up and takes a stand against the free download of our work.  I am very pleased that Dreamstime has done so and hope other agencies will follow suit. 

Here's the link from the blog post on where to comment on google's new design.  So far it looks like only a couple of us have commented amid all the "thanks for making it so easy google" posts. 

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.ro/2013/01/faster-image-search.html (http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.ro/2013/01/faster-image-search.html)

Thanks for posting this Luis.

PS - anyone else around her starting to feel a bit like Don Quixote? 
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on February 04, 2013, 20:44
Even if Dreamstime isn't perfect, having someone go to bat with Google on contributors' behalf is a good thing, IMO. We aren't exactly spoiled for choice in terms of agencies rushing to our aid, and I think that old expression about not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good times to mind.

Of the three agencies I contacted about this, Dreamstime was the only one to even respond to my support ticket so far (although they said they weren't sure what could be done). I don't expect anything from iStock because they're trying to get in bed with Google and won't likely want to upset that apple cart.

I did make a post on that blog this afternoon:

"I love how your new image search looks, but you're not respecting the sources of copyrighted content - images and the pages that host them - in effectively encouraging users to bypass the web site and ignore the copyright. Stay with Google and download what you need - but what about the owners of that content?

If you don't consider the rights of the copyright holders, in time there won't be content for you to index and provide search results to - photographers and web site developers need to be compensated for their work, not just have it hijacked by a spiffy new search tool"
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cathyslife on February 04, 2013, 21:26
All dreamstime had to do was provide an opt out from pinterest, but he refused. And now he's expecting google to step up? This is all about contributors having the right to say where and when they want their material to appear. Dreamstime isnt willing to give that courtesy to contributors. Sorry, but i dont trust them to represent my interests any more than i do istockgetty.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cathyslife on February 04, 2013, 21:59
Heres what i wrote on the google blog:


Quote
The search is great, but as a content owner, i object to you allowing multiple redistributions of my high resolution images. This is known as copyright infringement and you are stealing my source of income away from me and other image providers who make their living at this.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: [email protected] on February 04, 2013, 23:02
Google Images is hurting all stock agencies!

As Dreamstime stated today, the new Google Images format is not only infringing on copyright but is also blocking potential buyers from reaching stock agency sites. We are all experiencing HUGE drops in traffic since the launch of the new format.

Quote from Dreamstime:
“This new search result layout not only affects photographers and agencies (licensors), but also websites and webmasters (licensees and/or SEO). This new search result layout has and will continue to drastically diminish traffic to the website who published the image.”

Since buyers can now download/copy the image (watermarked or not) right from Google, there is no reason for the buyer to click the “Visit Page” link which would take them to the image purchase page. This “block” is preventing proper image licensing and possible new customer conversion. The math is pretty easy: lower traffic = lower sales.

Google has taken the Pinterest model to a whole new level. These images are not theirs to solicit whether it be on a stock site or a personal blog. Contributors rely on agencies to represent their images and generate sales. How are we to do that when the world’s largest search engine bully is preventing us from doing our job for you?

Google has entered into the stock image industry as an unwanted middleman and needs to be stopped. Please help spread the word in the contributor community. Commenting on the webmaster article is a start and may help reverse/rectify the situation. http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.ro/2013/01/faster-image-search.html (http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.ro/2013/01/faster-image-search.html)

Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: MicrostockExp on February 05, 2013, 00:10
Try to do a google image search by typing Shutterstock you will find lot of high res pictures for free when you click  original image!
I hope stock agencies will fight this battle for us as clearly they will loose money with this new google image feature
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Blammo on February 05, 2013, 00:11
It´s bad indeed, but what can we do, seems like not matter how much awareness we create about the problems, we never really reach a point that matters. This is truly depressing times to be a microstocker  :'(
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: tickstock on February 05, 2013, 00:38
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Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Blammo on February 05, 2013, 00:46
It´s bad indeed, but what can we do, seems like not matter how much awareness we create about the problems, we never really reach a point that matters. This is truly depressing times to be a microstocker  :'(
I went through my top 100 best selling images and reported any being hosted at too large a size.  At least there won't be any full size images of mine out there for free.

Are you going to repeat the process to see how many you will find after x amount of time, it just seems like a story with no end to me. But you are right it seems to be the only thing we can do.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: wordplanet on February 05, 2013, 01:30
I commented on the google blog post. I'm thinking I should send a takedown notice but without my images being searchable on google, I'll never make sales from my website. This sucks. A world-wide monopoly - what a nightmare. The publishing industry fought them for years and ended up with very few concessions.

I'll be interested to see how this is handled. Glad Serban is speaking out.

And dreamstime is the only agency that has sent out a takedown notice on my behalf in the past when I found one of my images being used with their logo on it. Another microstock agency which had some of my images exclusively ignored it when I sent them info - so I say kudos to Serban for taking a stand.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on February 05, 2013, 01:35
Blog on the subject of Google's inconsistencies in having/apply a policy on linking to copyrighted content:

http://www.onthewingphotography.com/wings/2013/02/04/is-googles-new-image-search-violating-their-own-policies-the-law/ (http://www.onthewingphotography.com/wings/2013/02/04/is-googles-new-image-search-violating-their-own-policies-the-law/)
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cardmaverick on February 05, 2013, 03:39
Google Images is hurting all stock agencies!
If you found your images on a site that you did not contribute to, you would legally react in some manner to have them removed. How is Google any different? Do you have a contributor agreement with them? They are acting as an agency except they have no regard for your image’s ownership or copyright. Google wants everything to be FREE for their users just like the images in Google Drive!

Just block google from crawling your website if you don't like it.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cardmaverick on February 05, 2013, 03:45
We should take advantage of the new format. If you look closely at shutterstocks images, they have a hidden bottom section containing their URL and the images file number.

We should make this stuff much larger than it was before, really big in fact, so as to show up in high res searches - but go further than a URL and file number. We should include prices and bit of marketing text to provoke people to click threw to the site.

123RF sorta does this...  they have super sized their thumbs (look like garbage full res) but seem to downsize them on their site to make them look better than they are.

Everyone automatically thinks the world is coming to end in the stock business whenever anything changes even slightly.... sheesh. Learn to think in new ways people.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: sharpshot on February 05, 2013, 06:00
I wonder if RM is going to make a comeback?  The problem with microstock RF is that the sites don't police their buyers.  They've let them break their rules by posting full size images on their websites and blogs.  Google shouldn't include these in their image search but I'd rather the sites stopped buyers doing this in the first place.

I've thought for a long time that the sites need to work together to fight against copyright abuse and buyers that don't purchase an EL when its required or break rules about image use.

Would people be allowed to upload all their MP3 music files on to their websites and for Google to index them?  Perhaps some do but the music industry seems to police it and do something about it.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: [email protected] on February 05, 2013, 06:05
We should take advantage of the new format. If you look closely at shutterstocks images, they have a hidden bottom section containing their URL and the images file number.

Everyone automatically thinks the world is coming to end in the stock business whenever anything changes even slightly.... sheesh. Learn to think in new ways people.

Sure the agency's watermark and URLs are there, but Google is offering larger, unwatermarked images right next to the agency image.

As an example, I searched for a Sean Locke image. I clicked the "More Sizes" link and this is what I got (see link). Which one would a user click on? The larger, unwatermarked free image taken from a blog or the same iStock image that they have to buy? I don't think anyone should embrace this new format.

https://www.google.com/search?q=sean+locke&hl=en&tbo=d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=3uMQUbeIOMSarAGql4HYBA&sqi=2&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAA&biw=1353&bih=1199#q=sean%20locke&hl=en&sa=X&tbo=d&tbm=isch&tbs=simg%3ACAQSEgnAt61eXeliTyGEAY11oKv3Gg&ei=9OMQUZS8KcOs2QWw7oDQAQ&ved=0CAYQhxw&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.41867550,d.aWc&fp=b1bf9ac9bca5da94&biw=1353&bih=1199 (https://www.google.com/search?q=sean+locke&hl=en&tbo=d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=3uMQUbeIOMSarAGql4HYBA&sqi=2&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAA&biw=1353&bih=1199#q=sean%20locke&hl=en&sa=X&tbo=d&tbm=isch&tbs=simg%3ACAQSEgnAt61eXeliTyGEAY11oKv3Gg&ei=9OMQUZS8KcOs2QWw7oDQAQ&ved=0CAYQhxw&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.41867550,d.aWc&fp=b1bf9ac9bca5da94&biw=1353&bih=1199)


Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: fujiko on February 05, 2013, 07:13
Google should pay for showing images just like it pays in France for showing news.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: rubyroo on February 05, 2013, 08:05
Someone's started a petition here:

https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/google-stop-hotlinking-copyrighted-images-of-web- (https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/google-stop-hotlinking-copyrighted-images-of-web-)
publishers
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: jbryson on February 05, 2013, 08:14
IMO, due to dropping traffic*, it is a prudent business move for microstock distributors/agencies to unite and take an aggressive stand against this.

That being said, I do wonder if Getty was duped into silence about this new Image Search functionality when it made its own "deal with the devil" just prior to the announcement. Coincidence or strategic manipulation by Google?

