Getty Images Files Antitrust Complaint Against Google

Getty Images has filed an antitrust complaint against Google for using content generated by image owners and image licensees to promote its own services. Google is being accused of abusing its dominance of image searches to drastically change the way it presents photographs online.

Since January 2013, images which would formerly only appear as low-resolution thumbnails, have been displayed in high resolution and large format, the News Media Coalition reported.

The Getty action bringing to the attention of the European Commission what it says is content scraping by Google, follows anti-trust charges against Google for using its dominance of web search to promote its own shopping services and for abusing its dominance of the Android mobile operating system to unfairly promote Google.

According to Yoko Miyashita, Getty’s general counsel, Google’s practices divert customers away from Getty’s paid-for website and promote widespread copyright infringement thereby threatening the livelihoods of 200,000 artists and contributors who rely on the company’s business model to make a living.

Ms Miyashita claimed: “By standing in the way of a fair market place, for images, Google is threatening innovation and jeopardising artists’ ability to fund the creation of important future works.”