On Mon, 17 Jun 2019 at 06:28, Yann Forget <yan...@gmail.com> wrote:

> It has been suggested many times to ask Google for an access to their API
> for searching images,
> so that we could have a bot tagging copyright violations (no free access
> for automated search).
> That would the single best improvement in Wikimedia Commons workflow for
> years.
> And it would benefit all Wikipedia projects, big or small.
>

Yann,

As you should remember, we asked Google for API access to their reverse
image search system, years ago (maybe 2013?). They said that there isn't
such an API any more (they killed it off in ~2012, I think), and that they
wouldn't make a custom one for us. The only commercial alternative we found
at the time would have cost us approximately US$3m a month at upload
frequency for Commons then, and when contacted said they wouldn't do any
discounts for Wikimedia. Obviously, this is far too much for the
Foundation's budget (it would be even more now), and an inappropriate way
to spend donor funds. Providing the service in-house would involve building
a search index of the entire Internet's (generally non-free) images and
media, which would cost a fortune and is totally incompatible with the
mission of the movement. This was relayed out to Commons volunteers at the
time, I'm pretty sure.

Obviously Google might have changed their mind, though it seems unlikely. I
imagine that Google engineers and product owners don't follow this list, so
it's unlikely that they will re-create the API without being asked directly.

J.
-- 
*James D. Forrester* (he/him <http://pronoun.is/he> or they/themself
<http://pronoun.is/they/.../themself>)
Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
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