Recently, PACA sent a letter to Microsoft addressing the issues brought to our attention by Past President Rob Henson in regards to Microsoft’s Office web page “Images”. We asked APA, ASMP, ASPP, GAG, NPPA and PPA to join our efforts.
On this webpage Microsoft prompted readers to use Bing to download images for whatever intended use they might have. Microsoft did not attempt to educate the user on copyright, use rights or even how unauthorized use of images pulled from the web might expose the user to risks. See the entire blog here.
This week we received the following response from Microsoft:
Dear Ms. Aron:
My colleague Kate O’Sullivan asked me to contact you after receiving your letter regarding Microsoft’s Office user help page.
As you note, Microsoft has a deep respect for intellectual property rights, and a long history of working with many stock photo providers. Microsoft frequently educates our users in plain language about copyright; see by example: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/legal/Copyright/Default.aspx. This summer, we also implemented a feature within Bing image search that enables users to easily search and locate websites offering tens of millions of images freely available via the Creative Commons license model, and we educate users how they can legally use these Creative Commons images.
Accordingly, Microsoft believes the Office Help Webpage simply explains how our products work. Nonetheless, as the Office Help Webpage referenced in your letter is now offline, these concerns appear moot . We trust this resolves the issue.
Assistant General Counsel
Copyrights & Trade Secrets Practice Group
Tel (425) 538-7325 | Cell (425) 260-9994 | Fax (425) 936-7329
Microsoft Legal and Corporate Affairs
We believe our concerns had something to do with the removal of this page!!