As reported last week, Getty Images is suing Microsoft over a tool the latter recently launched, which enables people to embed slideshows of images from Bing Image Search on their websites.
The tool is called the Bing Image Widget, which Microsoft described in the following manner:
Bing Image Widget enhances your web site with the power of Bing Image Search and provides your users with beautiful, configurable image collages and slideshows. What’s more, Bing Image Widget is easy to configure.
Microsoft appears to have pulled the tool, at least for the time being. If you go to its landing page, you now get this (h/t: Search Engine Roundtable):
I guess the "temporarily" depends on how the suit turns out. My guess is that we'll never see it again, as it's hard to imagine that it offers a lot of value to Microsoft.
Getty has deemed the tool a “massive infringement” of copyrighted images. It's possible that there's a fair use argument here, as the tool didn't really produce anything different than what was already available on Image Search itself. Even when users clicked on the images in the widget, it just took them to the image search page. It's not like users were able to access full-sized photos with it.
Earlier this year, Getty launched its own tool for users to embed some of its images on their sites.
Image via Microsoft