Replied to Ian Guest on Twitter (Twitter)
“Did you realise you might have lost your Google 'View image' button? I didn't. "Anger at Google image search 'peace deal'" via @Downes There's a lot to think about in here.”

This is fascinating to me for a couple of reasons: When I tested it I’d forgotten I’d been using on all my devices for 4 months, so I could see a view file link. Obviously I’ve not missed google searches.

Is it such a bad thing that you have to visit a site to download images. That gives you thinking time and might help you check copyright.

8 thoughts on “google images lose the direct link

  1. Hi John

    Tweeted about this earlier, The point is Google have been pressured into this by Getty. It is worrying that a commercial entities can hold so much sway over Internet services. Interestingly Instagram have Instagram blocked posts in Russia relating to corruption claims made by the country’s most prominent opposition leader (source BBC).

    As one of the tools in Google Image Search is the facility to search for Open, PD and CC licenced images – extra clicks to retrieve an image is not good. It is users responsibility to check copyright and I would argue Google Images is not the best place to learn about copyright.

    Personally I have not used Google Images for many years, Flickr, Unsplash plus various archives museums and repositories that offer open content are my sources…. and of course Duck!

  2. Hi Theo,
    I certainly wouldn’t argue about the main point. Was thinking about what struck *me*.
    As another aside, I am finding, ‘more clicks’ with some tech is useful at the moment as I am trying to be a *little* more thoughtful.
    Like you I don’t use google to find images much but I am trying to wean pupils off its use or at least be more aware of the consequences.

  3. I’m pretty sure I agree you both here, John/Theo.

    I suspect those who are already mindful of their activity regarding images will be affected little by this. Those who are less mindful because they are rushed, thoughtless, blissfully unaware or ill-informed, will also carry on regardless. Sadly, they’ll continue to simply click on the thumbnail Google image search offers, then right-click Save picture as, or whatever their browser offers. No change?

    I’m not sure whether this is related, but i a Google doc or slide, when you Insert – Image – Search the Web, the default you’re *now* given is to “Only select images that you have confirmed that you have the license to use.” I’m pretty sure that it *used to* only offer images which were tagged as usable by others. This is a big deal for GAfE schools I think and a retrograde step I think. Whether it’s related to the former issue …?

    I’m not sure where I stand on the politics that Theo mentions. Getty (one commercial enterprise) petitioning for Google (another enterprise) to change its architecture on the grounds cited, *feels* more of a commercial matter than an affront to the open principles of the Web. It seems more like Google’s service that took the hit, rather than Internet services? Is that fair?

    I suspect this will rumble on in one form or another.

  4. Whilst in the greater scheme of things, the Google View button itself is not a major concern, I think the discussion is opening up some interesting areas…

    Ian makes a good point about this case being a commercial issue, which can be summarised as; – ‘Getty threatens to sue. Google removes View Image’ button and ‘enters into partnership’ (pays) Getty. Action dropped’

    However there is a great deal of commercial pressure on the Internet, (esp to US Gov) by the anti net neutrality lobby, and also a demand for restrictive copyright laws from some parts of the EU), both have been increasing for quite a few years now. At this point it all becomes very political – and increasingly dangerous for an open Internet. Commercial and political are becoming increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to disentangle.

    Whilst there are “those who are less mindful because they are rushed, thoughtless, blissfully unaware or ill-informed,” they pose no real threat to the Internet or Web or even commercial interests. They operate at a low level and their activities, often on Facebook and other social media have no significant impact. But their naivety can put them at a personal disadvantage. The rise of copyright trolls; and aggressive image security measures, for example, Instagram testing a feature that will notify users when anyone screenshots their pictures.

    There are implications for institutions and organisations, including schools, who – because they (may appear to), have money – are a good target for companies such as Getty, (who have threatened schools on a number of occasions). Unfortunately many important elements of digital literacy will get lost amidst the avalanche of ‘computing’ and ‘coding’ initiatives aimed at teachers and students, therefore the status quo of lack of understanding on finding and using and sharing images is likely to continue.

    • Hi Theo,
      Thanks for the extra thoughts. Everything seems to get more complex the more you look at it.

      The issue with copyright trolls is worrying. My previous school got frightening letters from Getty images. The pupils had taken photos of postcards they had been sent from around the world. The images on the postcards belonged to Getty. Much worry ensured at the school. A valuable blog was taken down.

      The ‘coding for everyone’ programme is pretty fascinating, I too am worried about the way we dive into every new digital theme before we have got previous ones embedded properly.

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