An adult magazine is suing Microsoft over copyright infringement after the software giant referenced pictures on its search engine that were illegally posted online through other websites.
The case against Microsoft alleges that its MSN image search engine creates unauthorised thumbnails of content owned by Perfect 10 and includes links to see full-size versions - on other websites - of the images for free.
Norm Zada, president of Perfect 10, alleges Microsoft's search engine, as well as those of Google and Amazon.com, have caused his company to lose £2m a month.
The case highlights the difficulties of protecting digital content and maintaining rights management, something which Microsoft itself has invested in.
As web applications are used to create mash-ups, protecting intellectual property online has become a priority for many companies.
Similar cases have been brought against Google's search engine. Judges cited fair-use principles and the benefits that search engines provide to the general public, as well as the fact that the search engines did not store the illegal content themselves.
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