Microsoft Dumps Widget Sued for 'Massive Infringement'

Company yanks Bing photo-collecting tool
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 8, 2014 9:35 AM CDT
In this photo taken July 3, 2014, a worker walks past a Microsoft logo outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash.   (AP Photo Ted S. Warren)

(Newser) – A photo widget on Microsoft's Bing service has led to a lawsuit claiming "massive infringement" on copyright. Microsoft has removed the offending tool, which allowed users to post photos and slideshows onto their websites, Sky News reports. The images, collected via Bing, came from all over the Internet—and Getty Images' lawsuit is charging that many of them were copyrighted, Reuters reports. "In effect, [the] defendant has turned the entirety of the world's online images into little more than a vast, unlicensed 'clip art' collection," the suit says.

Microsoft has responded to Getty's complaint: "As a copyright owner ourselves, we think the laws in this area are important," says a rep. "We'll take a close look at Getty's concerns." Getty says it is facing "incalculable" injury from the widget; the company "owns or represents" some 80 million digital photos, it says, per Reuters. It wants unspecified damages as well as the shuttering of the Microsoft widget. Its current removal is reportedly temporary, PC World notes.

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