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Google images licensable tag

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Jo Ann Snover:
I couldn't believe this article - another contributor posted a link to the Stock Coalition group


Shutterstock and Google teamed up on this??

And Brennan's concern is deeply touching (NOT)

So my primary worry was that Google would just abandon this in a year or so. Now, my concern is that Shutterstock's going to try and co-opt this for their benefit to further shut out alternatives to their site when people want to license work - i.e. they don't want buyers locating the authors of work.


This article mentions both Getty and Shutterstock working with Google on the licensable tag


iStock's images have the copyright URL filled out with their own location (I just downloaded current free images to take a look rather than relying on older ones). They put the image number in the title, the account name as the author, a description and keywords are blank.


Shutterstock's images have no metadata at all.

From the article:

"Even when images appear outside of a licensorsí paywall, like in an article or portfolio, the images can still be purchased through an additional link. If these users donít remove the metadata, the licensing and creator information would also surface in the imageís new home."

Users can't remove what isn't there. The big problem for us - contributors - is the modification and/or removal of metadata from our images by agencies.

Some more discussion here:


Adobe is working to code the files. Soon, each author will register their files, either with the Adobe system, or a new one from block chain. This foolish SS theme is food for today and hunger for tomorrow. As for Google, if SS thinks, Google is dumb, it surpasses nonsense from dummies to superior dummies. SS (Stupid Special).

Jo Ann Snover:
I spent some time looking at image searches to see where the new "licensable" badges appear.

Some images from some agencies are already showing badges.

Three agencies, Dreamstime, Getty & iStock, show the name of the copyright owner in the details (when you click on the licensable icon).

Alamy, Shutterstock, & several others don't show author details.

123rf and DepositPhotos show a "product" tag not a "licensable" one, but do show contributor information.

Adobe Stock doesn't show anything.

Interestingly, if there is metadata in an image - used in a blog or from a contributor's own site - Google displays that if you click on the image. There's no tag as there is with product or licensable.

This is much more interesting than the agency's image showing licensable tags as it means that anyone happening upon the image in a search can find who owns it (and one more search on your name can easily find you, especially if you have your own site).

Some of the agencies strip some of the metadata - in particular the copyright info URL which in my case points to my own site. Adobe Stock leaves that in, but changes the copyright notice.

In one example I found, it changed from "© 2014 Jo Ann Snover" to "©Jo Ann Snover - stock.adobe.com". They also changed the modification date to reflect when they made those edits (when I uploaded).

So from the agency perspective, making the metadata lead back to them, or nowhere, is preferable. From a contributor perspective, I want the metadata left in there, unmodified, so that the uses of my images on any site, blog, publication, etc., will all lead back to me, not any agency.

As Jo Ann said, at this moment, only Depositphotos and Dreamstime have the licensable tag, and 123rf and Canstock show the Product tag.
This means that Adobe and Shutterstock are running far behind those 4.
Shutterstock now tries to solve this problem quickly by teaming up with Google, but this ONLY has effect on THEIR FUTURE searches.  Every image sold before today, sold by Shutterstock, showing up in a search on a buyer's website, will NOT have a tag.  And when you do a search in future, images on SS + those 4 agencies will show up, not just SS, plus all tag-less images of past sales.  At least that's how I understand it, correct me if I'm wrong.

Now what I don't understand is why a search on my (bestseller) images ONLY shows stock agency results, and no "images in use".  Why is that?   Are the agencies stripping them of metadata on download? 


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