Getty sues Microsoft for unlicensed image widget

Being in the Intellectual Property business, Microsoft should really know better; however, they have recently made a widget on the Bing website which allows the embedding of vast numbers of pictures on anyone’s website. Getty Images don’t like this, and have launched a suit at Microsoft, accusing them of breaching its copyright.

According to Microsoft, the widget “enhances your web site with the power of Bing Image Search and provides your users with beautiful, configurable image galleries and slideshows.” Simply visit the Bing Image Widget page, feed in your keywords and parameters, and out pops some code which anyone can insert into their own site.

Getty already offers its own embedding tool; it controls the size, resolution and attribution of the images, as well as tracking their use. Getty make over 30 million images available with this tool, but retains the copyright in doing so.

Microsoft’s tool offers none of the features that Getty’s tool does, and the tool nor the web page offering it (or its help page) acknowledges copyright may not be held and that you may not be licensed to use the images.