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Google Redesigns Image Search, Raises Copyright and Hosting Concerns

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the no-such-thing-as-the-common-good dept.

Google 203

An anonymous reader writes "Google has recently announced changes to its image search. The search provides larger views of the images with direct links to the full-sized source image. Although this new layout is being praised by users for its intuitiveness, it has raised concerns amongst image copyright holders and webmasters. Large images can now easily be seen and downloaded directly from the Google image search results without sending visitors to the hosting website. Webmasters have expressed concerns about a decrease in traffic and an increase in bandwidth usage since this change was rolled out. Some have set up a petition requesting Google remove the direct links to the images."

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does not compute (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803007)

"decrease in traffic and increase in bandwidth". Does not compute. If there's a decrease in traffic because people are just being served the image without all the html/js fluff around it, how can there be an "increase in bandwidth"?

Re:does not compute (4, Informative)

Georules (655379) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803047)

More people being linked directly to the high resolution image, but less people actually visiting the website. This isn't really that confusing.

Re:does not compute (3, Informative)

miserere nobis (1332335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803221)

It isn't as obvious as you make it sound. Scenario 1: Google links to your page. People who want your image click through, your server throws them the whole page plus the high resolution image. Scenario 2: Google links only to your image. People who want your image download just that, your server sends them just that. All else being the same, scenario 2 is less bandwidth, not more, because you'd be serving the same image either way, but in one case with and in the other case without all the other stuff on the page as well. It's entirely possible for it to add up to more, but this depends on how the new search affects people's usage of the results- it requires that more people actually click to view the full-resolution image as a result of the changes. That's a likely, but not necessary outcome.

Re:does not compute (1)

Georules (655379) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803397)

Ah, point taken.

Copyrighted contents ... (0)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803737)

I do not understand.

If something is copyrighted why put it online, and when someone downloaded that thing (be it an article or a photo or a song or an animated clip or anything) then those "copyright holders" start complaining ...

I just do not understand them.

I mean, if that something is dear to you, do you put that something in places where everybody has an access to it ??

Re:Copyrighted contents ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803877)

Retard.. things are copywritten automatically when they are published. What you just suggested is - never publish anything online.

Your post is covered by copyright
Linux - copyright
slashdot's html - copyright

Do you know what copyright is?

Why is slashdot filled with retards these days.

Re:Copyrighted contents ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804009)

why is it filled with assholes?

Re:Copyrighted contents ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804091)

because fuck ignorant fucks

Re:Copyrighted contents ... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804053)

wow. "Retard.. things are copywritten.." ..."Do you know what a copyright is"
When I try to type copywritten, it get a red underline. My PC doesn't know what copywrite is.

Re:does not compute (4, Informative)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803745)

What's going on is fairly obvious if you read the article linked in the sentence "Webmasters have expressed concerns about a decrease in traffic and an increase in bandwidth usage since this change was rolled out."

The article says nothing about an increase in bandwidth usage. The anonymous reader who submitted the article obviously just made that part up, as anonymous people on /. do, without regard for whether it made sense or accurately reflected the link being given.

Re:does not compute (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803871)

scenario 2 is less bandwidth, not more, because you'd be serving the same image either way

Not necessarily.

Most web designers use a thumbnail or a medium resolution photo on the web page. They do this so that the web paints fast.
But they also know that most people do not click for the high-res image. This saves them bandwidth, often enough to
serve the entire page in less total transmitted data than if they always sent the big images.

So you may well not be serving the same image either way, especially if you have a clue about web design.

But with google finding and showing the large ones, it could become more expensive.

Re:does not compute (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803403)

Although it took me a while to get used to, I sort of miss the old way. For a lot of image searches, I'd get the image and see the thumbnail of the website behind it. Often the website looked interesting enough (and related to my search) that I then went to the website directly. I discovered quite a few nice sites and blogs that way...

Now, I just get the picture with no real reference to where it came from. Sure, there's a link to the page but it's text and gives no indication what the site is about. There's far less incentive for me to actually visit the hosting site.

