As of September 2018, Google has introduced a new feature in their “image search” mode: copyright and author information can be shown now in Google images. And the beauty of this change is that it works by indexing the IPTC photo metadata fields from the image file.
The new feature allows a user to click on “Image Credits”, and a popup will show the image’s creator, credit line and a copyright notice.
As stated on this blog, the Creator and Credit information is shown now, with the Copyright notice to be added soon.
So, what’s the big deal?
“Employing IPTC metadata standards in Google Images results will help ensure proper attribution of credit and support photographers’ copyright, while also boosting the discoverability of content and creators. This is a win for the professional photo community.”
States the blog mentioned above. Nice!
But, what information do we have to fill in the IPTC fields to get the maximum advantage of this feature? The best answer comes from the IPTC website:
By its definition this field contains “the name of the photographer, but in cases where the photographer should not be identified the name of a company or organisation may be appropriate.”
Generally this would be a line of text that the supplier expects users of the image (such as Google Images) to display to users alongside the image
any necessary copyright notice for claiming the intellectual property for artwork or an object in the image and should identify the current owner of the copyright of this work with associated intellectual property rights.
Such an approach can help photographers by increasing visibility, but it also comes with extra headaches. Not only we will have to spend more time filling the IPTC fields, but we also have to pay attention to image manipulation plugins we use on our websites. Some of the image optimization plugins are stripping down IPTC information. Not the desired thing.