However, the button is no more and it looks like we have Getty Images to thank, at least in part, for it being removed. So far, critics have complained that the move is unfriendly to users and has degraded Google's image search functionality. Google has released a series of tweets informing about the new process. Essentially people are saying that if you don't like this change by Google, it might be time to start using Bing. For some users, it may have been the only reason to visit Google Images, for instance, to download wallpaper images directly from the site.
Google has removed the "View Image" button in image search results, eliminating a simple way for users to see an image in isolation from the page it was sourced from.
Both companies entered a licensing agreement earlier in February that would allow Getty-licensed images to appear in Google Images. There are tons of public domain and creative commons images out there (like everything on Wikipedia, for instance), and lots of organizations are free to use many copyrighted images under fair use.
The company took to Twitter to announce the news. While this change will be welcomed by many image creators, it may prove frustrating for day-to-day users who are searching for images for legitimate purposes.
Google and Getty Images have now embarked on a multiyear global licencing partnership to solve this issue.
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According to commentators, Getty's complaint stemmed from how Google has made it too easy to lift material without attribution. But now its gone.
While it is still easy for people to download an image, people are now encouraged to trawl through the website it appears on to find it. This should have a positive impact on publishers, especially stock photography businesses that rely on the purchase of copyrighted images.
But, the internet has already found a workaround for this whole debacle: some enterprising browser extension designers posted a Chrome and Firefox add-on that adds the View Image button right back where it used to be, like the change never happened. Web publishers may welcome this change as well because it may slow down image theft by making it harder to discover new content.