Getty Images has accused Google of promoting piracy of its images. It says that because Google displays full screen and copyright images in its search results, searchers have no need to go to the original source site, where images are available for purchase.
Google Images redesigned its search results page in 2013 – before then only thumbnail results were displayed. Getty says that the change has resulted in a significant decrease in traffic.
Getty has been attempting to negotiate with Google for two years, but Google stated that Getty’s only option was to accept the new situation or withdraw from Google Images completely.
A spokesman for Getty said:
"Getty Images represents over 200,000 photojournalists, content creators and artists around the world who rely on us to protect their ability to be compensated for their work. Google's behavior is adversely affecting not only our contributors, but the lives and livelihoods of artists around the word, present and future."