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Adult Entertainment Website Sues Microsoft over Search Results

Tasteful porn site Perfect 10, already in lawsuits with Google, Amazon, and others, announced that it has filed an additional complaint of copyright infringement against Microsoft over search results returned from MSN’s image search feature. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

According to a press release posted today, Perfect 10 alleges that MSN illegally displays thumbnails and links to images that should only be available to Perfect 10’s paid subscribers; the results usually go to third party sites reposting Perfect 10’s — as well as countless others’ — images without permission.

“Microsoft is showing tens of thousands of extremely valuable celebrity images, along with Perfect 10 images, without authorization, which it obtains from hundreds if not thousands of pirate websites,” says Perfect 10 president Norm Zada. “I’m shocked by Microsoft’s attitude in this matter. You would think that as a major copyright holder itself, Microsoft would be extremely sympathetic to concerns of other copyright holders … ironically, Microsoft has chastised Google for copying other people’s work without permission, but now Microsoft is doing just that.”

In addition to linking full-size versions of infringed images, MSN search also makes passwords available to the subscriber section of Perfect 10’s site, claims Zada, allowing surfers full access to the site’s paid offerings for free: “Microsoft has complained about entities that distribute unauthorized Microsoft software product codes on the one hand, while Microsoft makes our confidential passwords available to millions of online users. There is something very wrong about this.”

Zada claims he has an easy solution, but search engines refuse to implement it: “Search engines could greatly reduce infringement if they would simply delist obvious infringers upon receiving notice, and stop copying and linking to copyrighted works without permission,” but adds that doing so would “adversely affect their revenue.”

Perfect 10 is already involved in 28 lawsuits against other plaintiffs, according to Ars Technica. A nearly identical lawsuit filed against Google has seen courts side against the embattled porn site: in May the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a previous decision favorable to Perfect 10, rejecting almost all claims, including one that Google’s display of thumbnails cut into Perfect 10’s market for cell-phone-sized images.

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