Microsoft gets hit with lawsuit from Getty Images over Bing Image Widget

Microsoft has been hit by a lawsuit from the well known photo library company Getty Images, who claim that Microsoft's recently launched Bing Image Widget tool violates its copyrighted photos.

The lawsuit, filed today in a New York federal court, slams Microsoft's website tool, which launched on August 22. It allows sites to place a panel on their pages that shows images from the Internet found by Microsoft's Bing search engine.

However, Getty Images, which owns the rights to over 80 million photos, claims such a tool can bring up images that are copyrighted by its service. In a statement, the company said, "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."

In a statement, Microsoft said, "As a copyright owner ourselves we think the laws in this area are important. We'll take a close look at Getty's concerns." What do you think of this lawsuit?

Source: Reuters

John Callaham