In late September, Google announced that, in a major update to Google Images, it would be adding “rights-related meta data,” where available, to photos. Collaborating with CEPIC, a coordinating body of stock and news agencies, museums, libraries and art galleries, and IPTC, the “global standards body of the news media,” Google designed a way to access the Creator and Credit metadata for photos. That is, assuming you’ve included the metadata in your original upload. Google will also be adding copyright notices in the near future.
Google Images will be pulling the IPTC Creator, Credit and Copyright metadata fields from photos posted on the web. Most professional photographers (and many amateurs) have presets that fill in these fields on import to Lightroom, Photoshop or whatever image-processing software they use. It’s probably a good idea to double check your metadata set up, just to be sure you have the correct information being recorded. IPTC has a handy Quick Guide to IPTC Photo Metadata and Google Images to help
Photographers are constantly on guard against someone taking their copyrighted images and reusing them without compensation. While there is some deliberate reuse of copyrighted images, a substantial amount of the instances result from ignorance on the part of the consumer. Without this kind of metadata, even well-meaning people can spread a photographer’s images across the web without credit or attribution, let alone licensing fees.
NANPA has a long history of advocating for photographers’ ownership rights to images they create. In addition to resources like Take Down Notices for photographers in the Members’ Area of NANPA’s website, NANPA’s Advocacy Committee is working with coalitions to improve the intellectual property and copyright rights of artists in a variety of areas.
Good to see Google Images working with IPTC and CEPIC to give hard-working photographers the credit they deserve.