More Fun With Bing Image Widget

Posted on 8/26/2014 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

After my story on Bing Image Widget yesterday I decided to do some more searches for photographers and stock agencies to see what I could find. The results are revealing. I started with “John Harrington photography.”

While one of the Obama images is in his portfolio I’m pretty sure this is not the way John would want his work portrayed. If you want to see more of his work go to Among the sites where Bing found these images were:,,,,, and

Next I searched for “Zave Smith.”

I don’t think this group of pictures includes any of the work that can be found in Zane's excellent portfolio at It does, however include 4 pictures that are posted on Pinterest, one from (who I suspect is one of his models) and one from If I scroll further down in the collection of images Bing found I find images from (another model) and from, and

So I decided to check out “Corbisimages Zave” and got this spread. All of these images were actually found on the Corbis website, but these are certainly not representative of his best work.

Then for a more generic search I went to “Corbisimages swimming.” A search for swimming on the real Corbis website returns 168,665 images of people and animals swimming. One would think that Bing could find 10 representative images from that group. But evidently that’s not the way Bing organizes its searches.

Instead Bing found the 2nd image on, the one in the middle of the second row on, the picture of the polar bear on, the next one on and the final image of 3 women swimming on It is interesting that the polar bear is not swimming. I presume this is a case of mis-keywording. The polar bear shot also has a Ron Erwin watermark. It is unclear whether Erwin is actually a Corbis photographer or not. Certainly these pictures are not representative of the best swimming pictures Corbis has to offer.

When I searched for “Getty Images” I got architectural and aerial shots of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.  Then I searched for “Gettyimages woman computer."

Half of these 12 images were found on The 2nd came from Pinterest, the 3rd from, 4th from, 5th from, the 7th from and the 10th from The 11th and 12th both have watermarks on them, one from Asia Images and one from Hulton Archive. It is unclear whether the images that were found on sites other than were properly licensed.

Not to forget the Europeans I searched for “agefotostock men using phones” and got this collection of images.

When I searched for “Shutterstock computer,” I found several images with the Shutterstock logo over them. These images might have been from some of Shutterstock’s regular promotions, or they may be images that have been grabbed from Shutterstock and used without licensing. (Note: As I am doing the research for this story there are slight changes in the order that images are displayed in the groups displayed. This is probably due to the number of hits the particular web site where the image is found is getting.)

I also checked my own name “Jim Pickerell photographer”. In addition to a very old portrait I got a number of political portraits that were taken in the 1970s and had an “Image Collect” watermark over them. Image Collect appears to be an agency in Sherman Oaks, California that I have never dealt with and never received any royalty payments from.

Back in the 70s I did have images with Globe Images for a short period of time. Globe only reported a handful of sales for very little money. I stopped dealing with them and asked that my images be returned. Globe was later acquired, but I don’t know by who. That may have been Image Collect or some predecessor agency prior to Image Collect getting their hands on the images.

I would encourage all photographers and stock agents to search Bing Images for your name, or agency name. You may be surprised at what you find and how it may be damaging your business.

Other Issues To Consider

It is interesting to note that at the PACA annual conference in October the keynote speaker will be
Frank Fuchs, OSS Evangelist for Microsoft, who is scheduled to explain Bing Technology and how predictive search will affect licensing content in the future. It will be interesting to see how he spins Bing Technology as a "benefit" to those who wish to license rights to their images.

I would also recommend that you take a look at my Proposed Solution To Copyright Protection that I wrote earlier this year. If the search engines are going to make it so easy for people to use any image they can find without paying for it, they ought to at least clearly notify their users that there is such a thing as copyright. In addition it would be very helpful if they would provide a way for users to determine if a particular image needs to be licensed for use.

This is something Microsoft (and Google for that matter) could very easily implement at little cost. It would not immediately solve the problem for every image, but over 90% of the images creators want to license could be covered in a very short period of time. Of course, the search engines don't want to do that because it might discourage users if they were to come to understand that everything they can find on the Internet isn't necessarily, nor should it be, FREE.

Copyright © 2014 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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