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Now you can search for Creative Commons images from Google Images

Google Images has gained two new features that make it easier to search for images that can be legally used for your projects. The search engine giant said it collaborated with the image licensing industry to raise awareness of licensing requirements for content found on its image search engine.

At first glance, it is not immediately obvious that the update has been rolled out. To access it, you will need to hit the ‘Tools’ which will bring up options to filter images by size, colour, type, time and ‘Usage Rights’.

That last option is one of the new features that Google has introduced. It is said to make it easier to find images by their licensing metadata, so now you can search images by either “Creative Commons” licenses” or “Commercial & other” licenses.

Apart from that, search results on Google’s visual search engine now show a new “licensable” badge on the bottom left corner of the thumbnail. This indicates that publishers or creators that have provided the licensing details of the image.

When you click to view the image, you can find out about the licensing and copyright details like in the image above. If the publisher provides Google with information on how to purchase the photo, you can find a link to the source and pay for it. In the example above, since it is a Creative Commons licensed image, you will be taken to a page like this:

The Creative Commons license page normally details specific conditions in which you can use the image like whether you are free to copy and redistribute or even adapt it. There are a few underlying terms though in most cases, you will need to attribute the image.

Google has noted that there has been widespread adoption of this new standard by websites, image platforms and agencies of all sizes. The search giant was quoted:

“We believe this is a step towards helping people better understand the nature of the content they’re looking at on Google Images and how they can they use it responsibly.”

The new tags are said to help communicate licensing details to potential users while reducing accidental image theft and increase the revenue of image creators.

If you are an image creator and are keen to implement this new Google standard, details of how to participate can be found here.

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