Nikon has withdrawn its support for a photography contest hosted by computer giant Microsoft after a row over potential copyright infringement.

The Iconic Britain competition required entrants to choose an image to submit by carrying out a ?Live Search? of third-party photographs.

However, the rules effectively put the onus on the entrant to check whether the photo they selected infringed the photographer?s intellectual property rights.

Amateur Photographer (AP) reader Matthew Hunt blasted the rules for giving organisers license to ?harvest images? without linking to the original source or crediting the photographer.

The terms also incensed members of Pro Imaging, an online group of professional photographers. ?How on earth is an entrant supposed to know whether or not images? are subject to copyright?? protested the group?s website.

A Nikon UK spokesman confirmed to AP that the firm ?will not be associated with the competition going forward?.

The company added: ?This is due to the feedback and concerns raised by photographers and entrants surrounding the competition mechanic that was developed and promoted by Microsoft.?

In a statement issued to Pro Imaging, Microsoft said: ?We have since taken steps to obtain the rights to use every image to be featured in the subsequent stages of the Iconic Britain competition.?

Nikon promised to fulfill its prize commitment to the competition winners.

Microsoft had yet to respond to our request for comment at the time of writing.

The contest has now closed for submissions.