So I miss out on potentially interesting sites and the hosts miss out on useful traffic. Lose/Lose either way.

Re:does not compute (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804479)

I guess anyone complaining about it hasn't seen Bing's image search. Microsoft has had better image search functionality for some time and does everything that Google's "new" image search does.

Re:does not compute (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803065)

If you even read the summary, let alone TFA you'll see:

"The search provides larger views of the images with direct links to the full-sized source image."

Re:does not compute (5, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803139)

If you even read the summary, let alone TFA you'll see:

"The search provides larger views of the images with direct links to the full-sized source image."

Yes, I did read TFA. And nowhere does it explain how you can have decreased traffic but increased bandwidth usage. Because it's not possible. Decreased traffic = decreased bandwidth usage.

Here's the real problem (quote from TFA):

When people get the full resolution image, they have no reason to click to go to the URL.

Dear "Webmaster", nobody cares about your shitty website packed full of annoying ads. Get over it already.

Re:does not compute (-1, Flamebait)

ScentCone (795499) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803377)

Dear "Webmaster", nobody cares about your shitty website packed full of annoying ads. Get over it already.

Spoken like a typical leech. No surprise, but always amazing.

And nowhere does it explain how you can have decreased traffic but increased bandwidth usage. Because it's not possible.

Oh, I get it now, You're a moron. You don't understand the difference between thumbnail images and higher-resolution files. Does it physically hurt to sound like such a jackass while also being so uninformed?

Re:does not compute (5, Insightful)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803385)

You used to get traffic actually visiting your site. That meant full page loads, but a lot of that is text which is low bandwidth. You now have less traffic (unique IPs hitting your site), but they're JUST downloading hi-res images which leads to a net increase in bandwidth.

Also, ads don't have to be shitty and annoying. Slashdot uses ads, and even though I can I don't turn them off because they're relatively passive. Hosting and bandwidth cost money, and a lot of sites rely on small ad revenue to help offset those costs.

Re:does not compute (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803657)

Google always offered links directly to the original image, though it did load the actual site in the background. And you've always been able to prevent the direct image links by referer control.

Re:does not compute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803875)

Ahem? They used to be downloading text+hires image, and now they're downloading just an image, and you say there's increase in bandwidth? How?

Re:does not compute (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803961)

I do not know, so I can only come up with two possibilities.

1. Google doesn't cache the images for each search, so loads images from the servers each time, so increased bandwidth, instead of a smaller cached thumbnail.

2. More users are happy with the Google supplied image, so they do not go to the source. This would be a decrease of effective bandwidth or a higher bandwidth per unique page view on average. Images w/ text + ads (or eyes on products / services) verse Image alone. It is an issue of loss of possible traffic in the most simple terms.

Re:does not compute (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803401)

Then why do you like the image so much? It is, after all, part of their 'shitty' website.

if someone started a site called 'oogle' (1, Insightful)

decora (1710862) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803463)

and all it did was send requests to google and re-display them without ads or with different ads, then google would be the one complaining.

Re:if someone started a site called 'oogle' (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803905)

Hey, Google offers a convenient and easy way to avoid it stealing your content. Just use robots.txt and drop yourself out.

Oh what, you don't want to? You actually can't say no to Google crawler, cause then you're out of the web itself? Tough luck, then. It seems you do benefit somehow from the situation afterall.

Re:does not compute (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803529)

Dear "Webmaster", nobody cares about your shitty website packed full of annoying ads. Get over it already.

Strangely, being a photographer, my webpage is packed full of photographs and not ads. So, it would be nice if somebody would actually look at my webpage to see who's photos they are stealing, so they will know where to come back to steal more.

So, perhaps some thinking should happen after you read the article and before you put up your mindless snide comebacks.

Yea, too lazy to log in to reply to your "interesting" dribble.

Re:does not compute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803837)

A high resolution image can easily take up more data than HTML fluff and a thumbnail.

Re:does not compute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803903)

Yes, I did read TFA. And nowhere does it explain how you can have decreased traffic but increased bandwidth usage. Because it's not possible. Decreased traffic = decreased bandwidth usage.