*eta
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: fotografer on February 05, 2013, 08:24
Someone's started a petition here:

https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/google-stop-hotlinking-copyrighted-images-of-web- (https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/google-stop-hotlinking-copyrighted-images-of-web-)
publishers
Your link doesn't work.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: jbryson on February 05, 2013, 08:24
I'm fairly certain that Google would never consider implementing the same kind of search functionality with music and video, stripping the artist information and the record label or studio information, and protecting themselves with "Music or video may be protected by copyright". Why is this? Because the labels and studios would fight back viciously.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Microbius on February 05, 2013, 08:25
Someone's started a petition here:

https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/google-stop-hotlinking-copyrighted-images-of-web-publishers (https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/google-stop-hotlinking-copyrighted-images-of-web-publishers)
Your link doesn't work.
The last part has fallen outside of the URL tag, should work in my quote
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: rubyroo on February 05, 2013, 08:40
Sorry Fotographer   :-[

Thank you Microbius  :D
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Microbius on February 05, 2013, 08:55
No problem
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: fotografer on February 05, 2013, 08:59
Sorry Fotographer   :-[

Thank you Microbius  :D
  Thank you both.  I thought that I had tried that but must have still missed a bit off.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cathyslife on February 05, 2013, 09:17
Someone's started a petition here:

https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/google-stop-hotlinking-copyrighted-images-of-web- (https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/google-stop-hotlinking-copyrighted-images-of-web-)
publishers


signed, though I don't imagine this will have any effect. Maybe every little bit helps, but the pressure must come from the big guns, and Google has ensured that they have the support of Getty. The whole google/getty deal takes on a whole lot more meaning as each day goes by.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: rubyroo on February 05, 2013, 09:32
You're welcome Fotografer (and sorry for spelling your name incorrectly - the stress of recent developments is clearly getting to me...)

I'm not really in the whole social media club (up until now I couldn't see the point - but I see now how useful Twitter is for getting the word out and garnering support).  If anyone can get that petition tweeted far and wide then hopefully it'll build rapidly.  i agree with you about the big guns Cathy, but as you say, every little helps.  At least on this one the concerns expressed are coming from webmasters and agencies too. 
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Grandpa on February 05, 2013, 09:56
Where is a problem? Google can not hack your PC, have not access to your HDD. If somebody placed on his web page full size unwatermarked image, purchased or stolen, yes, new layout helps better and faster find it and "Save as", but nothing more! If some agency sell photos without your permission, you can more easy find it. I can not understand, how this search engine upgrade decrease DT sales?
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Silberkorn on February 05, 2013, 10:03
Left a comment + signed the petition.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: jbryson on February 05, 2013, 10:24
Where is a problem? Google can not hack your PC, have not access to your HDD. If somebody placed on his web page full size unwatermarked image, purchased or stolen, yes, new layout helps better and faster find it and "Save as", but nothing more! If some agency sell photos without your permission, you can more easy find it. I can not understand, how this search engine upgrade decrease DT sales?

It is decreasing traffic to the hosts of the images (ie: DT) by not linking the image back to the original source. Decreased traffic = decreased sales.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: jbryson on February 05, 2013, 10:37
Google is intentionally "educating" the general public that images are free for the grabbing by facilitating the process.  I believe this to be negligence on a grand scale and, due to Google's stature, they are likely legally liable for negligence of this nature. What is needed is a large group to go after them for damages actual and punitive.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cthoman on February 05, 2013, 11:13
Since buyers can now download/copy the image (watermarked or not) right from Google, there is no reason for the buyer to click the “Visit Page” link which would take them to the image purchase page. This “block” is preventing proper image licensing and possible new customer conversion. The math is pretty easy: lower traffic = lower sales.

Traffic is definitely lower this week. It's too early to tell how that will affect sales this month though. I'd like to give potential buyers the benefit of the doubt though that they are savvy enough to click through to the site. That and I assume that some people searching on Google Images have no intention of licensing images. I know I don't when I use it. I'm usually just interested in the images for things like the shape of a koala's ears or what color is a woodpecker.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on February 05, 2013, 11:38
I contacted the National Intellectual Property Rights department of the government today, and got back this response:
"Have you contacted Google, personally or through an attorney, and advised them to cease and desist?  Your works are protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), however, you must first advise Google of the violation and give them the opportunity to rectify the situation.  If this has already been done, then you can file action against them in court."

http://www.iprcenter.gov/ (http://www.iprcenter.gov/)
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Microbius on February 05, 2013, 11:42
It sounds like as far as the government is concerned it isn't a problem because you can DMCA and have your work removed from the search results if you don't like it. I am sure Google would comply, you would also be seeing no sales through Google searches, which none of us could afford.
The problem of a virtual monopoly in internet searches.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on February 05, 2013, 11:45
It sounds like as far as the government is concerned it isn't a problem because you can DMCA and have your work removed from the search results if you don't like it. I am sure Google would comply, you would also be seeing no sales through Google searches, which none of us could afford.
The problem of a virtual monopoly in internet searches.

The problem is that Google is not hosting the content.  The person hosting the content is probably legally using it.  It would only harm them to attempt to tell Google to block it.  It is the nature of the software itself, not individual stolen images, which is the problem.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: farbled on February 05, 2013, 11:48
They posted a way to block images from the search function here:

http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35308 (http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35308)

So if you have access to your hosting, its pretty easy to do. I get the bigger picture (pardon the pun) issues though. Google is violating copyright.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on February 05, 2013, 11:53
They posted a way to block images from the search function here:

[url]http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35308[/url] ([url]http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35308[/url])

So if you have access to your hosting, its pretty easy to do. I get the bigger picture (pardon the pun) issues though. Google is violating copyright.


That does nothing since these images are not coming from "my site".
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: lisafx on February 05, 2013, 11:54
Someone's started a petition here:

https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/google-stop-hotlinking-copyrighted-images-of-web-publishers (https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/google-stop-hotlinking-copyrighted-images-of-web-)

Thanks for posting that.  I just signed. :)
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: jbryson on February 05, 2013, 11:56
The problem is that Google is not hosting the content.  The person hosting the content is probably legally using it.  It would only harm them to attempt to tell Google to block it.  It is the nature of the software itself, not individual stolen images, which is the problem.

So is it feasible to send a request to Google to cease and desist using the software to access our copyrighted images? If so, would it be beneficial to have a standard request letter drawn up by a willing attorney and those who want to use it can each pay the attorney a small fee (to license the letter, I guess).
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on February 05, 2013, 11:59
The problem is that Google is not hosting the content.  The person hosting the content is probably legally using it.  It would only harm them to attempt to tell Google to block it.  It is the nature of the software itself, not individual stolen images, which is the problem.

So is it feasible to send a request to Google to cease and desist using the software to access our copyrighted images? If so, would it be beneficial to have a standard request letter drawn up by a willing attorney and those who want to use it can each pay the attorney a small fee (to license the letter, I guess).

You can't define every single instance of our copyrighted images, though.  And that penalizes the licensor of the image as well.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: jbryson on February 05, 2013, 12:00
Soon, we'll all be so busy policing our IP that we won't have any time or resources left to create new IP. Eventually, it will cease to be a problem, as creativity will simply die out like the dinosaurs.  ;D
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Microbius on February 05, 2013, 12:04
The problem is that Google is not hosting the content.  The person hosting the content is probably legally using it.  It would only harm them to attempt to tell Google to block it.  It is the nature of the software itself, not individual stolen images, which is the problem.

So is it feasible to send a request to Google to cease and desist using the software to access our copyrighted images? If so, would it be beneficial to have a standard request letter drawn up by a willing attorney and those who want to use it can each pay the attorney a small fee (to license the letter, I guess).

I seem to remember I once DMCA'd Google about a site that was giving my images away to have their Google ADs removed, not realizing they weren't hosting just linking to images from elsewhere.

I got an email back saying they had removed those images from their search results (maybe they were using Google to return the results on their website?). So again, I think as copyright holder there is a way for you to request Google doesn't return your images in their searches and they will do it. That will cost you far more as a big volume of your sales are through Google searches I am sure.

As Sean says the issue is the software, but I predict Google's response will be much the same as the response Sean got from the government. "You don't like it? okay, we will stop returning your images in searches, and you can go find another career"

ETA two post went up while I was typing pretty much covering this
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: jbryson on February 05, 2013, 12:10
Is it feasible to form some kind of alliance, in which "dues" are used to make public service announcements educating the public that using images found in the Google searches may be illegal? Maybe we can't stop Google, but we can expose what they're doing for what it is.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Microbius on February 05, 2013, 12:16
Is it feasible to form some kind of alliance, in which "dues" are used to make public service announcements educating the public that using images found in the Google searches may be illegal? Maybe we can't stop Google, but we can expose what they're doing for what it is.
There have been a couple of decent blog articles by repentant bloggers coming clean about using Google images and being caught. Warning others to make sure they license images correctly. I think stuff like that really helps.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: XPTO on February 05, 2013, 12:19
Quote from: lisafx

PS - anyone else around her starting to feel a bit like Don Quixote?

Actually yes... right after he has been beaten by the windmills...

At this moment I'm so overwhelmed by the amount of consecutive bad news that I'm at the point of giving up to worry...

 :'(
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: lisafx on February 05, 2013, 12:23
Quote from: lisafx

PS - anyone else around her starting to feel a bit like Don Quixote?

Actually yes... right after he has been beaten by the windmills...

At this moment I'm so overwhelmed by the amount of consecutive bad news that I'm at the point of giving up to worry...

 :'(

Yes, exactly the same situation here.  *, how much of this [email protected] can we take and continue to produce creatively? 

Numbness is starting to creep in.  Maybe the time is coming to throw in the towel? 
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cypher on February 05, 2013, 12:25
Any idea why Serban's blog is not showing up in the list on the DT blog forum (http://www.dreamstime.com/forum_15)?  It's listed on the blog page (http://blog.dreamstime.com/).
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: jbryson on February 05, 2013, 12:30
Is it feasible to form some kind of alliance, in which "dues" are used to make public service announcements educating the public that using images found in the Google searches may be illegal? Maybe we can't stop Google, but we can expose what they're doing for what it is.
There have been a couple of decent blog articles by repentant bloggers coming clean about using Google images and being caught. Warning others to make sure they license images correctly. I think stuff like that really helps.

Perhaps incorporating things like that into a more aggressive educational campaign would gain some traction. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. But, you have to pick up the fork.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Grandpa on February 05, 2013, 12:39
The problem is that Google is not hosting the content.  The person hosting the content is probably legally using it.  It would only harm them to attempt to tell Google to block it.  It is the nature of the software itself, not individual stolen images, which is the problem.

So is it feasible to send a request to Google to cease and desist using the software to access our copyrighted images? If so, would it be beneficial to have a standard request letter drawn up by a willing attorney and those who want to use it can each pay the attorney a small fee (to license the letter, I guess).

