Google is getting yet another formal antitrust complaint filed against Google today. The complaint is being filed with the European Commission (EC) This news was first reported by Time.
There are some published reports that says Getting is claiming that there are high-resolution Google image search results that are being “scraped” from its customers’ sites and are “siphoning traffic and profits from photographers.” According to the argument from Getty, this means that people can simply find these high-resolution photographs online without visiting the actual photographer’s website. This means that the publisher of the site is losing traffic and revenue.
Getty is even claiming that Google’s presentation of these images, as well as their capacity to be saved or downloaded promotes copyright infringement, and even “piracy.”
There have been talks between Google and Getty Images for some time now over Getty’s concerns about these images in Google image search. But, according to Getty, Google said that they should either “accept the new image format or opt out of image search.” This news came from Financial Times.
Getty feels coerced by Google’s market power into participating though. The “scraping” claims aren’t part of the EU’s current formal antitrust complaints against Google. Instead, Getty’s claim is at the heart of European news publishers’ efforts to stop Google from showing their content in search results without paying them.
Getty Images has a history of waging an aggressive and questionable campaign (copyright trolling) against those who used Getty photographs without licensing from the company. Most of the time, these were cases of innocent intent where there was no intent to exploit the images commercial. The letters of litigation from Getty have been looked down on as extortion.
To make themselves look better, Getty decided to begin the enabling of free embedding of its images in 2014. Will this have any impact on Europe’s response to their complaint? We’ll have to see.