Last week when we announced our increased engagement with the open mapping community and the hiring of Steve Coast into Bing Maps, we mentioned that Bing Maps would be donating some of its imagery to OpenStreetMap (OSM) for their community to use. This imagery is now available through the Bing Maps Imagery Editor API. From Steve:
"Microsoft is pleased to announce the royalty-free use of the Bing Maps Imagery Editor API, allowing the Open Street Map community to use Bing Maps imagery via the API as a backdrop to your OSM map editors.
Bing Maps imagery must be used in accordance with the API Terms and Conditions [see PDF below] â€“ although this is not legal binding advice, and you are encouraged to read the TOU itself, in sum the TOU says: you are only granted rights to use the aerial imagery, you must use the imagery as presented in the API, you cannot modify or edit the imagery, including the copyright and credit notices; you cannot create permanent, offline copies of the imagery, all of your updates to OSM arising out of the application must be shared with OSM, and the OSM map editor must be free to end users."
Bing Maps Product Manager