Photo agency Getty Images has filed a formal complaint against Google, claiming the company encourages piracy.
(CCM) — On Wednesday, Getty Images announced that it is filing a competition law complaint against Google with the European Commission. This complaint "aims to address Google's anti-competitive practices and use of scraped third party imagery through Google Images that diminishes a fair marketplace for content creators," explained the photo agency. Getty Images’ General Counsel, Yoko Miyashita, added, "Getty Images represents over 200,000 photojournalists, content creators, and artists around the world who rely on us to protect their ability to be compensated for their work. Google’s behavior is adversely affecting not only our contributors, but the lives and livelihoods of artists around the word — present and future." This complaint focuses on changes made to Google Images in 2013, with which the search engine created "captivating galleries of high-resolution, copyrighted content." Getty argues that "image consumption is immediate" and once you've seen the image, you have no motivation to see it in its original source. Getty also claims that Google is making it easy to download this copyrighted content, turning users into "accidental pirates."
This is not the first time Getty Images has allied itself with the European Commission. In June 2015, Getty joined as an interested party in support of the EU's investigation into Google's anti-competitive business practices. This new complaint comes as the Commission has renewed its probe into Google's practices, this time into its Android mobile operating system. Last week, the European Commission issued a formal Statement of Objections against Google's Android OS.
Photo: © Evan Lorne - Shutterstock.com