Google Image Search Acknowledges Usage Rights

    July 9, 2009

Google Image Search has caught up to – and gone beyond – Yahoo’s offering in the same arena.  Users of Google Image Search can now filter results according to usage rights, meaning they can more easily determine what pictures can be reproduced without the creator objecting.

About a month and a half ago, Yahoo made a similar move, but the key drawback in that case is that Yahoo’s Creative Commons license filter only returns results from Flickr.  If someone wants a photo from elsewhere, they’re still stuck reading the fine print or contacting the image’s owners.

Google, for its part, has skipped any Picasa-only promotion and is letting users apply its four filter options – "labeled for reuse," "labeled for commercial reuse," "labeled for reuse with modification," and "labeled for commercial reuse with modification" – to everything on the Web.

Google Image Search Filters

And although this may seem like a minor edge, to people who spend a significant part of their day looking for pictures (think artists, designers, etc.), it’s probably enough to make them pick Google Image Search over Yahoo Image Search again (assuming they ever made the switch in the first place).

Credit goes to Alex Chitu for noticing the change.  It should be interesting to see if Yahoo responds in the near future.