Getty Images press release

Global digital media company Getty Images has filed a legal complaint against Microsoft Corporation in the Southern District of New York for copyright infringement based on the Bing Image Widget, which was launched late last month.

This Bing Image Widget allows users to embed images that Microsoft pulls from the vast universe of online images, including Getty Images and iStock content.  The widget displays images in a Bing-branded viewer on websites and blogs without regard to the copyright status of the images or permission from the copyright owners.

Getty Images embraces innovation in new products and business models, and encourages innovation in others. It represent tens of thousands of photographers and other artists worldwide who depend on license revenue to earn a living and fund the creation of new works.

Commenting on the action, John Lapham, Getty Images Senior Vice President and General Counsel, said: “Filing this complaint is not a decision we took lightly, given our longstanding relationship with Microsoft. We simply believe that tools like the Bing Image Widget require the permission of the copyright holder, and our goal is to prevent any further use of the widget without proper consent from photographers or rights holders. Our action is not about inhibiting the discovery of imagery through customary image search.”

Getty Images values its relationship with Microsoft and respects their efforts to raise awareness worldwide about the importance of intellectual property rights.  As the global leader in visual communications, Getty Images is committed to fighting the erosion of copyright protections, which hurts both technical and creative innovation and threatens the livelihood of artists and photographers worldwide.

Getty Images files copyright action against Microsoft’s Bing Image Widget