Google Images to identify free-to-use pics; Confirm on your own

Summary:You know the drill. right? You come across an image on the Web that would go great with your blog post - but you don't know if your violating someone by stealing an image that doesn't belong to you.

You know the drill. right? You come across an image on the Web that would go great with your blog post - but you don't know if your violating someone by stealing an image that doesn't belong to you. How are you supposed to know what's OK to use?

Is it OK to use this image in a blog post? If you find it on Google Images, it's hard to say.

Is it OK to use this image? If it was found on Google Images, it's hard to say.

Google is rolling out a new feature in Google Images today that allows you to search for images that have been tagged as free to use - with or without restrictions. Sounds easy enough, right? Here comes the funny part, though, as noted in Google's official blog post:

There's some fine print, of course. This feature identifies images that are tagged with licenses that authorize reuse. You'll still have to verify that the licensing information is accurate. We can help you take the first step towards finding these images, but we can't guarantee that the content we linked to is actually in the public domain, or available under the license.

What? How useful is a service that identifies a problem, says it has found a way to deal with that problem and then, when all is said and done, leaves you with the same problem in the end.

Instead of throwing a CYA line into a blog post, maybe Google's team should have spent some more time working on this feature so users aren't left with the same problem they started with. Maybe a better idea would have been for Google's results page to include only the images that the search engine can confirm as being in the public domain and leave the ones that are questionable out of the results.

I usually like the little features and tools that Google adds on to its existing products. But with this one, I can't help but ask "Why bother?"

Topics: Google

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