Google Images under fire in new EU antitrust complaint

Photographers' group says Google is exploiting piracy

A coalition of photographers and picture agencies has made a formal complaint to Europe's competition watchdog about Google's use of third-party images.

CEPIC, the Center of the Picture Industry, submitted the formal antitrust complaint to the European Commission, alleging the search giant uses images without the rights holders' consent and is fuelling online piracy.

"Since the redesign of Google Images in January 2013, the situation got worse," said CEPIC in a statement on Wednesday. Google now presents images in full size and high resolution on its website. This enables users to download images without having to visit the website hosting the image, according to the group. Also, Google does not inform users properly about copyright protection, the group said.

CEPIC says Google's exploitation of third-party images is an abuse of a dominant market position under European Union laws and that it is exploiting piracy for its own profit.

At the same time, the group said, Google will not allow technological measures that could allow image providers to control how their images appear online to prevent illegal downloading.

According to CEPIC members, 85 percent of pictures found online by visual search systems are unlawful copies and 80 percent of those illegal images have been spread through search engines such as Google Images.

Google is already under investigation by the Commission for prioritizing its services in search results as well as for alleged anticompetitive practices with regard to advertiser contracts.

The Internet giant made fresh proposals last month to resolve these issues and the Commission has asked for feedback from rivals on the efficacy of these measures. However, CEPIC says that none of the remedies address image providers' concerns.

The Commission will consider the complaint before making any decision about whether to launch a new investigation.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags copyrightinternetGooglelegalsearch enginesintellectual propertydigital rights management

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?