Getty Images Sues to Block Microsoft’s Bing Image Widget

Getty Images Inc. sued Microsoft Corp. over claims its Bing Image Widget, an application that allows Web designers to add collages and slideshows, violates Getty’s copyrights.

Getty, the Carlyle Group LP-controlled photo archive, said in a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court today that the Bing tool displays images without permission from copyright owners including, in many instances, Getty.

Rather than draw from a licensed collection of images, Microsoft “gathers these images by crawling as much of the Internet as it can, copying and indexing every image it finds, without regard to the copyright status of the images and without permission from copyright owners,” according to the complaint.

The suit, which says Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft released the Bing Image Widget service in August, seeks a court order blocking the company from its collection of images and unspecified damages.

Peter Wooton, a Microsoft spokesman, didn’t immediately return an e-mail seeking comment on the lawsuit.

The case is Getty Images Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., 14-cv-7114, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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