Getty Images is suing Microsoft over a tool the latter recently launched enabling people to embed slideshows of images from Bing Image Search on their websites.
The tool is called the Bing Image Widget, which Microsoft describes 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.
You can get the code by going to the Bing Image Widget page or via Bing Webmaster Tools. Just copy and paste the code onto a page, and adjust the settings to meet your needs, and then you get a collage of images. I'd embed one here, but we wouldn't want to get sued.
It basically just looks like a group of image search results. It's nothing spectacular, and I doubt that it's being used very much. I know I haven't been seeing it in use.
Either way, Getty has deemed the tool a "massive infringement" of copyright images, according to Reuters, which reported on the suit earlier.
As far as I can tell, if you click on any of the small thumbnail images that appear in the widget, it just takes you to the image search page. It's not like you are clicking and viewing a full-sized photo on the webpage the widget is embedded on.
The tool was just released on August 22nd.
Earlier this year, Getty launched its own tool for users to embed some of its images on their sites.
Image via Bing