Please, explain to me, how can Google ...using the software to access our copyrighted images...? They can only link to thumbnails on DT web page, not to source files in computers!
I made small experiment with my "bestseller": googled  electronic-door-lock-dreamstime and find my image on first page as 3-d. "View original image" was linked to DT thumbnail, no problems!  Repeating this in DT search, i find my image on 9-th place, approximately the same results. It look, after some time buyers will search images only on Google and site admins will loss benefits manipulate with search engine!
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: rubyroo on February 05, 2013, 12:44
Here's a thought.  Maybe a stupid thought... but nevertheless...

I suppose the crux of the problem is people are posting images on the Web in dimensions that exceed the licensing agreement.  If they weren't there, Google wouldn't find them.

What if some clever programmer out there developed a program that agencies could use to:

1)  image match all the images they've sold with occurrences on the Web
2)  capture the dimensions of the images
3)  proactively chase offenders and tell them to downsize or be in breach of agreement

Would that work, and is it possible?

If so, surely some clever person could make some money selling such a program to the agencies.

Forgive me if that's a stupid idea.  I'm probably grasping at straws, but like Lisa, I can't take much more of this without throwing in the towel.  If there's even a grain of viability in there somewhere, perhaps someone can put it to good use.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: farbled on February 05, 2013, 12:46
That does nothing since these images are not coming from "my site".

That does nothing for you specifically, however others have noted they sell images on their own sites or have hi-res images on their sites. So it is relevant to them.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cypher on February 05, 2013, 13:01
This story has been submitted to Slashdot, which has a very large readership that is generally quite interested in stories related to changes in the technology world.  However, the story is not yet published; that is up to the votes of Slashdot users.  If you would like to see this story get coverage there, vote it (and any other interesting stories) up higher on this page (http://slashdot.org/recent).
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: elvinstar on February 05, 2013, 13:08
That does nothing since these images are not coming from "my site".

That does nothing for you specifically, however others have noted they sell images on their own sites or have hi-res images on their sites. So it is relevant to them.

If you're selling on your own site, your hi-res images should be in a folder that's invisible to search in the first place. Only thumbs and watermarked preview files should be visible to search engines...
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on February 05, 2013, 13:11
The problem is that Google is not hosting the content.  The person hosting the content is probably legally using it.  It would only harm them to attempt to tell Google to block it.  It is the nature of the software itself, not individual stolen images, which is the problem.

So is it feasible to send a request to Google to cease and desist using the software to access our copyrighted images? If so, would it be beneficial to have a standard request letter drawn up by a willing attorney and those who want to use it can each pay the attorney a small fee (to license the letter, I guess).

Please, explain to me, how can Google ...using the software to access our copyrighted images...? They can only link to thumbnails on DT web page, not to source files in computers!
I made small experiment with my "bestseller": googled  electronic-door-lock-dreamstime and find my image on first page as 3-d. "View original image" was linked to DT thumbnail, no problems!  Repeating this in DT search, i find my image on 9-th place, approximately the same results. It look, after some time buyers will search images only on Google and site admins will loss benefits manipulate with search engine!

You're completely missing the point because you're searching for your own images and - luckily for you - that image isn't being used in a large size by a legitimate buyer whose web site has the image visible to Google's search

Do a google image search for dreamstime - nothing else. Look at the huge sizes of unwatermarked images that are available (a) without visiting the hosting web site, which is loosing visitors and (b) for free download

Be thankful none of those images are yours, but be somewhat empathetic that a lot of other people's best selling images are caught up in this mess.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Grandpa on February 05, 2013, 14:20

Please, explain to me, how can Google ...using the software to access our copyrighted images...? They can only link to thumbnails on DT web page, not to source files in computers!
I made small experiment with my "bestseller": googled  electronic-door-lock-dreamstime and find my image on first page as 3-d. "View original image" was linked to DT thumbnail, no problems!  Repeating this in DT search, i find my image on 9-th place, approximately the same results. It look, after some time buyers will search images only on Google and site admins will loss benefits manipulate with search engine!

You're completely missing the point because you're searching for your own images and - luckily for you - that image isn't being used in a large size by a legitimate buyer whose web site has the image visible to Google's search

Do a google image search for dreamstime - nothing else. Look at the huge sizes of unwatermarked images that are available (a) without visiting the hosting web site, which is loosing visitors and (b) for free download

Be thankful none of those images are yours, but be somewhat empathetic that a lot of other people's best selling images are caught up in this mess.

I understand - if somebody was so stupid, bought my image on DT for money, later placed it on his web page in full size, yes, image become accessible for everybody. With mp3 files is the same - one person bought song, hosted on her site and millions can download it for free. But where is fault of Google search? In petition you can read: ...4. It will be difficult for users to find the images they are looking for. ... Petition authors think, it will be more difficult, not more easy to stole our images?!
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Microbius on February 05, 2013, 14:22
Just a thought, I wonder if this is something to do with the new pay per view models coming online (the Getty API thing, the way ads on Youtube compensate the copyright holders-- all that stuff)

If people never actually access the page with the ads, but only the search results page (the way Google's image search now encourages) the people who's images are getting used don't get compensated right? They only get paid when their images are viewed on a page also containing Ads.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Grandpa on February 05, 2013, 14:35
Just a thought, I wonder if this is something to do with the new pay per view models coming online (the Getty API thing, the way ads on Youtube compensate the copyright holders-- all that stuff)

If people never actually access the page with the ads, but only the search results page (the way Google's image search now encourages) the people who's images are getting used don't get compensated right? They only get paid when their images are viewed on a page also containing Ads.

Seriously, i think, nobody never will get any compensation from Google, may be only from hosting site owner, but it is a long, long way... People, purchased full size image on DT may not resell it, but is it forbidden to give it away for free, without money?
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Microbius on February 05, 2013, 14:41
Maybe I should have said royalties, not compensation as you are confused about my meaning

and yes forbidden to give it away for free.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: tickstock on February 05, 2013, 14:48
.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Grandpa on February 05, 2013, 14:57
@ Microbius & tickstock -

Thank you both, all is clear! Do not become angry, i am disputing more for fun!
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cardmaverick on February 05, 2013, 15:18
We should take advantage of the new format. If you look closely at shutterstocks images, they have a hidden bottom section containing their URL and the images file number.

Everyone automatically thinks the world is coming to end in the stock business whenever anything changes even slightly.... sheesh. Learn to think in new ways people.

Sure the agency's watermark and URLs are there, but Google is offering larger, unwatermarked images right next to the agency image.

As an example, I searched for a Sean Locke image. I clicked the "More Sizes" link and this is what I got (see link). Which one would a user click on? The larger, unwatermarked free image taken from a blog or the same iStock image that they have to buy? I don't think anyone should embrace this new format.

https://www.google.com/search?q=sean+locke&hl=en&tbo=d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=3uMQUbeIOMSarAGql4HYBA&sqi=2&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAA&biw=1353&bih=1199#q=sean%20locke&hl=en&sa=X&tbo=d&tbm=isch&tbs=simg%3ACAQSEgnAt61eXeliTyGEAY11oKv3Gg&ei=9OMQUZS8KcOs2QWw7oDQAQ&ved=0CAYQhxw&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.41867550,d.aWc&fp=b1bf9ac9bca5da94&biw=1353&bih=1199 (https://www.google.com/search?q=sean+locke&hl=en&tbo=d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=3uMQUbeIOMSarAGql4HYBA&sqi=2&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAA&biw=1353&bih=1199#q=sean%20locke&hl=en&sa=X&tbo=d&tbm=isch&tbs=simg%3ACAQSEgnAt61eXeliTyGEAY11oKv3Gg&ei=9OMQUZS8KcOs2QWw7oDQAQ&ved=0CAYQhxw&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.41867550,d.aWc&fp=b1bf9ac9bca5da94&biw=1353&bih=1199)

This feature has been available for years... nothing new.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cardmaverick on February 05, 2013, 15:34
Here's an interesting thought.... if someone actually intends to license an image, why on earth would they go to google images instead of just going directly to an agency. I think a lot of people here are getting all cheesed off over a non-existent problem.

Just because the older layout might lead to more visits, it doesn't necessarily mean it's quality traffic that will purchase anything. I was discussing some options to spread around shots I have represented at a traditional agency. They let me move forward but gave me the same advice, quantity and quality traffic are totally different things.

There's a reason why I stopped making certain types of blog posts for my website. I get a ton of traffic everyday, even after being inactive for over a year. The QUALITY of my traffic however was all wrong. I want art directors visiting my site and reading my blog... not other photographers who won't hire me.

A simple solution to this "problem" - if you really think it IS a problem: targeted direct marketing... or, like I posted earlier, take advantage of the new layout. People can see a big shot in the search results? Awesome, just add some sales copy to make'em click on threw. Under the old design, this wouldn't be very feasible.

It would awesome if they made a way for us to introduce image map html into the high res previews. We could make specific URL links they can click on to go directly to the point of sales with their image all loaded up ready to be purchased.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on February 05, 2013, 15:45
The Yahoo image search with Getty's connect built in produces just horrible results - courtesy, I think, of the Getty CV. I wrote a blog post (http://www.digitalbristles.com/pay-per-click-for-image-views) about it with some image examples.

This is what a search for Maine produced from Yahoo image search (click for full size and see the Google and Bing comparisons in the blog post)
(http://www.digitalbristles.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/TNYahoo-Maine.jpg) (http://www.digitalbristles.com/blog/images/Yahoo-Maine.jpg)

I'm not sure I can untangle the Google/Getty/Yahoo tangle, but I'm very wary - would be delighted to be surprised to find it's a great new revenue source for contributors
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cascoly on February 05, 2013, 15:56
The Yahoo image search with Getty's connect built in produces just horrible results - courtesy, I think, of the Getty CV. I wrote a blog post ([url]http://www.digitalbristles.com/pay-per-click-for-image-views[/url]) about it with some image examples.

