Google Images Takes Next Step With New Licensable Badge

February 20, 2020

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Today, Google Images took the next step towards the introduction of the “Licensable” badge with a letter and developer notes shared with members of the DMLA, CEPIC and IPTC. The current version of the “Licensable” badge was introduced at our 24th Annual Conference last October in Los Angeles.

In 2018, Google Images introduced the integration of three IPTC fields (Copyright Notice, Credit Line and Creator) into image results. Working with CEPIC and IPTC, Google then introduced the first iteration of the badge at CEPIC’s event last August in Paris. And now is sharing the requirements for the new iteration featuring the word “Licensable” in a badge in the image thumbnail when licensors utilize new metadata fields.

Licensors and developers will have the option to use Schema.org or IPTC. Schema.org markup is added to the web page where the image is displayed and IPTC metadata is embedded in the image itself. When a user clicks on the thumbnail of an image result with a “Licensable” badge, up to two fields will be displayed in the Google Image Viewer along with the larger image. One will direct users to a web page with the license terms and the other will direct users to the web page to acquire a license for the image.

The DMLA will host a Google Images Licensable Badge – Nuts & Bolts with Doug Dawirs, Senior Technical Adviser of the DMLA along with industry experts on Wednesday February 26th at 3pm EST. Details to follow. We invite relevant DMLA members to join us to learn about the changes, and provide questions and recommendations for the Working Group to bring back to Google.

At the Google Images Update session at our annual conference in Los Angeles, Francois Spies, Google Images Product Manager, assured the audience Google is not selling images and Google’s long-stated goal is to point users to copyright holders and sources who have the right to license the content for reuse. And their team is working closely with licensors and associations towards that objective.

The DMLA Google Working Group will also be addressing member concerns raised in our recent DMLA Google Image Survey. In the coming weeks we will collaborate with members to bring to Google recommendations on improving the current Usage Rights pull-down menu which is currently based on Creative Commons categorization and the less-than-emphatic Images May Be Subject to Copyright language, along with other features of Search and Advanced Search UI.

Stay tuned for updates, send us comments or questions, or dial into our upcoming webinar as our industry prepares to adapt to the new “Licensable” badge.