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Labeled and filtered out

Today, or yesterday, Google made a little change to its image search engine that could have great consequences. Apparently responding to a blog post by Lessing – the leading advocate for a copyright free world- who was complaining that Bing Images search offered better functionality, Google decided to move the license search filter to the front end of a search.

If you don’t know, here is how it works. You perform a search on Google Image. On the top bar, under “more tools’ you now have a drop down menu letting you filter what you want to see.

The options are :

What this drop menu allows you to do, in other word, is to only see photographs that are, according to Google, free to use ( with variations).

This is a big deal for the pro photo licensing world for many reasons. Here is why.


What are the possible long term effect of such filters ? If users can set their default search results already filtered then pretty soon, none of the professional images will ever appear on a Google Image search result. Thus no one, besides pictures professionals, will ever know that those images exist, let along are available for purchasing. The impact could be dramatic for some. The proponents of a copyright free world have scored a big gain with this.

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