Tag Archives: Bing

BING’S NEW WIDGET

Many of our members are as concerned as we are about the recent Bing Image Widget that launched August 22, 2014. This tool is marketed to internet users and encourages website publishers to enhance their websites and embed a panel of images on their website that are selected from using the Bing Image Search.  There is no indication from Bing that these images may need to be licensed for use.

As a preliminary step, PACA , together with ASMP and CEPIC reached out to our contact at Microsoft to express our fear that the Bing Image Widget will have an serious impact on the image licensing industry and lead potential image users to believe that the use of images are available for free. We requested a meeting during the PACA conference October 19-21.

As Associations, without ownership of copyrights, we can advocate on behalf of the industry but based on recent court decisions, would have jurisdictional challenges in bringing a copyright claim.

We learned today that Getty Images, US Inc. brought a copyright infringement action against Microsoft in the Southern District of New York seeking to enjoin Microsoft from the use of its Bing Image Widget Service and for statutory damages based on its alleged massive copyright infringement of Getty Images many registered works. A copy of the Complaint is here.

There have been several articles written about the Bing Image Widget, you can see one here.

We will keep you apprised of any new developments  and will continue to support all efforts to encourage the licensing of images and the education of users as to copyright.

Microsoft Responds to PACA’s Concerns

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.

Best Regards,
Dave Green
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!!