Today, Getty Images and Google announced the forming of a multiyear global licensing partnership , nearly two years after Getty filed a competition law complaint against Google with the European Commission. As part of the partnership, Google will be modifying its image search to improve attribution of contributors’ work. The changes will also include making copyright disclaimers more prominent and removing view image links to the image URL.
The April 2016 complaint, which Getty has since formally withdrawn, accused Google of creating galleries of “high-resolution, copyrighted content,” and of “promoting piracy resulting in widespread copyright infringement.” Getty also accused Google of distorting search results in favor of its own services. Today’s partnership deal means Google will be able to use Getty Images’ content in its products and services, principally the image search portion of Google search with which Getty took issue.
“We will license our market leading content to Google, working closely with them to improve attribution of our contributors’ work and thereby growing the ecosystem,” said Dawn Airey, CEO of Getty Images in a statement. The partnership is the result of conversations between Google, photographers, and publishers about how the search engine could better provide attribution in image search.
Last June, Google was hit with a record-breaking €2.42 billion fine by the European Union for manipulating search results to favor its own shopping services over those offered by competitors. The company is now facing increased scrutiny from European regulators over its search engine, which has led Google to make structural changes to some of its services overseas.