This is what a search for Maine produced from Yahoo image search (click for full size and see the Google and Bing comparisons in the blog post)
([url]http://www.digitalbristles.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/TNYahoo-Maine.jpg[/url]) ([url]http://www.digitalbristles.com/blog/images/Yahoo-Maine.jpg[/url])

I'm not sure I can untangle the Google/Getty/Yahoo tangle, but I'm very wary - would be delighted to be surprised to find it's a great new revenue source for contributors


Maine is both a US state and a French area/ former province so looks like the images are all relevant
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on February 05, 2013, 15:59
It's not a question of it being wrong, but look at the other search engines to see what they do. Much more helpful and Getty is much less helpful

Instead of having to specify I want Maine in the US, they give me that by default - possibly because I'm coming from a computer in the USA

And it's about making intelligent guesses and putting them in the right order - of course I can narrow things down if I type in many search terms.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on February 05, 2013, 16:06
I understand - if somebody was so stupid, bought my image on DT for money, later placed it on his web page in full size, yes, image become accessible for everybody. With mp3 files is the same - one person bought song, hosted on her site and millions can download it for free. But where is fault of Google search? In petition you can read: ...4. It will be difficult for users to find the images they are looking for. ... Petition authors think, it will be more difficult, not more easy to stole our images?!

Sorry.  The problem has been explicitly described.  You're just going to have to re-read it until you understand.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: lisafx on February 05, 2013, 16:17
@ Microbius & tickstock -

Thank you both, all is clear! Do not become angry, i am disputing more for fun!

Oh good.  Glad you are having fun with this. 
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cypher on February 05, 2013, 16:52
This story has been submitted to Slashdot, which has a very large readership that is generally quite interested in stories related to changes in the technology world.  However, the story is not yet published; that is up to the votes of Slashdot users.  If you would like to see this story get coverage there, vote it (and any other interesting stories) up higher on this page ([url]http://slashdot.org/recent[/url]).


As more stories are added, it's getting harder to find this one.  It's listed for today (Feb 5) at 12:00 CST (that's 9:00 PM GMT - convert as needed to your timezone). 
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cthoman on February 05, 2013, 17:01
Here's an interesting thought.... if someone actually intends to license an image, why on earth would they go to google images instead of just going directly to an agency. I think a lot of people here are getting all cheesed off over a non-existent problem.

While I agree with you for the most part, the majority of my walk-in traffic and new buyers are from Google. I would suspect most agencies would probably say the same. So, it definitely has the potential to be damaging. Whether it is or not is hard to say right now.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cardmaverick on February 05, 2013, 17:05
Here's an interesting thought.... if someone actually intends to license an image, why on earth would they go to google images instead of just going directly to an agency. I think a lot of people here are getting all cheesed off over a non-existent problem.

While I agree with you for the most part, the majority of my walk-in traffic and new buyers are from Google. I would suspect most agencies would probably say the same. So, it definitely has the potential to be damaging. Whether it is or not is hard to say right now.

I can understand coming from a google web search... but how many actually come from google image searches?
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cypher on February 05, 2013, 17:27
Here's an interesting thought.... if someone actually intends to license an image, why on earth would they go to google images instead of just going directly to an agency. I think a lot of people here are getting all cheesed off over a non-existent problem.

While I agree with you for the most part, the majority of my walk-in traffic and new buyers are from Google. I would suspect most agencies would probably say the same. So, it definitely has the potential to be damaging. Whether it is or not is hard to say right now.

I can understand coming from a google web search... but how many actually come from google image searches?

I have several websites that are not photography related.  Even so, a fair number of my visitors find some of the sites through Google images.  I would expect that websites specifically for images would get even more of their traffic from image searches.  It would make sense that some buyers would use the Google image search as a way of searching multiple agencies at the same time.  In my opinion, Google actually has a much better search algorithm than some of the microstock sites and provides much more relevant results.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on February 05, 2013, 17:29
I can understand coming from a google web search... but how many actually come from google image searches?


The better Google image search gets - the more appealing it is to use - the more that will be the entrance point for legitimate licensers IMO.

Look at the experimental image search SS d (http://www.shutterstock.com/labs/spectrum/)id recently - it's beautiful to look at and looks a lot like a color coordinated version of Google Image search. I'd much rather use something like that than most of the existing agency searches (if the matches to keywords would work, which it doesn't much with SS's color search.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cthoman on February 05, 2013, 17:34
I can understand coming from a google web search... but how many actually come from google image searches?

The majority are logged Google (some are Google Images), but I'm skeptical of how they report them. It seems to have changed a lot over the last several years from looking at my blog stats. I guess that is speculation though.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Elenathewise on February 05, 2013, 19:17
I just did a search for one of my bestsellers - it's mind-boggling how many unlicensed uses already.... It's being offered as "free wallpaper" on many sites (with no copyright or contact info of course). Ability to easily find those is not necessarily a bad thing - I could hire a "copyright troll" company and make sure all these are taken down or the right license purchased. Copyright trolls usually work for percentage of the gain, I don't think you have to pay them upfront. Maybe this is where all the latest developments are heading, with Getty and Google and such. They'll make the content easily obtainable and then they'd go after the infringements since it's also very easy to do. Smells a bit like entrapment but not really illegal. Adding transparency to the internet is not a bad thing but one needs to adapt to changing rules.
About "less traffic - less sales" - sure there will be less traffic from people looking for freebies, but that will affect *all* stock sites, so really the overall positioning shouldn't change.  Search results for someone looking for a "stock photo" will be the same.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cthoman on February 05, 2013, 19:46
I just did a search for one of my bestsellers - it's mind-boggling how many unlicensed uses already.... It's being offered as "free wallpaper" on many sites (with no copyright or contact info of course). Ability to easily find those is not necessarily a bad thing - I could hire a "copyright troll" company and make sure all these are taken down or the right license purchased. Copyright trolls usually work for percentage of the gain, I don't think you have to pay them upfront. Maybe this is where all the latest developments are heading, with Getty and Google and such. They'll make the content easily obtainable and then they'd go after the infringements since it's also very easy to do. Smells a bit like entrapment but not really illegal. Adding transparency to the internet is not a bad thing but one needs to adapt to changing rules.
About "less traffic - less sales" - sure there will be less traffic from people looking for freebies, but that will affect *all* stock sites, so really the overall positioning shouldn't change.  Search results for someone looking for a "stock photo" will be the same.

LOL. I've often wondered if there was more money in lawsuits than making the artwork and selling it. I guess I could always switch my focus.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Elenathewise on February 05, 2013, 19:54
I just did a search for one of my bestsellers - it's mind-boggling how many unlicensed uses already.... It's being offered as "free wallpaper" on many sites (with no copyright or contact info of course). Ability to easily find those is not necessarily a bad thing - I could hire a "copyright troll" company and make sure all these are taken down or the right license purchased. Copyright trolls usually work for percentage of the gain, I don't think you have to pay them upfront. Maybe this is where all the latest developments are heading, with Getty and Google and such. They'll make the content easily obtainable and then they'd go after the infringements since it's also very easy to do. Smells a bit like entrapment but not really illegal. Adding transparency to the internet is not a bad thing but one needs to adapt to changing rules.
About "less traffic - less sales" - sure there will be less traffic from people looking for freebies, but that will affect *all* stock sites, so really the overall positioning shouldn't change.  Search results for someone looking for a "stock photo" will be the same.

LOL. I've often wondered if there was more money in lawsuits than making the artwork and selling it. I guess I could always switch my focus.

I suspect there is more money in lawsuits...  <mock shock :o > Now imagine how Getty can increase their revenue if they go that way.. which they're already doing, Google "deal" and the new image search just makes things way easier.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: elvinstar on February 05, 2013, 23:08
I just realized that Wordpress is probably one of the worst offenders. I can't count the number of times that I'm looking at website built on Wordpress and saw an image loading really slowly so I open it in a new tab to see the pixel dimensions. One that I looked at yesterday was 12MP!! :o

When your average blogger or small business owner uploads an image to their Wordpress site, they don't resize it first and Wordpress doesn't resize it for them. Bingo! Giant, unwatermarked, (hopefully!) paid images available in a Google Image search.

We need to educate the whole world!  :(
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: jbryson on February 05, 2013, 23:30
I just realized that Wordpress is probably one of the worst offenders. I can't count the number of times that I'm looking at website built on Wordpress and saw an image loading really slowly so I open it in a new tab to see the pixel dimensions. One that I looked at yesterday was 12MP!! :o

When your average blogger or small business owner uploads an image to their Wordpress site, they don't resize it first and Wordpress doesn't resize it for them. Bingo! Giant, unwatermarked, (hopefully!) paid images available in a Google Image search.

We need to educate the whole world!  :(

I can't help but wonder why a Wordpress blogger would license a 12MP image.....very suspicious as I would imagine not many bloggers go the subscription route.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: elvinstar on February 06, 2013, 00:26
I can't help but wonder why a Wordpress blogger would license a 12MP image.....very suspicious as I would imagine not many bloggers go the subscription route.

I would think that perhaps it's more small business owners who have had someone create the site for them.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cypher on February 06, 2013, 00:54
The story made it to Slashdot.  Here's the direct link:

http://search.slashdot.org/story/13/02/05/2254256/google-redesigns-image-search-raises-copyright-and-hosting-concerns (http://search.slashdot.org/story/13/02/05/2254256/google-redesigns-image-search-raises-copyright-and-hosting-concerns)

There are some interesting comments being made from lots of different viewpoints.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Jo Ann Snover on February 06, 2013, 01:39
The story made it to Slashdot.  Here's the direct link:

[url]http://search.slashdot.org/story/13/02/05/2254256/google-redesigns-image-search-raises-copyright-and-hosting-concerns[/url] ([url]http://search.slashdot.org/story/13/02/05/2254256/google-redesigns-image-search-raises-copyright-and-hosting-concerns[/url])

There are some interesting comments being made from lots of different viewpoints.


