Google has launched a new image search tool that aims to stop confusion over picture usage on the web and could spell the end of image libraries like iStockPhoto.

While a large majority of users are happy to drag and drop images from wherever they find them and use them for their own commercial gain, the practice actually breaks copyright law.

Google's new approach however sees an option within the advanced search of its image search tool, allowing you to restrict your searches to images that have been tagged with licenses such as Creative Commons or GNU Free Documentation licence, or merely ones that are in the public domain.

The news is likely to come as a shock to photo libraries around the globe as it makes finding an image not currently held by them easier to find.

But before you start scouring the Internet to publish that book of famous landmarks around the world with images other people have taken, Google warns that the licensing information may not be accurate.

"We can help you take the first step towards finding these images, but we can't guarantee that the content we linked to is actually in the public domain, or available under the license", says the company on its blog.