Bye bye 'View Image' button...

On Monday, we told you about licensing deal between Getty Images and Google that would result in the end of the "View Image" button on Google Image Search. Today, we get to see the fruits of that deal, as Google Images officially removes View Image, forcing users to actually visit the site that hosts an image, rather than going straight to the image file on its servers.

The deal between Getty and Google served to end a legal feud that began in 2016, a lawsuit in which Getty accused Google of "promoting piracy" by linking to high-resolution copyrighted images without watermarks.

Getty claimed that Google was creating "accidental pirates" who would find legally licensed images through Google Image Search and, since they weren't required to go to the actual website where these images were hosted (and properly credited with copyright notice), they would simply download the high-res file. Instead of settling this question in court, Getty and Google struck a multi-year licensing deal last week; a deal that should benefit all photographers.

The View Image button is gone, as is the "Search by Image" button. All that's left is Visit, Save, View Saved, and Share.

All of the details were shared through the Google SearchLiason Twitter feed, where Google explained that yes, these changes are "in part" due to the deal with Getty. Ultimately, however, Google wants to emphasize that this is good for everyone:

For those asking, yes, these changes came about in part due to our settlement with Getty Images this week. They are designed to strike a balance between serving user needs and publisher concerns, both stakeholders we value.

Ultimately, Google Images is a way for people to discover information in cases where browsing images is a better experience than text. Having a single button that takes people to actionable information about the image is good for users, web publishers and copyright holders.

Now we just have to wait and see what kind of impact this will have on rampant online image theft. Of course, someone who wants to knowingly steal an image won't be deterred by the lack of a direct link, but many of those "accidental pirates" that Getty claims exist should be saved from themselves by this change.