Nikon has withdrawn its sponsorship of a Microsoft online photo competition in which photographers end up with no attribution for the images entered into the race.

The competition – ‘Iconic Britain’ – requires competitors to find images they think are iconic online using Windows Live Image Search.

These image searches must be submitted to the competition, where they will  judged by a panel that was originally to include Simon Coleman, General Manager, Imaging Division of Nikon UK, Brian Blessed, and Joanna Lumley.

However, Microsoft gives no attribution to the images that appear in the competition, driving some photographey groups to recommend suing Microsoft, and, as mentioned, Nikon has withdrawn its support.

Website, Pro Imaging, got a response from Microsoft on the matter, in which the company said: “All images that feature on Iconic Britain are images from the Internet that are already in the public domain.” However, this doesn’t mean they’re copyright-free.

"If copyright was truly respected by Microsoft they would have made sure that no images subject to third party copyright would be selected by Live Search," Pro Imaging said.

A Microsoft statement counters: "When an individual wishes to submit an image into Iconic Britain, it is the subject matter (for example, red telephone box or cup of tea) that they are searching for, not a specific image. The site then repeats the individual’s search and displays a dynamic, visual set of search results from images that are already available on the internet and not one specific image. At no point, does www.iconicbritain.co.uk copy, host, or download any image."


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