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First off today, Joseph Ax at Reuters reports that image licensing giant Getty Images has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft over the latter’s “Bing Image Widget”, which allows Web publishers to create a gallery of images (or an image slider) based on keywords chosen by the creator.
According to Getty, those images are images that they control and accuse Microsoft of creating an “unlicensed ‘clip art’ collection for the benefit of those website publishers who implement the Bing Image Widget”. Getty says that the tool goes well beyond merely providing a search engine and even beyond their own embedding tool, which is only for noncommercial sites.
Microsoft has said that it is evaluating Getty’s claims for validity and will respond accordingly. Getty has said it’s been in negotiations with Microsoft for over a year about what it sees as the erosion of copyright protection for images online.
Next up today the Toronto Sun is reporting that dance music start Deadmau5 has sent a cease and desist to Disney demanding that the media company did not have the rights to use his track “Ghosts ‘N’ Stuff” in an animated short.
Deadmau5 has been involved in a battle with Disney ever since Disney filed opposition to the trademark he holds in his name. According to Disney, the mark is confusingly similar to their iconic Mikey Mouse. However, Deadmau5 notes that he has been using the mark for 10 years, though he only filed the formal trademark application last year.
Deadmau5 announced the cease and desist on Twitter, where he posted a scan of the letter that he sent Disney through his attorneys. In the following tweet he went on to say “Let’s test a theory, it takes em 120 years to oppose a trademark, lets see how long it takes em to take down a video.”
Finally today, Andy Chalk at PC Gamer writes that widespread reports of a bug in Sims 4 have turned out to be a copy protection scheme intended to prevent piracy of the game.
In the bug, the “blur” effect used to conceal nudity in the game would not go away after the character has clothes on and would grow to consume the entire screen, making it appear pixelated. But as news of the bug spread, it became clear that it was targeted at illegal copies of the game, with at least several people testing to find it didn’t occur in legitimate copies.
EA has yet to confirm that this a protection scheme but it follows several similar copyright protection schemes, such as an immortal pink scorpion in Serious Sam 2 and copies of Earthbound, which would corrupt save files near the end of the game on illegal copies.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.
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