Microsoft, Getty settle copyright dispute

The companies will work on bringing Getty's images to Microsoft products

Microsoft and Getty Images have settled a copyright dispute and agreed to work together to provide the digital media company's images for the software giant's products like Bing and Cortana.

Getty had filed a complaint in September against the Bing Image Widget, launched in the previous month, which let publishers embed collages and slideshows of images from search results on their websites.

In its copyright complaint against Microsoft in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Getty alleged that the "beautiful, configurable image galleries and slideshows" typically consist of copyrighted images, including images whose copyrights are owned or controlled by Getty.

Microsoft said it had temporarily removed the widget to talk with Getty Images and better understand its concerns, but Getty countered that the widget remained in operation across websites worldwide, to which Microsoft continues to supply images, including Getty's copyrighted images, without a license to do so.

"Rather than draw from a licensed collection of images, Defendant 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 like Plaintiff," Getty said in its complaint.

The technology teams of the two companies will now work "to create beautiful, engaging applications and services for Microsoft users with licensed content and attribution for photographers and other content creators," according to a joint statement Tuesday by the two companies.

On Tuesday, Judge Denise Cote dismissed with prejudice the claims of both companies, which would bar both companies from refiling on the same claims.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is

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