Users that depend on Google image search to grab photos will be surprised to know that "view image" button has been removed by the company.
It appears the search firm finally gave in to the complaints made by the rightful owners of the photos and images. The unannounced changes apparently caught a lot of users off guard and complaints were immediately directed Google's way. The move is the company's decision to protect its contributors and partners from being exploited by tech-savvy users. However, there is a way for users to manually reclaim the option.
It was reported that last year, the European Commission supposedly received a complaint filed by Getty Images. The company noted that Google's search platform encouraged users to search and download copyrighted images from its library for free. Ideally, users had to pay a fee to access the photograph. Therefore, the removal of the "view image" button somehow discourages the aforementioned practice.
Google Confirms Speculations
"For those asking, yes, these changes came about in part due to our settlement with Getty Images this week. They are designed to strike a balance between serving user needs and publisher concerns, both stakeholders we value," explained Google regarding the "view image" button being gone.
"We are pleased to announce that after working cooperatively with Google over the past months, our concerns are being recognized and we have withdrawn our complaint," confirmed Getty Images.
It does not look like the company plans to revisit other options to make it easier for users to access images behind a paywall. However, the issue can be resolved with a quick workaround as well as another extension.
Users have to understand that the "view image" option from Google's search results often led to piracy. The original owners who licensed their work would lose out from making a profit, which could, in turn, discourage future contributions. The following steps are not intended to promote unlawful practices and are in no way encouraged.
For now, users can click on the image form the search results and choose the "open image in new tab" option. From there, the image can be expanded with just a click and a copy can be saved afterward.
Another option is to visit the Chrome web store and download the "View Image" add-on. Once installed, the familiar button should be back and it is business as usual. Additionally, a plug-in for Mozilla Firefox is likewise available that generates the same results as the former.