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bing image widget
The now-defunct Bing Image Widget.

Getty Images and Microsoft are done fighting over photos.

The two Seattle-area companies have ended a dispute over how Microsoft was distributing photos via its Bing search engine. Reuters reported on Tuesday that Getty dropped its lawsuit against Microsoft, which was originally filed this past September.

The lawsuit essentially alleged that Bing was making it too easy to steal copyrighted images with its Bing Image Widget, which allowed websites to display digital images supplied by Bing. Getty was concerned that the widget let people easily embed digital photographs onto their websites, even if they didn’t have the rights to copy them.

Getty called it a “massive infringement” of copyrighted images, and Microsoft took down the Image Widget immediately after Getty filed its lawsuit.

gettyimages12Today, however, the two sides announced a new partnership “to develop image-rich, compelling products and services for Microsoft products like Bing and Cortana using Getty Images’ world class imagery.” The companies will partner “to provide real-time access to Getty Images imagery and associated metadata to enhance the Microsoft user experience.”

“With our new partnership, Microsoft will use Getty Images’ latest API innovations and our award-winning visual content to take search experiences to a new level,” Getty Images Senior VP of Business Development Craig Peters said in a statement. “Our technology teams will work together to create beautiful, engaging applications and services for Microsoft users with licensed content and attribution for photographers and other content creators.”

Six months before Getty filed the lawsuit this past September, the company launched a tool that allowed users to embed stock photos for free on Twitter, Tumblr and non-commercial blogs and websites. Then, in September, it also unveiled a iOS app called Getty Images Stream that allows users to view the latest Getty photographs.

Getty Images today also launched a new photo-browsing tool called Boards that the company says will help users find pictures more easily and collaborate with colleagues more efficiently.

Getty Images Boards on iPad

Boards replaces Getty’s old Lightbox functionality and curates photos with a new Pinterest-like design. It also features collaboration tools, allowing users to invite colleagues and clients to comment on individual images or an entire Board. Boards will be implemented on Getty’s website and mobile app starting today.

Finally, Getty also today updated its iOS app, which includes the Board tool, the ability to find and follow specific photographers, and new ways to share photos via iMessage, email, and social networks.

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