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Bing Adds Image Search Filter for Usage Rights

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If you're populating your website or blog with images, it's a good idea to first make sure you're doing so legally. Just because you find an image on the web through a Google, Bing or Yahoo image search doesn't mean that that image is free for you to use.

Many of the images you find through an image search are not protected by copyrights, and actually can be used freely. Up until now, however, there hasn't been an easy way to identify which images are protected and which are free to use. Bing is looking to change that with its new feature, "Search by License."

Really Easy, Really Legal

Previously, image hunters had to drill through finicky licensing details for individual photos to determine whether or not those images were free to appropriate to their websites, blogs and printed materials. Although ignoring this step is certainly common, people run the risk of eventually receiving a cease and desist request from the original owner of the image, potentially making for a lot of extra work down the road. The newly-announced Search by License feature allows you to eliminate this risk by only showing you images that you're actually allowed to post to your site.

The feature is actually a little more robust than that. Next to the drop-down menu for Date, you'll see a new drop-down menu entitled "License." Clicking on it will allow you to choose from six different filters:

  • All
  • Public domain
  • Free to share and use
  • Free to share and use commercially
  • Free to modify, share and use
  • Free to modify, share and use commercially

Microsoft also says that the newest update for Office 2013 will allow it to use the new Search by License feature as well, without forcing the user over to a web browser. By default (and you can change this in the settings for your individual Office applications), any image search made from within Office will only display licensed images.

Ryan Lundin

Posted on 2nd July, 2013 by Ryan Lundin

About Ryan Lundin

Ryan Lundin is a content curator, manager, editor and writer from Marquette, MI.

View all posts by Ryan Lundin

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