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.