While the debatable presence of images on the Internet goes back to more than ten years ago, since 2013, CEPIC, the center of the picture industry, has been pushing directly at the European Union level the idea that the Internet can’t be a jungle where images are treated like a free commodity. It is exciting to see how Google has been progressing on improving the importance of pictures on the Internet.
Since June 2018, CEPIC and all it´s Associations members have been actively collaborating closely with Google, and later with the IPTC organization, and very recently with the DMLA, the equivalent of the CEPIC organization in the US, finding ways to raise people’s awareness of the licensing requirements for images found via Google Image Search. We must applaud Google Images for the sincere interest and forward-thinking approach to responding to our effort to raise the intrinsic value of images within the Internet network.
We are happy to share now that Google Images is releasing a metadata framework through Schema.org for licensable images. Google will also be supporting the IPTC metadata standard. Content creators and distributors will be able to include the licensing information for pictures on their site, and it will be reflected on Google Images.
The CEPIC organization appreciates very much the effort Google Images has shown with our organization and all its members, together with IPTC and DMLA to resolve this crucial issue for our industry, informing consumers about the importance and value of creative photography. We look forward to future collaboration with Google to maintain the value of creativity, reducing the confusion that says that everything found on the Internet is for free while encouraging the authors’ efforts to produce the best possible images.
Google images, CEPIC, IPTC, DMLA, are excited to share that you can now start implementing new metadata filters through either Schema.org or IPTC metadata properties showing that your images must be licensed before used. To get started and to troubleshoot issues, you need to visit the Google developer help page.
How will this metadata be used on Google Images?
In the coming months, Google Images will explore using this metadata in two ways.
First, they will show users a “Licensable” badge on image thumbnails on the search results page when images have been marked with a specific license mark-up on Schema-org or IPTC.
Second, Google will test two new, clickable options in the Images “Viewer” (i.e., the larger image that opens after you click on a search results thumbnail) in addition to the image landing page when the following metadata are present:
- The web page containing the License URL that was added in that field
- The web page containing the acquireLicensePage URL that was added in that field
See more details in the design mock below, which represents Google mobile product, but this will also be available on desktop computers.
CEPIC and its Associations members, IPTC, and DMLA believe that this is a significant step towards helping people better understand the nature of the content they’re looking at Google Images. The “Licensable” badge is intended to inform people which images on the search results page have a known license associated with them and to make it easier to find out how the consumer can adequately use the images.
What are the benefits?
As Google iterates on the feature, we expect that they introduce functionalities that will let people filter pictures tagged with this new license metadata. Further, the mark-up could also be applied by your customers who have purchased your images to direct users back to your website in a way that wasn’t possible before.
How do I participate?
To learn more about this format, how you can implement it, and to troubleshoot issues, visit the Google developer help page. Please use the feedback tools available on the developer page for Licensable images, the Google Webmaster Forum, and stay tuned for upcoming virtual office hours where Google will review common questions.