Here's the real problem (quote from TFA):

You're being deliberately obtuse and a troll. I wish mods would mod you as such.

Re:does not compute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803089)

"decrease in traffic and increase in bandwidth". Does not compute. If there's a decrease in traffic because people are just being served the image without all the html/js fluff around it, how can there be an "increase in bandwidth"?

People download your content from Google's image view site that links to your content. Hardly anybody ever comes to your site and Google cashes in on the ad revenues while you still get to pay the bandwidth bill... kind of obvious.

Re:does not compute (0)

um... Lucas (13147) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803093)

Really?

Less people visiting the pages = less traffic

Browsers only pulling images from the pages = Increase in bandwidth

Once again, google screwing everyone who isn't google. But at least they "do no evil"' right?

How would they feel if we setup search engines that proxies their results, so they're having to serve all that traffic without theabilityto place ads, track clicks or build user profiles? Not good at all, I bet. It shouldn't be hard fora copyright holder to sue,after all they'll be be serving up full resolution versions of infringing material.

Re:does not compute (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803167)

Really?

Less people visiting the pages = less traffic

Browsers only pulling images from the pages = Increase in bandwidth

Wrong.

Browsers only pulling images use less bandwidth that browsers pulling the entire page.

Re:does not compute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803265)

Browsers pulling all content including images as part of a relatively low to medium traffic site = bandwidth. But it's your content being served, which is presumably the reason you're paying the bill for that bandwidth.

Browsers pulling full sized images without any of the site context as part of Samuel T. Jackson expletive Google traffic = way, way more bandwidth, no benefit to the website whatsoever. Google gets the ad revenue, you foot the bills.

I suspect Google left an all-important comma out of their (unofficial) motto: "Don't, be evil"

Re:does not compute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803339)

Samuel T. Jackson? Does he pity the fool who says "what" again?

Re:does not compute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803421)

He ain't getting on no plane, with or without snakes. In fairness, I've been ill. :)

Re:does not compute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803365)

You're talking two different things.

Bandwidth is, duh, bandwidth.

Traffic is page views or something like that. You downloading an image from my site directly through google gives you the image and doesn't give me page views and ad revenue.

Of course, if this is happening it means that your average browser (person, not software) doesn't care enough about the photo to bother actually going to your website but without having to do that is willing to grab a copy of the image. Should tell everyone something about the real value of the photo.

obviously not many web masters on /. anymore (1)

decora (1710862) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803475)

if you run a website you know damn well that having google put full res image download link will massively increase your bandwidth usage with absolutely 0 increase in traffic.

Re:does not compute (1)

tbird81 (946205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803535)

You have the option not to appear in the search listings. Perhaps try that, that will reduce people stealing your bandwidth.

Re:does not compute (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803703)

You have the option not to appear in the search listings. Perhaps try that, that will reduce people stealing your bandwidth.

So we can choose to pay for the privilege of providing content for Google image search so that Google can grow fat off of ad revenue or we can choose not to be discoverable by the internet using public? That's like saying that an ISP can always choose not to be connected to the network backbone if they don't like the terms being offered by the monopoly that owns it.

Re:does not compute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803927)

"So we can choose to pay for the privilege of providing content for Google image search so that Google can grow fat off of ad revenue or we can choose not to be discoverable by the internet using public?"

Exactly. And I gather that you consider this an unfair choice? Oh SURELY Google should point it's users to your website and don't get a penny from the process...

Re:does not compute (3, Informative)

m1ndcrash (2158084) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803103)

It's called hot linking or leeching and it has been a headache forever. You want to show content + ads but your server is used just to pull an image, thus no traffic and high bandwidth.

Fighting the good fight:
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www\.)?cyberciti.biz/.*$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^.*\.(bmp|tif|gif|jpg|jpeg|jpe|png)$ - [F]

Re:does not compute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803141)

Nope, too easy.

Re:does not compute (1)

msheekhah (903443) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803471)

This is why this is a non issue. Any admin worth their salt can disable hotlinking. This just means an increase in hotlinked disabled sites.

