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

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?