Wow! That is one ugly slug-fest in the comments! Doesn't seem like there's much discussion of the big issues, just a bunch of dismissive rants by people who don't appear to have looked at the issue in detail.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: brmonico on February 06, 2013, 04:37
Try to do a google image search by typing Shutterstock you will find lot of high res pictures for free when you click  original image!
I hope stock agencies will fight this battle for us as clearly they will loose money with this new google image feature

Yes , but you will find that all images are not placed in SS site. Probably are images that was leagaly bought from SS , have SS mark in IPTC and appear in search. The problem of free high resolution images is that many , many, many people buy images every day to use in their blogs but they not protect their images nd the images are indexed without watermark. What we need is something educational program to teach people how to use images on web.

   Is also a big problem because people buy images to use without watermark..... They can do their own watermark but is a big problem. If the millions of images sold last year starting to appear in blogs using resolution superior that 800px stock is finish.

  People don´t read he licenses agreements , only click in accept! Is not allow the web use with resolutions superior to 800px but images appear in 2000px, etc.....

  So in my point of view the solution is all blog providers must be forced to protect their servers and must work with flash galleries or provide watermark skills .... something like that....to avoid copyright content to be share and indexed for free.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: thesentinel on February 06, 2013, 04:46
I just realized that Wordpress is probably one of the worst offenders. I can't count the number of times that I'm looking at website built on Wordpress and saw an image loading really slowly so I open it in a new tab to see the pixel dimensions. One that I looked at yesterday was 12MP!! :o

When your average blogger or small business owner uploads an image to their Wordpress site, they don't resize it first and Wordpress doesn't resize it for them. Bingo! Giant, unwatermarked, (hopefully!) paid images available in a Google Image search.

We need to educate the whole world!  :(

In Joomla content managed sites the automatically generated robots.txt file that is created on installation includes a disallow rule for the images directory, instructing the search engines not to search or index your images folder. Wordpress could also do this but don't. They don't because many "web-masters" don't want it as the default so their images CAN be searched for. ...... for whatever reason, good or bad.

In general it is lazyness and ignorance that lets designers and self taught users upload full size images to be resized on the fly, however with increasing screen resolutions - as far down the device chain to tablets - the existing licence rules for a max of 800px wide for example are being superseded by technological requirements. The shear volume of disregard of this requirement surely make it impossible to police.

Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: sharpshot on February 06, 2013, 04:49
I just did a search for one of my bestsellers - it's mind-boggling how many unlicensed uses already.... It's being offered as "free wallpaper" on many sites (with no copyright or contact info of course). Ability to easily find those is not necessarily a bad thing - I could hire a "copyright troll" company and make sure all these are taken down or the right license purchased. Copyright trolls usually work for percentage of the gain, I don't think you have to pay them upfront. Maybe this is where all the latest developments are heading, with Getty and Google and such. They'll make the content easily obtainable and then they'd go after the infringements since it's also very easy to do. Smells a bit like entrapment but not really illegal. Adding transparency to the internet is not a bad thing but one needs to adapt to changing rules.
About "less traffic - less sales" - sure there will be less traffic from people looking for freebies, but that will affect *all* stock sites, so really the overall positioning shouldn't change.  Search results for someone looking for a "stock photo" will be the same.

LOL. I've often wondered if there was more money in lawsuits than making the artwork and selling it. I guess I could always switch my focus.

I suspect there is more money in lawsuits...  <mock shock :o > Now imagine how Getty can increase their revenue if they go that way.. which they're already doing, Google "deal" and the new image search just makes things way easier.
If there was money to be made, wouldn't we have lots of copyright lawyers here offering their services to us?  I can't think why the sites wouldn't go after people that have used their watermarked images if it paid well.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: brmonico on February 06, 2013, 05:26
Yes , but is 98% impossible to prove that an image s stollen. Unless exclusive content
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: aspp on February 06, 2013, 07:14
In general it is lazyness and ignorance that lets designers and self taught users upload full size images to be resized on the fly

There would be fewer full sized images to find on Google if photographers were to limit the size of pictures which they allow to be sold on subscription sites.

Or the subscription sites could take a lead by introducing less expensive plans specifically aimed at bloggers and limited to typical web sizes.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cathyslife on February 06, 2013, 07:38
In general it is lazyness and ignorance that lets designers and self taught users upload full size images to be resized on the fly

There would be fewer full sized images to find on Google if photographers were to limit the size of pictures which they allow to be sold on subscription sites.

Or the subscription sites could take a lead by introducing less expensive plans specifically aimed at bloggers and limited to typical web sizes.


SS is a subscription site and yet I sell a good amount of pay as you go and ELs. I wouldn't want to jeopardize those sales by only uploading small-sized images. But I do agree that more could be done to educate and push blogger plans. That would certainly help.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: aspp on February 06, 2013, 07:57
more could be done to educate and push blogger plans. That would certainly help.

I do not believe that educating people will make any difference. Most will not be interested. From the blogger perspective everything is fine. Why confuse them ?
 
The way to get them to change would be to make it less expensive for them to download web sized content. Less expensive subscription plans specifically aimed at web users would make a difference IMO. Also - it makes sense. Why wouldn't people pay less for subscriptions offering only smaller versions?

As the leading subscription site, Shutterstock is in a great position to take an industry lead. PAYG downloads already to some extent discourage customers from paying for larger sizes than they need. Though the medium sized versions are still bigger than most blogger needs.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: brmonico on February 06, 2013, 08:23
In general it is lazyness and ignorance that lets designers and self taught users upload full size images to be resized on the fly

There would be fewer full sized images to find on Google if photographers were to limit the size of pictures which they allow to be sold on subscription sites.

Or the subscription sites could take a lead by introducing less expensive plans specifically aimed at bloggers and limited to typical web sizes.

You can´t upload less than 4mp to SS..........all starts here! 4mp in web is a huge size. Using programs to upgrade files size any print made in a plotter like a "Rolland" extend this to 1 meter or more with full quality.

  Problems with copyright always have one way to start . If the problem is not in sellers is in buyers.

 Buyer spend money , upload a big file (without resize) and without watermark . Loose the file on web. Will think twice next time. Buy again or copy one? Off course this is valid only for personal blogs.

- No one likes to spend money unnecessary . I believe stock agencies can do a program or offer free downloads of generic watermarks to their clients.

- law most enforce web providers like Facebook, HI5, windows live, wordpress, Blogger and others to legally protect all files with possible copyright value. Facebook already do this with videos. They don´t allow videos with copyright music. Is so difficult turn this to images?

 Google and others only grab the the fruit...free fruit !  If the fruit is a 100k file or 10mb file , with or without mark, is not their problem.

I will do this in my little site. I will provide free download of watermarks and a free tuturial teaching how to use them. This little step can be very important if all of us in our sites and agencies too do the same. A Web Image Educational Program (WIEP)  ;D . Is not good to buyers see their files stollen to...many of them probably don´t know how to protect them .
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: jbryson on February 06, 2013, 08:55
I can't help but wonder why a Wordpress blogger would license a 12MP image.....very suspicious as I would imagine not many bloggers go the subscription route.

I would think that perhaps it's more small business owners who have had someone create the site for them.

You can usually tell that from the content. If the content is regular blogging, then likely not. And, if that is the case, I would make the assumption that the large size image was not properly licensed. A blogger is simply not going to pay for a full sized image when it's not needed. I think looking at the clues in each instance will help you deduce how the image was obtained.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: elvinstar on February 06, 2013, 10:00
I wasn't specifically looking for large images. I just happened to run across some and it made me think of this thread.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: tickstock on February 06, 2013, 11:51
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Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cathyslife on February 06, 2013, 12:11
more could be done to educate and push blogger plans. That would certainly help.

I do not believe that educating people will make any difference. Most will not be interested. From the blogger perspective everything is fine. Why confuse them ?
 
The way to get them to change would be to make it less expensive for them to download web sized content. Less expensive subscription plans specifically aimed at web users would make a difference IMO. Also - it makes sense. Why wouldn't people pay less for subscriptions offering only smaller versions?

As the leading subscription site, Shutterstock is in a great position to take an industry lead. PAYG downloads already to some extent discourage customers from paying for larger sizes than they need. Though the medium sized versions are still bigger than most blogger needs.


I guess you missed the part where I said more blogger plans. ;)  And right now, small sizes ARE less money than large sizes, and yet they are still buying large sizes. That's where the education comes in...tell them they can save money and I'm pretty sure education will make a difference. The average blogger likely doesn't know that they only NEED small sizes for the web...they know nothing about resolution, nor care, as you say. Talk money and maybe it would make a difference. Then again, some people really don't care about that, because maybe the cost isn't coming out of their pocket, but their client's. Also, if the blog is part of an overall marketing plan, they may buy the large size for other print applications and just use one size for all. I think it was mentioned earlier...laziness. Too lazy to downsize correctly for the blog. That's what happened when Bill Gates put a computer on every desktop. Everybody is a graphic and web designer.  ;)
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: aspp on February 06, 2013, 12:14
In general it is lazyness and ignorance that lets designers and self taught users upload full size images to be resized on the fly

There would be fewer full sized images to find on Google if photographers were to limit the size of pictures which they allow to be sold on subscription sites.

Or the subscription sites could take a lead by introducing less expensive plans specifically aimed at bloggers and limited to typical web sizes.
Shutterstock TOS

"a) On web sites, provided that no Image is displayed at a resolution greater than 800 x 600 pixels;"

And  ... ?

The thing is that blogging platforms and other web publishing services do often constrain images such that they appear (ie are displayed) at sizes which are within the TOS. The problem is that the images are not actually resized.

For example - even in old fashioned html the img tag has attributes which determine what size an image is displayed. eg <img src="image.jpg" width="300" height="200">. The image is not actually resized. Current content management sites have better ways of doing this - but from the user perspective it is the same. As long as the image appears on their page at the right size they are probably satisfied that they are within the TOS. If they even care. And it would be complicated and rather pointless to argue with them.