Re:does not compute (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803149)

Lots of sites put hi-rez images on file, and link to them via a thumb nail.
The majority of visitors don't request the hi-rez images, at least not all of them.

But posting a link to a high-rez image can get your bandwidth slammed, serving images, but nobody requesting the web pages. Especially if its porn, or happens to hit the search topic of the moment. Without the ability to serve ads, these websites make no money.

Of course, if the complainers had an actual clue, they could just put a robots.txt file in their image storage, which Google seems to honor.

The system works! (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803023)

The system works! The capitalist system, that is. For a decade google images was stuck in some sort of web 2.0 time warp. Then bing images gave it a shock to the system with intelligent scrolling and a more intuitive experience. Hre is the response, which is win win for all users. Microsoft, the ball is in your court!

What? (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803041)

Webmasters have expressed concerns about . . . . . an increase in bandwidth usage

Google gets the image from the originating website, or I go there and get it myself. Either way, somebody (me or Google) has to go to the website to get the image. How does this cause increased bandwidth usage?

Re:What? (2)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803067)

In fact, it causes reduced bandwidth usage because you don't have to download some stupid ad-filled (and possibly malware-infested) web page that you don't want to see, the way the old image search did.

If they don't like it, block any requests with a Google referrer string.

Re:What? (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803245)

In fact, it causes reduced bandwidth usage because you don't have to download some stupid ad-filled (and possibly malware-infested) web page that you don't want to see, the way the old image search did.

If they don't like it, block any requests with a Google referrer string.

This has been answered in the branch above. You can easily exceed your hosted bandwidth quota (with zero ad-generated revenue) by having a high-rez photo from your site pop up in a google image search, especially in a situation where something you have on file becames the topic of a high number of searches.
Even if you don't serve that photo normally on your web pages, but simply provide a button or thumbnail to click for the small percentage of viewers that want to see the high-res.

Most visitors don't click the high-rez button or thumbnail. The few that do, don't matter. Until Google indexes it, then all bets are off.

Some (failed) web designers only put the high-rez image in, then shrink it into a box via the html IMG tag. (Then they wonder why people complain that their web loads slowly). These guys would see very little difference in this case, unless of course Google sees a surge of searches that just happen to find your Nattily Portman collection.

Re:What? (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803261)

If you don't want Google or anyone else to hotlink your images, it's fairly easy to set up hotlink protection.

Re:What? (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803311)

This has been answered in the branch above. You can easily exceed your hosted bandwidth quota (with zero ad-generated revenue) by having a high-rez photo from your site pop up in a google image search, especially in a situation where something you have on file becames the topic of a high number of searches.

And that was answered in my comment above. If you don't want people using image search, block them.

Re:What? (2)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803439)

Because google goes directly to the full sized image, not the thumbnail on the web page. Grabbing the image directly creates no impressions, so the bandwidth burned per impression shoots up.

It looks and works great! (1)

game kid (805301) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803055)

It looks and works great! Now they just need to fix the SafeSearch bug [slashdot.org] so I don't have to use Bing Images instead (which, as Microsoft as it is, even gives explicit suggestions when its safe setting is off).

Re:It looks and works great! (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803287)

Well at least it now works on Android. The prior version was just about impossible to use on Android.

Re:It looks and works great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803293)

You just blew my mind trying to figure out who you're shilling for.

Two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803073)

Referrer goatse

Solves a annoying problem. (4, Interesting)

stevenh2 (1853442) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803083)

Some websites use a annoying script that redirects people when they click a image.

Re:Solves a annoying problem. (2)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803257)

Yeah, they want you to go their payment page and sign up for unlimited access.

If this kind of image mining is a problem (5, Interesting)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803343)

If you're running a website with Apache, you can configure Apache to look at the HTTP_REFERER header and see where the web surfer was when they made the request for the image. If they weren't on your website, (or if they don't provide the header, an act to be widely discouraged), just re-direct them to your home page instead of serving the image.

I would think that other web servers could do the same thing, one way or another.

