Google logo (Courtesy Google)

Google has rolled out a new feature that may make it easier for publishers, photographers, and artists to license their work. The “Licensable” badge, which now appears as a small banner that hovers over an image thumbnail in Google search results, indicates any photograph that can be licensed (that is, purchased rather than freely used).

Image creators and owners can specify license information by adding structured data or IPTC photo metadata to each licensable image on their website as detailed in Google’s Developer Help PageClicking on an image with a badge will pull up credit, copyright, and creator information as well as a link to license the photo, if provided by the owner.

Alongside the new badge, Google has also unveiled a filter to search specifically for images that have licensing information. Under the “Usage Rights” dropdown menu on Google Images, users can now choose to view “all,” “Creative Commons licenses,” or “commercial & other licenses.”

The tech giant says the novel features are part of a years-long collaboration with the image licensing industry to “raise awareness of licensing requirements for content found through Google Images.”

“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 use it responsibly,” the company said in a blog post.

Valentina Di Liscia is the News Editor at Hyperallergic. Originally from Argentina, she studied at the University of Chicago and is currently working on her MA at Hunter College, where she received the...