When Bing recently launched their Bing Image Widget, a tool that allows users to create a panel of images to display on any website, there was plenty of speculation over whether this would be considered copyright infringement. After all, many images were copyrighted by others who did not give their permission to have the images displayed on websites.
Getty Images Inc is the first company to react by filing a copyright infringement lawsuit against Microsoft over the tool.
“In effect, defendant has turned the entirety of the world’s online images into little more than a vast, unlicensed ‘clip art’ collection for the benefit of those website publishers who implement the Bing Image Widget, all without seeking permission from the owners of copyrights in those images,” the lawsuit said.
Getty, which produces and distributes photos, video, music and multi-media products, is asking a judge in U.S. District Court to block the widget immediately and award an unspecified amount of damages. The actual injury to Getty is “incalculable,” according to the lawsuit.
Microsoft has responded with “As a copyright owner ourselves we think the laws in this area are important. We’ll take a close look at Getty’s concerns.”
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