For most people, it costs money -- perhaps not a huge amount, but still, real money -- to put up a website and serve content to the world. The expectation, if not agreement, is that you'll look at the site's content on the site.

The webmaster's position is no more hostile than that of the deep miner: There are expectations, but no promises.

Google's search goes far beyond fair use, as far as I'm concerned.

Re:Solves a annoying problem. (-1, Troll)

Cito (1725214) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803443)

this is why i never click the image, if it's the size i want I right click -> Copy image

then paste into my pirated photoshop

to fuck with as I please

what's next people whining to photoshop to remove content aware delete that lets me remove their little watermarks and reuse for my own purposes?

sheesh

Re:Solves a annoying problem. (1)

tbird81 (946205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803581)

Exactly.

And what do you do with your dewatermarked photo? You stick your own watermark on it, place the picture on a gallery website, stick tonnes of ads on it, then SEO and submit to Google and spam your url everywhere to get it listed.

It's the circle of life.

Re:Solves a annoying problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803887)

I like the cut of your jib son.

I'm Sofa King We Tod Did (2)

future assassin (639396) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803113)

Re:I'm Sofa King We Tod Did (4, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803247)

So, your answer is that because google has decided it has the right to redistribute copyrighted images in full resolution in most cases, that everyone else on the web should go to Google and opt out of their caching system? Site owners are in coorperation with google, we like google when they don't do fucked up illegal things... We see thumbnails as "fair use", maybe. We don't mind much as long as the users end up on our site to see the image. Google understands advert revenue funded websites... They are one. So, it's really hard to understand users who want free stuff saying that we have to change our business practices, and maybe not even give them free stuff (or make it harder to find free stuff) simply because a bigger free stuff provider decides they can get away with infringing copyrights of everyone.

Your solution is not a solution. A real solution will be to address the issues. Hell, maybe while google is processing the images to reduce their resolution and run heuristic matching algorithms for their other-sizes and search terms feature, they can water-mark them with the domain name of the site they downloaded the image from.

Or, let's simply turn your moronic suggestion on it's ear. Why don't we all just say: Hey Google, If you want the feature to work that way, you needed to GET PERMISSION FROM EVERYONE BEFORE INFRINGING THEIR COPYRIGHTS. Fuck you and your opt-out "let's piss off everyone, then apologize until we get our way", Facebook feature roll-out model.

Re:I'm Sofa King We Tod Did (1)

LocalH (28506) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803485)

google has decided it has the right to redistribute copyrighted images in full resolution

They've done no such thing. They distribute a smaller thumbnail, and link directly to the original.

Re:I'm Sofa King We Tod Did (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803661)

They reproduce a smaller thumbnail, hotlink to the original, and also provide a link directly to it.

Whether you consider the last two points to be identical or not depends on whether you take a webpage as a published entity (what you see) or as a collage of entities generated locally by the browser (how it's done). In the US, at least, hotlinking is *not* considered illegal (Perfect 10 vs Amazon). Google was found non-infringing over thumbnails in the same case, since their use was considered transformative.

But I believe the point remains - although it's not illegal, it's still a douche move, like Eric Schmidt arrogantly handwaving away Google's huge tax avoidance scams as "capitalism."

Re:I'm Sofa King We Tod Did (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803743)

In a lot of cases you don't have permission to post "the original" without a corresponding copyright notice on the page. In that case, linking directly to the image without displaying the copyright notice is a copyright violation on Google's part. Even most Creative Common licenses have that particular term.

Google's doing this because they know they can get away with it. But until copyright reform is enacted, however, they're violating the copyright of thousands of artists at this very moment.

That's not right.

Re:I'm Sofa King We Tod Did (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804149)

google has decided it has the right to redistribute copyrighted images in full resolution

They've done no such thing. They distribute a smaller thumbnail, and link directly to the original.

Oh hell, I have a little Karma to burn...

