Imagine a world where after you found anÂ image online you had been searching for, information pills you couldn’t right click and “Save Image As”. Hard to imagine that world isn’t it? We have all become so used to being able to just right click and use an image it has become second nature to our digital behavior. What would you do to get that image?
Well, recipe youâ€™d have to buy it or shoot it yourself if you wanted that image. But this isn’t the world we live in, but we need to acknowledge this is the way it SHOULD be done but rarely is because itâ€™s just so damn easy to steal stuff from the web.
The digital age changed everything and Google is to thank for so many of the innovations that have allowed us to connect, work and share with people around the world, but some of their practices need to be examined,Â especially when it pertains to copyright infringement.
On a grand scale,Â just imagineÂ what could happen to the economy if people started paying content creators for their work.Â There wouldÂ be aÂ photography e-commerceÂ equivalent to iTunes almost overnight which could perceivably generateÂ billions of dollars. This couldÂ actually happen if Google simplyÂ disabled the right-click â€œSaveÂ Image Asâ€ functionality.
Pauseâ€¦Â Ponderâ€¦ Digest.
This could actually happen. The endless supply of free images would shrink exponentially and everyone would have to turn toÂ Creative CommonsÂ for the same generic stock content, buy it or shoot it him or herself.Â After all, you canâ€™t publish all text these days. Few will read that long blog post or news article without an image to suckÂ him you in.Â Another possibility isÂ that photographers could actually start earning money again andÂ fewerÂ Getty ImagesÂ Demand LettersÂ would need to be sent. Oh, you havenâ€™t gottenÂ aÂ Demand LetterÂ yet? Buyer â€“ oops, I meant Pirate — beware!
Getty is all about copyright protection.Â Ken Mueller (Â @kmueller62Â ) wrote about this recently and explained that pulling that image off the InternetÂ could cost you. Â Getting a letter demanding payment of $1K might surprise you but itâ€™s actually a reasonable request that wouldnâ€™t be necessary if images werenâ€™t so readily accessible. Do aÂ quick searchÂ and youâ€™ll see this happens frequently because people simply right-click and â€œSave Image As.â€ Â Simply put, Google Images is perpetuating this piracy. Thereâ€™s just no denying it.
I know people will continue to download photos and videos just like they do with music but there are ways to prevent it. Letâ€™s start pushing Google to do the right thing and simply disable the right-click functionality on image search results. Letâ€™s get permission to use photos and videos or buy them like weâ€™re supposed to. Whatâ€™s the worst that can happen? You actually dust of that old camera or fire up your smartphone and get out there yourself? Sounds like a good excuse to get some fresh air to me!