The whole GDPR thing has got me thinking about Google's practice of hotlinking once again (more on that in a moment).
As we know, following the dispute with Getty, Google removed the "View Image" button, however they are still hotlinking the full size image (even if it is not displayed at full size) and so, still costing bandwidth, and not really sending any benefit to the source website.
This got me thinking, and I haven't been able to find any definitive answers: Why does this practice not constitute a copyright infringement?
From the user's perspective, the image is presented as part of Google's web page, so why is the copyright owner not entitled to damages?
If the images are registered with the US library of congress, then surely the owner is entitled to statutory damages from Google? This would be potentially ruinous for Google.
What's all this got to do with the GDPR?
Well, two things actually. Firstly, if the Adsense cookies that Google serves when a user visits a third party website are the responsibility of that third party (to notify, get consent etc.), then surely there can be no argument about Google's responsibility when they serve up a hotlinked image?
Secondly, why would Google not need to get consent from their users to serve up hotlinked images that could potentially allow a third party to identify a user?
Does anyone know of any test cases?