I want Google to index my website to so that it is discoverable but I also want the search results to contain just enough data to induce people to visit my site looking for more. I suppose that as the site owner I could just block Google completely from indexing my site as other people here have suggested. That might work if Google was just one of 20 search engines and had, say, a 12% market share. Unfortunately Google has a hugely dominant 90% market share while Google's competitors (read: Bing) have to content them selves with the leftovers which makes Google's competitors unlikely to generate the kind of traffic I need for my site. So blocking Google is not really an option. One way to defeat this kind of leeching would be to serve only small images to requests coming from Google domains to try and to induce people to visit my site. It would be a bit of work, and you'd have to keep a constant eye on the logs over incoming requests because Google is sure to try and weasel it's way around your defences, but at least you'd get the satisfaction of making life a little harder for Google's engineers and maybe even screwing Google out of a bit of money in the process.

Re:I'm Sofa King We Tod Did (3, Insightful)

msheekhah (903443) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803559)

Google is acting on feedback from ITS customers. You are not its customers. If you want to protect your context, then do a little research and take care of it. It's not difficult. The information is freely available on the internet how to block hotlinking. And think of the logistics, google will never ask site owners what they want. There are too many of you and not enough of them. That's why you have the option to keep Google off your site. Use it.

Re:I'm Sofa King We Tod Did (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804011)

There's a small point of confusion here. No, they are not - if you are using Google image search to look for images, then you are not one of Google's customers, you are in fact what they are selling.

Re:I'm Sofa King We Tod Did (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803627)

This is competition 101 - adapt your site to the new environment or it will die.

The solution is a simple technical one that was designed for this exact purpose, ie: don't serve the images unless the referrer is your own site. The only problem here is your unwillingness to modify YOUR site to meet YOUR requirements.

Re:I'm Sofa King We Tod Did (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42804219)

You'd also be the first to complain when your page rank goes down because Google pulls the search to your website. Right next to the picture is the link to the website, so if I'm interested in finding more information on random pictures I can visit your website. As a consumer I want to find the picture I'm looking for quickly and move on. If I want to find out what that picture was and I see it on the search then I click the website and come and visit. To search better the higher the resolution the better the search will be, but if Google removed the ability to download the link then I will just use Snipping Tool in Windows 7 to get the picture.

Here is a solution why don't you watermark your own pictures so that when someone borrows your picture other then when Google promotes it then you will have the proof.

Re:I'm Sofa King We Tod Did (2)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804473)

Hey Google, If you want the feature to work that way, you needed to GET PERMISSION FROM EVERYONE BEFORE INFRINGING THEIR COPYRIGHTS. Fuck you and your opt-out "let's piss off everyone, then apologize until we get our way", Facebook feature roll-out model.

This was tried before. It just wasn't practical at all. If search engines had waited until they got permission from everyone before they could index everyone's public content, most public government sites, most public newspaper sites, most public personal web sites, etc. would have been excluded by default.

The advantage and the problem with the http protocol is that it's copy-agnostic. And if you really want to control the dissemination of your content, you better put it behind a wall of some kind. Don't post it publicly and then complain that people/bots made copies of it. That just goes against the nature of the public internet.

Also, don't imply that you need to set a different opt-out text/xml file for each search engine. If you do an opt-out for Google, it will work equally well for other search engines. And doing a granular optout is actually very little work to do for someone who's trying to make money from their own web site.

And finally, please don't try to take advantage of the public nature of the public internet and then complain about that very nature. The internet was created for sharing content. There is a reason you're on the public decentralized internet now, and not on the privately centralized walled garden of AOL, Prodigy, or Minitel.

robots.txt (1)

swebster (530246) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803121)

I think it still exists?

Re:robots.txt (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803183)

I think it still exists?

It still exists. But, technically, can't your web crawler just ignore it?

Re:robots.txt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803217)

Sure, a web crawler can ignore it, but Google behaves itself; and it's Google that we're talking about here.

Re:robots.txt (1, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803399)

Google does NOT behave itself. It ignores crawl speed, among other things.

Google does whatever the heck it wants. It's Google.

Re:robots.txt (4, Funny)

fatphil (181876) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803669)

> Google does NOT behave itself.

