Nexus is a common dictionary word
So all Google have to do is disclaim any connection with Philip K. Dick's story and his greedy freeloading bitch of a daughter hasn't got a leg to stand on.
Philip K. Dick's daughter is "shocked and dismayed" that Google has apparently named its fabled cellphone after one of her father's creations without consulting his estate. Isa Dick Hackett has even gone so far as to discuss the matter with her legal counsel, The New York Times reports. On Saturday, Google confirmed that it …
I used to live on an island. Then a bloody cigarette company started using the name of the island as one of its brands -- complete with ads of a couple walking down our beach. Sweet FA we could do about it. Struck me as a bit off, considering that the French have managed to remove the label Champaign of every foreign bottle of bubbly.
Champagne is a type of wine made in the Champagne region of France, just as Burgandy and Bordeaux wines are named after their home regions. As such the people of Champagne have good grounds to complain if some one passes off an inferior sparkling wine as one of theirs.
Now, unless there is a cigarette manufacturer on your island, I can't see that your situation is comparable. After all the people of London didn't complain about Strand and Pall Mall cigarettes, and the people of Cortina could have no argument with Ford.
Nexus is just a Latin word used in English since 1663, so shouldn't be copyrightable, but then I would have said the same about the word "windows" a few years ago.
Or whatever they call it. Cava is pretty much the same stuff (and more often than not vastly superior at the same price point) but can't be labelled "champagne" as it is not from the Champagne region. Simples.
There's a slew of things that are region specific as well (Harris Tweed is another example, I think), so it's not just the French being arsey.
It's where the Labyrinth came out, if you were badass enough to escape.
The Nexus is, of course, also the name of the other dimension Captain Kirk was transported to after his apparent "death" on the Enterprise B, whilst recalibrating the deflector dish. </sad>
"Nexus" has been used sooooo many times in sci-fi and fantasy that it's pointless trying to claim that you and you alone own it.
First, let me say that I'm no relation to PK Dick, although I am no doubt somebody's poor relation; PK is off the hook.
HJ Dick's kid (that would be me) cannot howl because he's laughing so hard. This is a total amateur hour performance from Google. Some 25 year old in Marketing is way past retirement age.
Nexus plus a number...
First of all, searches for Nexus-1 don't end up in Dick...
Searches for Nexus-10 means she needs to sue this company who has been using Nexus plus a number a lot longer... http://www.stens-biofeedback.com/products/nexus10.htm
She can only claim Nexus-6, and she can keep it.
All could just be Google-initiated hype - the same as the types of stories that appear on the BBC and newspapers.
A company after publicity for their product plants some story with some intresting angle and then this gets picked up by the press and the then gets loads of free publicity and recognition from the contraversy it has created in the media,
As with Google's "Quantim" computing, the Google Universe has to continue to check out new hype and new ideas because at the moment it stops, the bubble bursts, the Universe stops expanding and it then starts to collapses back in on itself towards the Big Crunch.
Google has a near-monopoly on paid for advertising on the Net - for now. Without this they have source of funding for their ideas factory. Without continious innovation others will catch up and take over.
Isa's 100% correct, here.
Until now, I had assumed that google had consulted with the PKD estate.
If, in fact, google didn't ... well, I'll leave that to the system to correct (or not, alas).
But I will say, if google didn't consult with the PKD estate, what a bunch of fucking moronic, clueless, marketing dimwits, with absolutely zero clue as to the culture they are (trying) to assimilate! I mean, SERIOUSLY, how could they possibly make a mistake THAT big?
The mind absolutely boggles ...
which featured a made-up scifi thingy called The Nexus, which is surely a much stronger candidate for her opprobrium. Although it did kill off Fatty Kirk, making it largely a force for good.
I note, however, that she is currently aged 42, a number which is clearly enshrined in the works of Douglas Adams. Perhaps his estate should be informed of this clear breach of copyright?
However, Ms Dick Hackett isn't entirely barking up the wrong tree: Google's ever-growing efforts to be an all-encompassing, all-pervading cure-all for every problem, advertised everywhere and taking on manifold physical manifestations is clearly stolen from Ubik, which features in the novel of the same name. Look out, Google in a spray-can is coming soon!
For anybody who thinks there is any credibility in this claim, I just invite them to Google Nexus followed by a small integer of your choice. You will rapidly find a number of products using that combination.Indeed Shimano have a whole range of components called Nexus followed by a digit. There is even a set of speaker stands called "Nexus 6".
Of course, Google does have rather a lot of money...
While I am uncertain about the legitimacy of the PKD estate's claim, I am not surprised in the slightest that Google is trampling on the feet (or the ends of the toes in the case of PKD) of others. After all this is now standard practice for Google - do what they want (e.g. book scanning, street view) and then use their legal department or business practices to make the problems go away. Heck, even the Android programming language is acknowledged to be Java by another name. This disregard seems to be endemic in large US companies and does not set a good example for other companies and the public at large.
