Getty Images Filed Complaints Against Google for Photography Piracy
Apr 28, 2016 04:15 AM EDT
Getty Images filed formal complaints to European Commission against Google on Wednesday. Getty said Google tried to undermine photojournalism business without generating content, thus promoting piracy.
According to Financial Times, Getty accused Google Images of harvesting its photographs in a way that siphoned traffic away from Getty's paid-for website. On Wednesday, Getty said that it would file a formal complaint to European Commission in Brussels against the search engine's practice.
The practice, known as scraping, is done by using content created by other service providers to develop its own service. This is the third area of concern which has already been addressed by European Commission in its Google antitrust investigation.
The first area of concern is on Google's vertical search engine which focuses on specific topics such as restaurants, news or products, alongside its general search service. While the second one is Google's method of copying content from its competing vertical search services and using it in its own product offerings. European antitrust regulator worries that the practice could reduce competitors' incentives to invest in the creation of original content.
In regard to scraping, general counsel for Getty, Yoko Miyashita, said, as quoted by The Register, that since 2013 Google changed its image search engine to display high resolution content. The changes have dried up traffic to Getty's sites and promoted piracy by making it possible to download images with a simple right-click/Save As.
"Because image consumption is immediate, unlike other mediums searchable through Google, such as news or music, once an image is displayed in high-resolution, large format, there is little impetus to view the image on the original source site," Miyashita said "By creating its own captive, image-rich environment and cutting off user traffic to competing websites – and reserving that traffic exclusively for its own benefit – Google is able to maintain and reinforce its dominance in search."
Furthermore, in an interview with TIME, Miss Miyashita wanted Google to return its search function as search. Yoko Miyashita is a senior vice president of Getty Images, who is responsible for overseeing the company's global legal team and Getty's intellectual property policies and practices.
"We want [Google] to go back to search functioning as search, and not search functioning as a substitute of publishers," she told TIME.
Getty chose to file complaints after unsucessful discussions for three years with the search engine giant. Miss Miyashita also invited photographers to join Getty and writing to their respective regulators.
On Wedneday, Getty Images filed formal complaints to European Commission against Google's practice of scraping. This complaints added another area of concern which have been addressed by European antitrust regulator conducted by Google.