It's also a bit dumb. It's been playing my webserver at a variant of reversi for the last 12 months (one of the links at the end of each game is to start a new game, which it duly follows...)

Re:robots.txt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803189)

I didn't realise that copyright infringement was perfectly okay if the originating website forgets to put "Disallow: copyright infringement" in robots.txt. Live and learn!

robots.txt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803137)

robots.txt

What cunts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803157)

You put shit on the internet and complain when people look at it.

Either put in place software to stop google from indexing your shit.... Oh wait you want google to rank you (and your images) high on the search results but don't want people to download the files. Fuck that. Die in hell you cunts.

But the worst problem is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803199)

They made it less likely to display porn. Now how am I supposed to view porn at work?

If It's Copyright That They're Worried About (5, Interesting)

mk1004 (2488060) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803225)

IIRC, jpeg images allow header data that includes copyright info. If you don't care about use of the image, leave it blank. If you do, insert the copyright info. Google's bot can look for copyright data and if it finds it, it can link to the original html page. Otherwise, it can give a link for a direct download.

I think there was something on /. awhile back that talked about some system for the owner to indicate how an image could be used, e.g. commercial, non-commercial, free and so on. Couldn't find it on a quick search, but that might be another option to tell Google how to handle an image.

Re:If It's Copyright That They're Worried About (1)

bobthesungeek76036 (2697689) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803337)

I think websites owners want the entire Internet to be one big AOL and everyone has to go through a portal to get to content. Heaven forbid downloading some picture w/o seeing some crappy ad...

Referer Header! (4, Insightful)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803231)

If webmasters don't want people "stealing" photos without viewing directly on their website, they are more than welcome to instruct their web servers to not display images to freeloaders. Look at the referer header, if the request didn't originate from your site, then don't serve it.

Simple (2)

bobthesungeek76036 (2697689) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803273)

# cd <htdocs root>
# cat - > robots.txt
User-agent: *
Disallow: /
<crtl-D>
#

Problem solved!

Re:Simple (1)

fatphil (181876) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803705)

Not just that, which is the brute force method, google themsleves are happy to tell you exactly how to block just images just for them (so your text content will still be scanned, and web searches will find you).

This story is just another "wah-wah-wah I'm stupid" rant. It's not even a rant, it's just a jibber.

Re:Simple (1)

gitano_dbs (1490853) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804379)

User-agent: Googlebot-Image
Disallow: /hires_images/

This benefits my ecommerce site (1)

SimplyGeek (1969734) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803329)

This benefits my ecommerce site. All the images are watermarked and display our products. The more viral ones show sexy women showing off the product. Those rank at the very top for related key words. This uses up extra bandwidth that I pay for, but it's great for me, since I WANT to share these photos and get them out there.

What's New? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803341)

Google has had the "See Full-Size Image" Option for years. Hell, maybe even a decade at this point. It's been there for all image searches for as long as I can remember; it was just a hyperlink instead of a button.

Re:What's New? (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803419)

It isn't even just a button. Do your search, then sit back and tap the cursor keys on your keyboard, and you'll zip though tons of images in no time.

^^ mod this up ^^ (1)

ferret4 (459105) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803587)

Agree with everything this AC is saying. Additionally, the only real non-aesthetic difference is that Google doesn't simultaneously load the page in the background, unscrollable under a semi-transparent layer. That counted as a pageview and was chargable to any advertisers on the page, but the page was pretty much unviewable and unusable - so users were not genuinely consuming content nor advertising. This would have been frustrating for advertisers as they'd still be paying for this pagecount, and frustrating for website owners as a full page of assets were being downloaded without being usable, wasting their bandwidth. The new design improves *everything* for *every* party. It's not at all a perfect solution, but it's definitely not a step to be complaining about. The only solution that immediately comes to mind is that pressing the "full size" button (or whatever it's now labelled) could open the fullsize image in a new tab while opening the full page in the current tab.

