We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
78,696 News Articles

Microsoft Office 2013: a copyright hero or villain?

One new feature in Microsoft's Office 2013 that hasn't received much attention - possibly because it doesn't seem that relevant to the millions of drones who make up its core audience - is the ability to run a Bing-powered image search across the web from within PowerPoint and pull images off into presentations.

Before you scream 'Microsoft, you image theft-enabling bastards!' - and that was my first reaction too - you should note that Microsoft's actually trying to help prevent PowerPoint users from using images, perhaps your artwork or photo, without permission.

Currently, if a middle manager in firm in Swindon wants to add a picture of a sports car to show that their performance figures are accelerating, chances are they go onto Google Image Search, find the first good photo that doesn't have a fat man in his underwear sitting in the car, pull it off and drop it in - copyright be damned. With PowerPoint 2013's built-in search (below), only images available under a Creative Commons licence are shown. Microsoft should get big points for this.

The screen also reminds the manager to check the individual licence for each image, which is well put if bound to be ignored.

More worrying is the 'Show all web results' button, which should be renamed 'Show me things I can nick off the web without getting permission' or 'Let me go back to my bad old ways' button.

This button relegates Microsoft's good intentions to the appearance of doing the bare minimum to avoid accusations of encouraging copyright theft. The company should be doing more than this.

IDG UK Sites

Motorola Moto G vs Nokia Lumia 530 comparison: What's the best budget smartphone

IDG UK Sites

Everything you need to know about Apple's iPhone Camera in iOS 8

IDG UK Sites

Why you shouldn't trust password managers

IDG UK Sites

How to make an 'Apple iWatch' using an iPod nano and a 3D printer