Google introduces license-filtering image search

By Justin Mann on July 9, 2009, 4:45 PM
One of the most complicated and convoluted issues plaguing the Internet these days are copyright concerns. From music and videos to books, pictures and more, all content is likely to have some artist behind it who may or may not be willing to share. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to determine if something is legal to use on your own. Google understands this, and as of today has launched a new feature aimed at making finding completely free content a bit easier.

Expanding their image search feature, the company is adding the ability to filter results to show only images that have certain licenses attached, such as Creative Commons, trivializing the process of finding content that is free to use. The new search functionality is expansive enough to include public domain works, GNU Free Documentation, Creative Commons and more, and will no doubt be expanded upon in the future.

It would be great to see more services like this in the future, aimed at all sorts of works, to make free and open collaboration and content creation easier. Google is also hoping that people who create images will be more apt to tag their work with the license they prefer, making such search tools more powerful as time goes on.




User Comments: 7

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raybay said:

Wonder how they can afford to do that... sounds like an investment of thousands of hours to get to the point where they can make money on it?

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Ya gotta give Google props - like their products or not, they are on the cutting edge and the driving force of many different apps. Seems like everyone else is either playing catch-up or copy-cat to them.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I would like to see an image recognition search (upload an image and have it search for it online) to see if any of my copyrighted images are being used without my permission. THAT would be a neat technology.

Deathstar17 said:

Wow this is pretty genius on the part of Google. I'm impressed at least.

noname said:

http://tineye.com/ does that :)

Guest said:

[Quote]

I would like to see an image recognition search (upload an image and have it search for it online) to see if any of my copyrighted images are being used without my permission. THAT would be a neat technology.

How do you think that software would handle widely photographed locations?

Vacation in NYC (can't post pictures of new york skyline, already copyrighted by someone else)

Vacation in LA (can't post pictures of monuments - Golden Gate Bridge, etc.

The list goes on.

TJGeezer said:

That TinEye link is interesting - a reverse image search service. I wonder how accurately it can distinguish between, say, JimBob Photog's digitally enhanced, copyrighted image of a cityscape and your Aunt Maud's point-and-shoot pic of the same scene. From this TS item, it seems Google's filter would ignore both pics unless it finds a Creative Commons or similar license specifically attached. That's pretty limiting but I can see how it could grow in usefulness over time, especially for companies worried about inadvertent copyright violation.

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