Industry News

Google Images’ “Licensable” Badge Lets Photographers Sell Their Work

August 18, 2020

By Jacqueline Tobin

Courtesy of Google Images

Google Images is currently testing a “licensable” badge as a way for photographers to sell their photos through search results (and hopefully decrease the chances of copyright infringement and photo theft).

The addition of a label that designates the image as “licensable”—which Google Images started beta-testing in February—provides information on the photographer who took the image as well as how someone can license said image.

[Read: Instagram’s Bombshell on Copyright for Embedded Images]

When stock agency Getty Images lodged “anti-competitive” complaints against Google Images back in February 2018, Petapixel reports, “Google began working with Getty to make changes to Google Images to help protect photographers’ copyright. Days later, it removed the “View Image” button that allowed anyone to download full-res versions of photos while bypassing the host webpage. In September 2018, Google added image rights metadata to photo search results to make it clear who the owner of a photo is.”

Google Images' Licensable Badge helps photographers sell their images with photo licensing data,
When a thumbnail image displays in a Google Images’ search result, the badge lets viewers know that licensing information is available for the image. Photo Courtesy of Google Images

According to the Google Images’ developers site, “When you specify license information for the images on your website, the image can display with a Licensable badge on image thumbnails in Google Images. This tells people that license information is available for the image, and provides a link to the license in the Image Viewer, which offers more detail on how someone can use the image.”

This new feature is not yet available in Google Images, but photographers that host their own photo website can still go in and provide the proper licensing information for their photos now. Photo-hosting companies like PhotoShelter are already including such data with photos on their site.

To provide image credit and copyright notice information on your images in Google Images, go to Image Rights Metadata in Google Images.