This is why I am suggesting that subscription sites like Shutterstock have the opportunity to take a lead in this by offering less pricey subscriptions for web sized content only aimed specifically at bloggers and other web users. This is not nearly such a big issue with PAYG and other non subscription sales since these buyers  are discouraged by pricing from using larger versions than they need.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: aspp on February 06, 2013, 12:21
small sizes ARE less money than large sizes, and yet they are still buying large sizes

Not on subscription which is how regular pro and semi pro bloggers are most likely buying. On subscription you do not get more if you go smaller. So the incentive points people towards using the largest. Only on PAYG are smaller sizes less expensive. And no bonus for only downloading the smallest sizes. You get just as many whether you choose small or medium.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: tickstock on February 06, 2013, 12:24
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Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Elenathewise on February 06, 2013, 12:33
If there was money to be made, wouldn't we have lots of copyright lawyers here offering their services to us?  I can't think why the sites wouldn't go after people that have used their watermarked images if it paid well.


Most photographers here don't have big enough portfolios. Copyright "trolling" for lack of better word works with large numbers - they usually intimidate people to pay up and very rarely go to court. For enough people that would get intimidated and pay you have to have quite large number of people to go after. Apart from Getty which already is involved in this I know a number of other smaller agencies that also work with "copyright protection" companies. It doesn't matter if the image is exclusive or not - if the person actually purchased the image, they can provide a proof of purchase and that's would be the end of it. If the image is stolen, then the unpaid royalties are up for taking by whatever agency (or their copyright lawyers) found the infringement.  There is an opinion right now that you can brush off "copyright trolls" since they won't take you to court -  it's too expensive - but this is changing, small copyright claims will become cheaper and easier, at least in US: http://www.copyrightalliance.org/2013/01/copyright_and_113th_congress#.UQjd9R2E2nO (http://www.copyrightalliance.org/2013/01/copyright_and_113th_congress#.UQjd9R2E2nO)
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: aspp on February 06, 2013, 12:38
On your second point, subscriptions are low enough and royalties are low enough.  How much less would you be happy receiving for smaller images, maybe 3 cents an image for blog sized sales?

I agree that prices and royalties are too low. I would put prices up and call them the same or less.

I would be subtle about adjusting prices. The subscription prices would not essentially change. A regular subscription would be branded as a web use subscription. Same prices but access only to web sized versions. Perhaps even a slight reduction or maybe a few more images for the same price to sweeten it.

The prices for access to all sizes would also stay the same for the beginning - but the amount of content offered would be reduced. Call it premium. Many do not use their quota anyhow.

Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cardmaverick on February 06, 2013, 12:54
Small copyright claims won't work... remember, you're going to court over a 10 cent image. You might be awarded $10 in damages...

I think in the long run it'll just make stock photographers look even more like a bunch of whiners stuck in the 90s as trying to sue or legislate your way to success is not exactly a good way to build a reputation in any industry.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: lisafx on February 06, 2013, 13:34
Small copyright claims won't work... remember, you're going to court over a 10 cent image. You might be awarded $10 in damages...

I think in the long run it'll just make stock photographers look even more like a bunch of whiners stuck in the 90s as trying to sue or legislate your way to success is not exactly a good way to build a reputation in any industry.

Seriously?  "Reputation"?  So we should sit back and let people infringe upon our copyrights with impunity because we might get a bad "reputation" as "a bunch of whiners"?  Oh, heaven forbid!   ::)

If anything creatives selling through the agencies are getting a reputation as a bunch of pushovers.  Standing up to protect our copyrights can only HELP our "reputation". 
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: WarrenPrice on February 06, 2013, 15:00
Small copyright claims won't work... remember, you're going to court over a 10 cent image. You might be awarded $10 in damages...

I think in the long run it'll just make stock photographers look even more like a bunch of whiners stuck in the 90s as trying to sue or legislate your way to success is not exactly a good way to build a reputation in any industry.

Seriously?  "Reputation"?  So we should sit back and let people infringe upon our copyrights with impunity because we might get a bad "reputation" as "a bunch of whiners"?  Oh, heaven forbid!   ::)

If anything creatives selling through the agencies are getting a reputation as a bunch of pushovers.  Standing up to protect our copyrights can only HELP our "reputation".

I think his point about the value is valid.  "Reputation" was a secondary comment.  Can you really afford to sue someone over a few dollars?  Not many of us can.
As for doing nothing ... maybe a class action suite.  I doubt, however, that any of us will follow through on that.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: jbryson on February 06, 2013, 15:14
Value should not play into the penalty. Shoplifting carries the same penalty whether it is a bottle of nail polish or a $200 pair of tennis shoes: prosecution. If prosecution was the penalty, as it is with shoplifting, it would curb image theft and solve the problem of the copyright holder paying legal fees associated with civil suits.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: dirkr on February 06, 2013, 17:55
Small copyright claims won't work... remember, you're going to court over a 10 cent image. You might be awarded $10 in damages...

I think in the long run it'll just make stock photographers look even more like a bunch of whiners stuck in the 90s as trying to sue or legislate your way to success is not exactly a good way to build a reputation in any industry.

Seriously?  "Reputation"?  So we should sit back and let people infringe upon our copyrights with impunity because we might get a bad "reputation" as "a bunch of whiners"?  Oh, heaven forbid!   ::)

If anything creatives selling through the agencies are getting a reputation as a bunch of pushovers.  Standing up to protect our copyrights can only HELP our "reputation".

I think his point about the value is valid.  "Reputation" was a secondary comment.  Can you really afford to sue someone over a few dollars?  Not many of us can.
As for doing nothing ... maybe a class action suite.  I doubt, however, that any of us will follow through on that.

It should be the responsibility of the agencies to go after those people using un-licensed images.

I personally have very differing experiences.
I have reported several usages of images with agency watermarks on them to different agencies. With the usual micros (123RF, Dreamstime) the most I ever got was a response that they will look into it. In some cases the images disappeared from the respective websites later. In some cases not.

In contrast, I found one of my images on the web with the watermark of a German midstock agency. I contacted them, they forwarded that to a lawyer they work with, and several weeks later the wrote me that they received close to 300 Euros as payment from the lawyer (so his costs must have been deducted already) which they shared with me according to the usual split (50/50).
Their prices are around 30 Euro for a full-sized image, around 3 Euro for a web-sized image.

I only wish all agencies would act like that...
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cathyslife on February 06, 2013, 18:02
Most photographers here don't have big enough portfolios. Copyright "trolling" for lack of better word works with large numbers - they usually intimidate people to pay up and very rarely go to court. For enough people that would get intimidated and pay you have to have quite large number of people to go after. Apart from Getty which already is involved in this I know a number of other smaller agencies that also work with "copyright protection" companies. It doesn't matter if the image is exclusive or not - if the person actually purchased the image, they can provide a proof of purchase and that's would be the end of it. If the image is stolen, then the unpaid royalties are up for taking by whatever agency (or their copyright lawyers) found the infringement.  There is an opinion right now that you can brush off "copyright trolls" since they won't take you to court -  it's too expensive - but this is changing, small copyright claims will become cheaper and easier, at least in US: [url]http://www.copyrightalliance.org/2013/01/copyright_and_113th_congress#.UQjd9R2E2nO[/url] ([url]http://www.copyrightalliance.org/2013/01/copyright_and_113th_congress#.UQjd9R2E2nO[/url])


Speaking of trying to intimidate people...at work, we are getting ready to move into new quarters while our new building is being built. The guy in the next cube over was going through his filed paperwork, sorting what he wanted to take with him. He pulled out two letters from Getty Images. These were dated a couple of years ago, before I worked there. Apparently the artist had grabbed an image (probably from Google) and used it on our website. Getty wrote a legal-looking letter, saying the image must come down or that my company should send six hundred and some dollars for the use. (Really...for a web image?) A second letter came a couple of months later. The letters were just a bunch of hot air. Our company never paid and Getty never followed up. To be fair, the artist should NOT have used the image. He took it down when the letters were received, but that's as far as it went.

Coming from the other side of the coin, I am very sensitive to copyrights. I hope a small claims solution becomes available for contributors, but I hope that the process will net results and not just be a bunch of hot air that only wastes contributors time, the court's time, with no followup for payment.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: djpadavona on February 06, 2013, 20:22
We have experienced the same massive drop in traffic at Warmpicture.

The honest truth is, if this continues we will not be able to survive much longer. It is a travesty. We went cash flow positive just a few months ago, and now this. Over and over, it always seems to be Google which is responsible for throwing roadblocks in our way.

In the end, I guarantee that the antitrust suits which eventually slam Google will make Microsoft's look like a fun day at the beach. And when it happens, F them. They are the ultimate in predatory companies, and they now have the power to cause any business to flourish or wither and die just by how they rank them. No company should have this type of power, and this is coming from a free market advocate. Google's power is running unchecked, and it is causing a future destabilization to the world's economy imo.

I cannot stress how huge this is. The traffic drop is certainly being seen everywhere. We will all be affected, and no more so than contributors who have decided to sell on their own. Expect your agency subscription sales to continue...people already associated with long term plans don't search the internet for images. But expect your single image sales to take a huge hit. It is inevitable.

Use alternative search engines. The more you use Google, the more you encourage their behavior.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: ShadySue on February 06, 2013, 20:53
In contrast, I found one of my images on the web with the watermark of a German midstock agency. I contacted them, they forwarded that to a lawyer they work with, and several weeks later the wrote me that they received close to 300 Euros as payment from the lawyer (so his costs must have been deducted already) which they shared with me according to the usual split (50/50).
Their prices are around 30 Euro for a full-sized image, around 3 Euro for a web-sized image.
I only wish all agencies would act like that...
I do too. For some reason, Alamy won't, even for RM images. Their canned response is along the lines of "They didn't buy the image from us, so we won't pursue the misuse. However, go ahead with litigation if you want".
At least, unlike iStock, if we go ahead ourselves, we don't have to share any compensation with them.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cardmaverick on February 06, 2013, 20:55
Value should not play into the penalty. Shoplifting carries the same penalty whether it is a bottle of nail polish or a $200 pair of tennis shoes: prosecution. If prosecution was the penalty, as it is with shoplifting, it would curb image theft and solve the problem of the copyright holder paying legal fees associated with civil suits.

