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October 19, 2005

Google in the News: Revised Privacy Policy, a New Law Suit and Gmail U.K.

First, the lawsuit.  The Association of American Publishers has filed suit against Google alleging copyright violations.  This follows a similar suit by the Authors Guild filed last month.  This is a reaction to Google's Print Library Project which aims to scan the contents of major research library collections and make them available on through search.  Public domain items would appear, while items in copyright would just give the snippets around the search terms.  Google believes that this practice is acceptable fair use.  Those with monied interests in the publishing business have expressed some antipathy for that reasoning.  More news on this here.

The other Google news is that the company has revised its privacy policy.  Various commentators have have described the changes as somewhat cosemtic, resulting in a more readable statement.  David Bankston, a staff attorney with the EFF said that the policy hasn't really changed, but nonetheless, the service is amassing "an enormous store of intimate data about its users."  More on this here.

And finally, Google has, for now, given up it's use of the word "Gmail" to describe it's email services in the U.K., settling for now the trademark challenge brought by a U.K. firm named Independent International Investment Research.  IIIR was seeking a cash settlement from Google in the $40 to $60 million range for use of the term, which IIIR uses to describe a part of its software package.  All existing gmail accounts will continue to use the term, while new ones will be called Googlemail.  The search giant will continue to pursue the issue with the trademark office.  More details here and here.

October 19, 2005 | Permalink

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