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Google The Internet Technology

Google Redesigns Image Search, Raises Copyright and Hosting Concerns 203

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-such-thing-as-the-common-good dept.
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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Google Redesigns Image Search, Raises Copyright and Hosting Concerns

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  • Re:does not compute (Score:5, Informative)

    by Georules (655379) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @06:26PM (#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 (Score:3, Informative)

    by m1ndcrash (2158084) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @06:31PM (#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 (Score:5, Informative)

    by icebike (68054) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @06:38PM (#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.

  • Re:does not compute (Score:4, Informative)

    by miserere nobis (1332335) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @06:45PM (#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:What? (Score:5, Informative)

    by icebike (68054) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @06:48PM (#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:does not compute (Score:5, Informative)

    by GrumpySteen (1250194) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @07:45PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @08:27PM (#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 (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @09:28PM (#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.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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