You might not want it to play into the penalty - but it does. What your awarded is decided largely by the judge. When the judge see's the real value of a sale is less than a buck... don't expect him to award the max amount, which I believe is $250K per infringement. This why people try to bully and intimidate people into settling out of court. No judge to worry about, much less how SILLY you will look suing over a 50 cent picture.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Mantis on February 06, 2013, 21:27
We should take advantage of the new format. If you look closely at shutterstocks images, they have a hidden bottom section containing their URL and the images file number.

Everyone automatically thinks the world is coming to end in the stock business whenever anything changes even slightly.... sheesh. Learn to think in new ways people.

Sure the agency's watermark and URLs are there, but Google is offering larger, unwatermarked images right next to the agency image.

As an example, I searched for a Sean Locke image. I clicked the "More Sizes" link and this is what I got (see link). Which one would a user click on? The larger, unwatermarked free image taken from a blog or the same iStock image that they have to buy? I don't think anyone should embrace this new format.

https://www.google.com/search?q=sean+locke&hl=en&tbo=d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=3uMQUbeIOMSarAGql4HYBA&sqi=2&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAA&biw=1353&bih=1199#q=sean%20locke&hl=en&sa=X&tbo=d&tbm=isch&tbs=simg%3ACAQSEgnAt61eXeliTyGEAY11oKv3Gg&ei=9OMQUZS8KcOs2QWw7oDQAQ&ved=0CAYQhxw&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.41867550,d.aWc&fp=b1bf9ac9bca5da94&biw=1353&bih=1199 (https://www.google.com/search?q=sean+locke&hl=en&tbo=d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=3uMQUbeIOMSarAGql4HYBA&sqi=2&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAA&biw=1353&bih=1199#q=sean%20locke&hl=en&sa=X&tbo=d&tbm=isch&tbs=simg%3ACAQSEgnAt61eXeliTyGEAY11oKv3Gg&ei=9OMQUZS8KcOs2QWw7oDQAQ&ved=0CAYQhxw&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.41867550,d.aWc&fp=b1bf9ac9bca5da94&biw=1353&bih=1199)

How/where are they getting an un-watermarked version?
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: cthoman on February 06, 2013, 21:36
We have experienced the same massive drop in traffic at Warmpicture.

The honest truth is, if this continues we will not be able to survive much longer. It is a travesty. We went cash flow positive just a few months ago, and now this. Over and over, it always seems to be Google which is responsible for throwing roadblocks in our way.

In the end, I guarantee that the antitrust suits which eventually slam Google will make Microsoft's look like a fun day at the beach. And when it happens, F them. They are the ultimate in predatory companies, and they now have the power to cause any business to flourish or wither and die just by how they rank them. No company should have this type of power, and this is coming from a free market advocate. Google's power is running unchecked, and it is causing a future destabilization to the world's economy imo.

I cannot stress how huge this is. The traffic drop is certainly being seen everywhere. We will all be affected, and no more so than contributors who have decided to sell on their own. Expect your agency subscription sales to continue...people already associated with long term plans don't search the internet for images. But expect your single image sales to take a huge hit. It is inevitable.

Use alternative search engines. The more you use Google, the more you encourage their behavior.

My traffic is down as well, and I definitely have concerns about how this will affect things. But, I'm going to reserve judgement until I see how sales go. So far, things seem fairly normal this month (as far as normal goes for my site). Sales are still happening though. New customers are still finding the site. Hopefully, this continues, and it doesn't end up affecting sales. I definitely don't want to go backwards either.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: djpadavona on February 06, 2013, 22:07
Good luck Cory. We are down 60 to 70 percent. It is absolutely shocking. You can look at our traffic chart and instantly identify Google removing image links.

Any image intensive website will be smashed by this Google policy. I am already bracing for what might become of the Disney World blog I run, which receives 15-20% of its traffic from my images.

I'm trying to wrap my head around how any of this is legal. Google is essentially saying, we are going to display the images from your website, but we are going to diminish the value of the link back to them. If TMZ or CNN started posting my images without giving me credit, I could sue them. But Google pretends to be a "search engine", so it is okay. But how are they a search engine if they aren't linking back to the source as a priority?

I think there are going to be legal battles fought over this. Wouldn't be shocked to see Google eventually cave and put things back as they were. But a lot of websites will be ruined in the interim.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: michaeldb on February 06, 2013, 23:14
...the antitrust suits which eventually slam Google will make Microsoft's look like a fun day at the beach.
Sorry. The FTC did launch an anti-trust investigation (similar to those it previously attacked Microsoft and IBM with in decades past) against Google in June, 2011.

About a month ago, on January 3, 2012, the FTC dropped the investigation, after supposedly Google agreed to make some minor changes in its search. The real story is that Google paid hundred of millions of dollars to Washington lobbyists to get the investigation dropped. It was a huge win for Google, which will now be immune to slap-downs by US Gov for a long time. This may be why Google has been emboldened to launch new attacks against copyright.

When copyright is weakened, Google profits, and Page, Schmidt, et al understand this very well. Google's business model is essentially that of a magazine. It provides access to the works of writers and artists and makes money by selling ads. Except that magazines pay the writers and artists. But Google keeps all the revenues.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: rubyroo on February 07, 2013, 04:05
I just found this site.  Not sure if anyone's already posted it, but it might be worth bookmarking this and keeping an eye on it:

http://protect-your-image.com/ (http://protect-your-image.com/)

From the site:

"At the moment there are also multiple webmasters and coders working on solutions how we can prevent google from showing images there in fullsize, if good solutions are found, they will be made public here."
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: Sean Locke Photography on February 07, 2013, 09:37
The gentleman from the federal agency gave me this back.  I'm not sure he completely gets it, as Google is not hosting the image, but maybe I'm misreading it.
"I do agree it is a gross infringement.   

However, Google (through their subsidiary YouTube) has done the same thing with the movie industry and as a result Viacom is currently suing YouTube (and Google) for copyright infringement under the DMCA (in the amount of $1 billion).   

And I do not agree that civil litigation is “waving your hands and telling them to stop” – however, even to make a criminal case, we are required to show that the Defendant (Google) was given some notice and opportunity to rectify the situation and remove the offending material.  If they are given notice about certain works, and then refuse- then we have a prosecutable case.  "
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: djpadavona on February 07, 2013, 10:44

Sorry. The FTC did launch an anti-trust investigation (similar to those it previously attacked Microsoft and IBM with in decades past) against Google in June, 2011.

About a month ago, on January 3, 2012, the FTC dropped the investigation, after supposedly Google agreed to make some minor changes in its search. The real story is that Google paid hundred of millions of dollars to Washington lobbyists to get the investigation dropped. It was a huge win for Google, which will now be immune to slap-downs by US Gov for a long time. This may be why Google has been emboldened to launch new attacks against copyright.

As I recall, the first suits versus Microsoft were unsuccessful. But later efforts, particularly once the EU got involved, slammed them hard. And well deserved. In retrospect I don't find anything Microsoft was doing to be as egregious as Google's recent efforts.

While I agree that a certain amount of insane lobbyist money seems to make you immune to any regulation in this country, there will be trouble abroad too. And once the pressure mounts abroad, the US will prosecute to save face.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: brmonico on February 07, 2013, 11:06
On your second point, subscriptions are low enough and royalties are low enough.  How much less would you be happy receiving for smaller images, maybe 3 cents an image for blog sized sales?

I agree that prices and royalties are too low. I would put prices up and call them the same or less.

I would be subtle about adjusting prices. The subscription prices would not essentially change. A regular subscription would be branded as a web use subscription. Same prices but access only to web sized versions. Perhaps even a slight reduction or maybe a few more images for the same price to sweeten it.

The prices for access to all sizes would also stay the same for the beginning - but the amount of content offered would be reduced. Call it premium. Many do not use their quota anyhow.

This is easy to do ... but the top 9 agencies most all agree will these ! The last point is almost impossible to happen. I deleted my port from DP for this motive. They are selling sub for €0,15... I refuse some commissions payments. When i get $0,08 from IS commission i wrote on their forum that i deleted all my 30 files (LOL) if they pay me that value again. In my point of view is not my 30 files that are important , is my work and my conscience . They can do all promotions they want, but must exist a "stop" mark in commissions value !

 Today i visit a middle tier agency site...the most expensive file i saw costs $6...i think F***** The files i saw don´t have that WOW factor or anything that surprise me, probably i refuse to my site 70% the files i saw , but $6... man, i sell 20x15 prints for 4€ in weddings... Even the prices i set on my site are low in my opinion.....but i can´t mark more to get chances !

I think we reach the "Stop" point and now we need some braves top agencies to make prices useful for everyone (nothing against clients) there are agencies paying acceptable commissions out there , DT for me is one of the best . 0,20€ and 60% commission for exclusive members is perfectly fair .

I believe if top agencies provide watermarks for free , or a free 600px file with a watermark in corner and non intrusive like (legally acquire from thisagency.com) everytime a buyer download a large file or xlarge f, this problem will disappear with time. Buyers , without work, have the file legal watermark for their sites and keep the original.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: michaeldb on February 07, 2013, 13:04
Someone's started a petition here:
https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/google-stop-hotlinking-copyrighted-images-of-web- (https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/google-stop-hotlinking-copyrighted-images-of-web-)
publishers
I thought this was interesting, from an email sent today by the guy who started the petition:
"...Most of you would have already noticed that Google representative Jessica Schwartz hasn't replied to any of our concerns of Google Forum. (https://twitter.com/JessJoSchwartz, (https://twitter.com/JessJoSchwartz,) https://plus.google.com/112826759772478123425/posts (https://plus.google.com/112826759772478123425/posts)). Its is strange that a company which depends on publishers and search engine users is so arrogant towards publishers and users. They have turned deaf ears, but we won't leave it like that. We will be heard!!

