Now Instapundit links to this New York Times story:
Google and Yahoo are introducing services that will let users search through television programs based on words spoken on the air. The services will look for keywords in the closed captioning information that is encoded in many programs, mainly as an aid to deaf viewers.
* * *
A Google spokesman, Nate Tyler, said the service would include “most of the major networks,” including ABC, PBS, Fox News and C-Span. Mr. Rosenberg said Google did not think it needed the permission of network and program owners to include them in the index but would remove any program or network if the owner requests it. He declined to discuss any business arrangements between the program owners and Google.
Are these guys great for IP lawyers, or what? Why isn’t this just a springload for litigation? I can see no way they can cover all the issues with these mysterious “business arrangements,” and the hedging — “we don’t need permission anyway” — tells you where they think they’re going. (When you draft that copyright infringement complaint, try this angle: The utilization of dialogue or other spoken words from television programming as a search term constitutes a derivative work. What say?)
By the way, apropos my earlier Google post, FrÃ©dÃ©ric Glaize of the Canadian-language blog Le petit MusÃ©e des Marques (they speak Montrealese but they’re from France, oddly enough) emails with news that an English translation of the December 16th French opinion (well, of the abstract) is available here. If you speak the language, which I don’t, the MusÃ©e appears to be a very worthwhile trademark blog. After all, it’s the blog that said about this blog:
Ce blog contribue Ã justifier (a posteriori) le choix de Dennis Kennedy pour ses Legal Blogging Awards :
4. Best Legal Blog SectorsWinner: The Intellectual Property Blogs
For that, I don’t need Babel Fish.
Sin embargo, en Estados Unidos los sucesos se precipitan. Al ya aludido The Bloggers’ Rights Blog como defensa laboral del blogger, se suman ahora varias iniciativas interesantes como Electronic Discovery Law, bitÃ¡cora de recursos legales del bufete Preston Gates & Ellis LLP; Likelihood of Confusion, del prestigioso abogado Ronald Coleman …
Prestigioso, eh? Claro, prestigioso!
* “To Google” — Obviously something our friends at Google have to worry about is the bane of all great brands, which is becoming a victim of one’s own success. Cardinal rule of trademark maintenance: NEVER USE TRADEMARKS AS VERBS. (Coleman’s Corrollary: Never use “trademark” as a verb. Maybe I should Xerox that one and send it around… or did they trademark that too?)