Be careful, Google (1)

Cloud K (125581) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803429)

As a user, I like the convenience but the last thing I want is for all kinds of legal disputes and possible regulations as chances are they'll overreach in banning what Google and other search engines are allowed to do, and we'll end up with less than we had before Google pushed it like this. "Don't be evil", and at least allow sites to opt out.

Re:Be careful, Google (2)

tbird81 (946205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803593)

You can opt out.

Re:Be careful, Google (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804229)

Yes, and the folks on slashdot are really big on opt-out instead of opt-in...

..oh wait.. no they fucking arent. The folks on slashdot fucking hate opt-out, and rightly fucking so.

Boycott (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803433)

Redirect to a black / porn image ...

Re:Boycott (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803809)

I'd suggest a picture of a blood-engorged leech with the Google logo on its side. You could host it centrally and track Google users. No need to, they just enjoy being tracked that much (they use Google, after all)

Is copyright that different for various art? (1)

Yakasha (42321) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803681)

Can google show a link with summary to a news article? Can they just show the entire article?
Can google show a link with summary to an image (i.e. thumbnail)? Can they just show the entire image?

I cannot imagine any reasonable person would differentiate the two situations. The content the Google user is actually looking for is the high-res image itself (my assumption based on my own personal decision process that leads me to visit images.google.com). As soon as you start serving up the full content, you're appropriating it.

I can see both sides (3, Interesting)

Miamicanes (730264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803789)

On one hand, I think the site owners deserve the traffic. On the other hand, it seems like at least a quarter of the pages end up being dead when I click on them, or redirect to sites attempting to install malware on old versions of Firefox, or seemingly have nothing whatsoever to do with the image that's supposedly there.

A compromise might be to allow users to open the referring page in context immediately, open the cached page (with live content) after a 2-second delay, and allow users to grab the full-sized image directly from Google's cache after a 10-second CAPTCHA-guarded delay. Then, users would have every incentive to try viewing the page in context, falling back to the cached page if the original page ends up being down/borked/whatever, and being able to grab the cached image if all else fails.

Going a step further, Google could come up with some free digital watermarking scheme that allows a 48-bit (give or take) payload to be encoded into the image at a user-selected strength (allowing him to balance robustness, file size, and visibility... pick any two of the three).

The upper few bits (let's say, 4) would indicate the version. Initially, it would be 0001.

The next 40(give or take) bits would be globally-unique, and allow somebody who knows the value to obtain meta info about you in a sensible manner. If they're all 0, it means you're using a generic permissions watermark that doesn't identify ownership, but simply restricts use.

The lower 4 bits specify explicit restrictions

* do not contextually-index
* do not cache full-sized image
* do not perform face recognition of any kind
* do not index for similarity to other images

A value of "0000" would allow search engines to index the image, unless you restricted them in some industry-standard way via metadata referenced to your unique id. For the generic value with all 0s, 0000 means "go ahead and index this".

A value of "1111" would indicate that the image, when encoded with a 4-bit watermark, should not be indexed in any way, shape, or form, regardless of future extensions to the standard that might define additional permissions, and regardless of what any indirectly-referenced meta-info might or might not say. Let's call this the "Stop Facebook from Permissions Creep in a GPLv3-like manner" anti-permission.

Maybe I'm crazy but... (1)

mwn3d (2750695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803795)

Didn't Google have direct image links before?

No webpage in the background (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42803799)

I actually liked it when they showed the original page the image was from in the background. It gave context. Unfortunately, that's gone now.

On a brighter note, at least I won't be redirected to jump through hoops on the original site even though Google's frame was still present.

Re:No webpage in the background (1)

issicus (2031176) | about a year and a half ago | (#42804533)

I hated the way they had it. when they changed it I thought "wow, google finally got it together" .

Brilliant (1)

Indigo (2453) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803823)

Google just turned every other web site on the planet into MegaUpload. Sort of. "Don't, be evil" indeed.

Sample? (2)

Antony T Curtis (89990) | about a year and a half ago | (#42803833)

I think that if I was a photographer, I would be OK with Google caching full quality images as long as they put their own annoying watermark all over it with the URL where the image came from clearly visible.

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