Getty Images, a popular image providing company based in Seattle, Washington, recent started a lawsuit against Microsoft. Getty Images has said that Microsoft is guilty of assisting with copyright infringement on what they call a massive scale.
The problem that the company has with Microsoft is not anything that Microsoft stole on its own, but on the tools used in Bing, Microsoft’s web browser. One of those tools helps people with websites take images that they find in a search and embed them on their sites. The tool makes this whole process fast, easy and accessible to anyone who decides to use Bing.
Getty Images, however, says that this has made it significantly easier for people who want to steal copyrighted images from the Internet to do so. The claim is that Microsoft simplified the process so that infringement was possible on a huge scale, contributing directly to all of the images that are found on Getty Images but which are still used in various places without permission.
Microsoft did take the tool off of the web, and then asked for the dismissal of the case. However, the judge who was considering this request decided not to grant it, so the case will continue as planned. This could potentially be a huge win for Getty Images, depending on the outcome of the rest of the case.
The Internet has made it easier than ever for people to infringe on copyrights and find information and art that they can use without paying those who own it. All people in New York who have had their work stolen in this fashion must know what legal options they have.
Source: GeekWire, “Judge denies Microsoft’s request to dismiss Getty lawsuit, alleging copyright concerns” Tricia Duryee, Nov. 25, 2014