"It is a request to everyone to share the petition on Facebook, Twitter and online forums. Once we cross 1000 signatures, i plan to get in touch with media people to get this issue covered. If any of you is having friends in media, please do share it with them. Every bit will help in this mission.

"The recent changes done by Google Images will be considered copyright violation in my country (India), in most of Europe, in United States and in Australia as well. Google has played smart by not making these changes in France and Germany as they know that they will be in legal mess. "
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: jamirae on February 07, 2013, 15:13
in that Google thread about the new imagery someone mentioned that Microsoft Bing has the same image search feature.  Is this true?  Or is the Bing image search set up so that images (and traffic) are not able to be stolen?
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: djpadavona on February 07, 2013, 16:07
The problem is that the majority of users are thrilled with this move. It is easier to search for images, snag them, and leave. Lots of "Great update Google!" posts in that blog. The minority of users who run websites are furious, and a subset (photographers in particular) are seeing their rights trampled. But that subset is so small compared to the voracious GiveItToMeFree crowd. We can't win this argument. Google pleased far more users than they upset.

I would be interested in blocking Google, especially if other agencies are interested in blocking them too, but they still send us traffic for what it is worth. Do I block them and end all ties? What a horrible position to be in.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: djpadavona on February 07, 2013, 16:18
There are two posts from "Gotin" which sum it up perfectly:

Great job Google! Now you are stealing from us! Great job!

On the first hand you are using our hosting traffic to show the image, and on the other, our website become useless that way, because nobody will ever visit the original page of the image.


and

And something else. IS Google a search engine, helping people to find helpful websites or a gallery, which generates content, using images from other websites?

This last point is most important to me. Google Images is supposed to be a search engine, not an all-you-can-eat buffet. If they are not directing users back to the source web page of the image, what exactly are they doing? At this point, I think it could be argued that they are simply scraping content, which would make them the biggest black hat internet presence since the original Napster.

At what point do they start scraping text too? So if you search for "microstock tips," they will scrape relevant text from websites but never direct the user to the content provider. Seems unrealistic? Isn't that exactly what they are doing with images as of today?

This will end very badly for Google, but that could be years into the future. In the meantime, photographers will not be able to survive this without severe losses from licensing.


Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: KB on February 07, 2013, 16:54
in that Google thread about the new imagery someone mentioned that Microsoft Bing has the same image search feature.  Is this true?  Or is the Bing image search set up so that images (and traffic) are not able to be stolen?
Bing image search is exactly the same. You can search for large photos, click on one, and then save it full-size to your computer.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: brmonico on February 07, 2013, 19:18
I already give my 0,02€ :
http://www.newlightagency.com/content.php?id=78 (http://www.newlightagency.com/content.php?id=78)
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: basti on February 09, 2013, 08:11
Brute force solution is to modify .htaccess file of your web:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?yourdomain.tld [NC]
RewriteRule \.(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ http://yourdomain.tld/sample-image.jpg (http://yourdomain.tld/sample-image.jpg) [NC,R,L]

This will stop hotlinking images as Google will show sample-image.jpg instead of hotlinked one. It is really "brute" server solution but I dont know any better now. You can put eg. your contact or invitation to your website into sample-image.jpg - or some form of protest again hotlinks. Its up to you. However keep in mind that this will make problems to search engines to index your image content. 
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: ShadySue on February 09, 2013, 08:24
Surely the problem isn't off our own websites where the images would normally be watermarked, but people who have licensed them having the images on their sites, easily harvested by Google.
I can't imagine the agencies making a rule that anyone licensing an image must prevent Google from indexing them, and the horse has already bolted anyway.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: elvinstar on February 09, 2013, 09:30
In addition, many hosting solutions allow you to disallow hotlinking right in your control panel for those that aren't comfortable working with .htaccess files.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: brmonico on February 09, 2013, 18:14
In addition, many hosting solutions allow you to disallow hotlinking right in your control panel for those that aren't comfortable working with .htaccess files.

I have the right click disable but this is not the problem. The problem is not in Watermarked/small files . Is in big files , legally bought used without conscience .

  Disable and change the .htaccess in out of question. Which agency will take an action to get their images and tag´s out of search engines? This is insane!

  If agencies provide a way to buyers get the files with proper size and mark for web at the same time they can have the HD file. Do incentives to get people attention to these problem will be the right thing to do or at least what agencies can do in a easy way.

Search engines function is looking for something people need. If exists big files on web they index them. But search engines are our best friends to, if they don´t exist how people find us. People can find us looking for images to.

  Socials networks are very problematic to. Do you imagine how many images exist in Facebook of families, babies, child´s, events.....all in maximum resolution FB allow´s . All free images for pirates.

I am thinking if someone just try to do a research of stock market sales before and after Facebook  ??? ???

Off course , now, all of us must live with it and share the good things it have! Facebook have good things to.

What Facebook don´t have and Google don´t have is a way of people add auto watermarks to their files. Google have so many things and utilities, why they don´t provide an online skill to resize and mark files ?

Facebook have so many app and developments , why someone don´t invent an Facebook app to mark and resize images with customize watermarks ?
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: djpadavona on February 09, 2013, 18:18
In addition, many hosting solutions allow you to disallow hotlinking right in your control panel for those that aren't comfortable working with .htaccess files.

  Disable and change the .htaccess in out of question. Which agency will take an action to get their images and tag´s out of search engines? This is insane!

Why do we need our images in search engines if they don't link back to the web site? I think a lot of savvy websites will soon block the Google Images bot, which is easy to do in robots.txt.

If someone finds one of the images from my website in Google Images, their only course of action is to ignore it, or download it without my authorization. If people looking at my images aren't heading to the purchase page, what's the point of having images indexed by Google at all?

BTW, if someone chooses to DL the image illegally, they use your bandwidth too.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: brmonico on February 09, 2013, 18:33
In addition, many hosting solutions allow you to disallow hotlinking right in your control panel for those that aren't comfortable working with .htaccess files.

  Disable and change the .htaccess in out of question. Which agency will take an action to get their images and tag´s out of search engines? This is insane!

Why do we need our images in search engines if they don't link back to the web site? I think a lot of savvy websites will soon block the Google Images bot, which is easy to do in robots.txt.

If someone finds one of the images from my website in Google Images, their only course of action is to ignore it, or download it without my authorization. They can't click on it and be taken to the purchase page, so what's the point of having images indexed by Google at all?

BTW, if someone chooses to DL the image illegally, they use your bandwidth too.

Sorry but the new search engine provide a relink to page and site for people buying the image. You have 3 options :
- image details
- Visit page - send you to the site were image is. In case of an agency, send to page were it is on sale.
- See image in original size (indexed size) - in case of agencies will present watermark.
- Even provide the copyright message at the end of page

- So i don´t see Google like an enemy here....I see many people are uploading files to web without conscience. All images that appear in google from my site have watermark, the same size as showed page, relink to agency and page for people buy..... Not much different of Pinterest .....
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: djpadavona on February 09, 2013, 18:41
You aren't selling from your own site, so you aren't privy to the statistics. The link almost everyone clicks on is "View Original Image." This takes you to the image itself (watermarked in our case), not the web page where potential sales occur.

Nobody clicks on the tiny "Visit Page" button. Our statistics prove it, and so do Dreamstime's, and those of GLStockImages.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: brmonico on February 10, 2013, 03:39
You aren't selling from your own site, so you aren't privy to the statistics. The link almost everyone clicks on is "View Original Image." This takes you to the image itself (watermarked in our case), not the web page where potential sales occur.

Nobody clicks on the tiny "Visit Page" button. Our statistics prove it, and so do Dreamstime's, and those of GLStockImages.

OK, i´m not defending Google . I am in the same boat you guys are. And for someone who is starting is even worse get images stollen and gain people trust.

  What i want say is if people are getting less sales on a significant mark compared to last year in same month . I had one family dinner few time ago and we talk about that. One of my cousin´s have a blog about pets and animal medicine ... she never bought one image and have many stollen images there and watermark deleted. This really mades me upset , we almost have a family fight at table.
   She looking for images in Bing , not Google. And whem she goes to an agency is to get free images from free section or free images with easy watermark removal.
   She is one of many´s who bring traffic to agencies but never will buy anything. I told her that maybe one day she loose that blog. The worst part is that she do money with it , and good money.

  I tell this because is important to notice what less traffic means . You are right when you say´s that i don´t have stats, but in your stats you are notice a significant sales drop or simple traffic drop? I believe many traffic come from curious and pirates who looking for free images in agencies and not from serious buyers.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: sharpshot on February 10, 2013, 04:00
....I believe many traffic come from curious and pirates who looking for free images in agencies and not from serious buyers.
I hope that's true but what about all the uneducated people that don't even know that they need a license?  They might decide to join a site if they see one but if they never get there, they might end up using images illegally.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: djpadavona on February 10, 2013, 09:12
You are right when you say´s that i don´t have stats, but in your stats you are notice a significant sales drop or simple traffic drop?

Both. I have 2 years worth of Google Analytics data. We have a predictable percentage of purchase conversions from Google Images visits. Post changes, our referral rate is almost zero while our images continued to be "viewed" (or worse) within Google Images.
Title: Re: Google Images' new layout - how this impacts photographers and webmasters
Post by: alberto on February 11, 2013, 09:28
I don't enough data but I think that what said djpadavona is right. If an effective link to the source is not provided by bigG the best choice is block the google bot.
Just change strategy; best SEO for the website so who want some pictures can go to the website and buy it.
If Google truly wants to protect the copyright, can put over the images a beautiful watermak with the words: you may not use this image if you want to use it click the button: go to the page.
The link to the original image without copyright is simply, a lack of protection. It's like leaving the house, leaving the door open and then wonder if something is missing when you return. And honestly that Google kows.