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Copyright is one of those dubious items that seems like it would be straightforward until you get into the details and then different shades of gray emerge.
Microsoft and Getty are now in a copyright dispute over a Bing widget. Specifically, “[the widget]...which allowed publishers to embed image collages and slideshows from search results on their websites.”
The common sense thing is always ask permission. The gray area comes in when technology makes the process so seamless that permission is never asked -- either purposefully or through neglect. The unfortunate assumption I think that is made sometime is if a form of technology “allows me to do it” then it must be okay. Not so. Often the technology is meant to make the process easier, but it doesn’t preclude common ethical or legal procedures. You still have to “ask.”
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