CEPIC welcomes Statement of Objections issued by the European Commission against Google as a step in the right direction

CEPIC welcomes Statement of Objections issued by the European Commission against Google as a step in the right direction
Thursday 16 April 2015


On Wednesday 15 April the European Commission issued a Statement of Objections against Google alleging that Google has abused its dominant position by systematically favoring its own comparison shopping service in its general search result pages.

In its Memo 15-4781, the Commission clarifies that its decision is without prejudice to any of its other ongoing formal investigations under EU antitrust rules including concerns with regard to copying of third-party content, such as images.

CEPIC welcomes the Statement of Objections of the European Commission as a first step in the right direction: a competitive environment is key to a successful online market place.

The visual content industry has been looking with expectations the next move of the European Commission and remains hopeful that its concerns will be fully addressed.

CEPIC President Alfonso Gutierrez says: “Today’s announcement is encouraging and far reaching also. If the Commission continues on this level, I am very optimistic that the concerns in regard to what we believe to be an abusive use, by Google, of third-party visual content will be fully analyzed and finally corrected.”

CEPIC and its coalition partners will continue to support the investigations of the European Commission by feeding all required data and facts.


CEPIC is a European not-for-profit trade association in the field of image rights. CEPIC was founded in 1993 to present a unified voice to advise and lobby on new legislation emerging from Brussels. It was registered as an EEIG (Economic European Interest Group) in Paris in 1999. As the Centre of the Picture Industry, CEPIC brings together nearly 800 picture agencies and photo libraries in 20 countries across Europe, both within and outside the European Union. It has affiliates in North America and Asia. It has among its membership the larger global players such as Getty, Corbis or Reuters. Through its membership, CEPIC represents more than 200.000 authors in direct licensing.


CEPIC’s members are expert in the conservation and marketing of imagery. They have been digitising content from the advent of the Internet, making the resulting digital asset available for commercial use, such as to newspapers, magazines and broadcasters, off and on-line, as well as in non- commercial environments for the purposes of research and education.  Picture agencies and photo libraries also act as commercial rights management service providers on behalf of creators.

CEPIC achieved observer status at WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) in 1997. CEPIC has been a member of IPTC since 2005, of ICOMP since 2009, of the Linked Content Coalition since 2012 and joined Creativity Works! in 2014. It has been part of the ARROW PLUS project until 2013 and, together with partner, EVA for collecting societies for visual arts, released a feasibility study on the inclusion of visual material in the ARROW system. It is presently be part of the EU funded project, RDI (Rights Data Integration) proposed by the Linked Content Coalition.

President is Alfonso Gutierrez (president@cepic.org)
Executive Director is Sylvie Fodor (s.fodor@cepic.org)

The CEPIC Office is located in Berlin, Germany.