in an attempt to prevent copyright infringement google has removed the ‘view image’ and ‘search by image’ buttons from its image search results page. announced thursday on the search engine giant’s twitter the changes will make it trickier to save copyrighted images directly.


the ‘view image’ button has long been a concern of photographers, publishers and stock image sites as it allows people to access a high res version of the image straight from google‘s search results page. without visiting the source site itself, users will now have to take extra steps to save an image.



the change comes amid google’s new multi-year global licensing partnership with getty images, a deal to show copyright information and improve attribution of getty photos. the partnership enables google to use getty’s content within its various products and services after getty filed a complaint in 2016 accusing the company of anti-competitive practices.


because [google images] image consumption is immediate, once an image is displayed in high-resolution, large format, there is little impetus to view the image on the original source site,’ getty’s press statement read. the ‘copyright’ disclaimer now appears more visible within search results and the ‘search by image’ button, which presumably was an easy way for people to find un-watermarked versions of images, has also been removed.