Google _are_ turning into the kind of company Microsoft was in the 90's (if they're not there already), using its core strength (search and advertising) to push into other areas, buying up the competition or competing against them with free products. I have a new slogan for them: "all your internets are belong to us, bitches".
If this was the only incident of google taking names from others it would be easy to write it off as co-incidence or just one of those things, but the article itself points out that they have a history of doing crappy stuff like this and treading on toes.
"Don't be evil... unless there's profit to be had"
Wasn't that also the weirdo zone inside the rainbox in the Star Trek TNG movie that crossed over from Kirk ro Picard?
Best posthumously sue Gene & Majel too then.
Isn't nexus a generic English word anyway, derived from Greek or Latin or somesuch ?
Aardvark-23 is just as litigat-able then surely ;o)
Wasn't the Nexus also the "wish-fulfilling reality" travelling through space in the super-crap Star Trek: Generations?
Perhaps the Roddenberry estate needs to pay the Dicks too?
And seriously, what kind of name is "Isa Dick"?! Sounds a lot like Ali G saying "I is a dick.". Aiiiit.
Do android Welshmen shag electric sheep?
I mean he did force the term "batty boy" into the public consciousness. And as that's the name of one of the Nexus-6 antagonists from the book, it should be just as protected as Nexus-6...
Joke, as no-one will remember this story in a few years. It'll just be lost in time, like tears in rain.
It seems to me that it is not just the fact that they are calling their phone Nexus One that is upsetting her, but that the phone runs on Android. Nexus + Android ==Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep".
Note - The story is much better than the movie Bladerunner. Uh oh, methinks I hear a replicant at my do...
Come on people, it's the association of "android" and "nexus" that's the problem not the independent use of either word so please try to keep up.
Google has screwed up so stop making excuses for them. They can well afford to license the name if it's that important to them.
Once upon a time long ago, when the makers of "Aspirin" sued, they were refused exclusive use of the word in question even though they invented it and it was intended as a branded name. The reason given was the terms were so commonly used as generic, they had in fact become generic. The term "android" has suffered the same fate.
Over the years I have enjoy Dick's work. He actually accomplished, in one sense, what he wanted: he (his creation) became a household term. But time and usage have put it in the public domain along with aspirin. If a complaint was in order, it should have been made decades ago.
Every day somebody, somewhere seeks legal advice on sueing Google. They are the current target of choice for speculative legal action. Were it Dick himself thinking of taking action the case may have a little merit (very little), but one of his offspring? Purlease.
Of course Google could have been inspired by Dick, but unless there is solid evidence that they were it's just a coincidence. And so what if they were inspired by the content of the story? It happens all the time. They haven't lifted the story, just (maybe, perhaps) been inspired by the story to name a product. Sometimes it happens the other way too, I don't recall Hotblack Desiato every sueing Douglas Adams.
Anyhow this would be a good thing for her. Publicity for daddy's writing presumably means a bit of extra income for her.
I doubt this would have made the news at all were it not for the fact that the story concerned was adapted into a successful movie. Oh alright it wasn't adapted, the movie was loosely based on the story.
But then the biggest failure in her argument is that she seems to thik that daddy's work was 100% original. It wasn't. No author ever writes anything without being inspired by other work, be it books, films or whatever.
It's a name consisting of common dictionary words. If Google start marketing it as "the phone Deckard would use" or something similarly retarded, then she might have a case. Until then, I think she's misunderstood how copyright actually works. Aside from anything else she appears to think that names used in a work of fiction get the same kind of protection that trademarked terms get.
Bet you her legal counsel is delighted about how much effectively free money they're bringing in from this.
If your numbering scheme infringes - implausibly - someone's trademark, you just give the thing a name instead of a number. You know, like all the bad versions of Microsoft Windows - Millennium Edition, Vista, Pratty (forthcoming).
Although Windows for Workgroups was pretty good at the time. At least if Windows for Singletons didn't suit you.
Like, before Bonnie Prince Charlie.
I don't know whether Google was "inspired" by PKD. Apparently the world still waits for a product, device or service named Ubik.
"Androids" is a popular book, but probably less popular than the movie "Blade Runner" - a title licensed or swiped from a completely different sci-fi book.
Meanwhile, if that's what "nexus" means, I suppose there's an outside bet on seeing the thing launched instead as Android Fascist.
Come to think, does the phonieverse already use the name Total Recall for anything? Probably does.
Surely just a combination of words in a book isn't enough to make them 'yours' forever more?
Don't they have to be a registered trademark or somesuch?
Uh oh, there's a time nexus at the door, better send the android to sort it out.
ANDROID defeats evil NEXUS (aka google)!! FILM@11
Although I am no lawyer, and I am a big fan of PKD. I don't think this claim is valid.
As I understand it you do not get trademark rights on names / etc. from the publication of a single book - as this does not constitue a 'source' but as a single work (unlike e.g. Lord of the Rings books or the Harry Potter series of books - which are seen as a source). And you don't get them if you haven't applied for them either.
It will be difficult for Google to "disclaim any connection with Philip K. Dick's story" given the reference to Nexus One and the context of "the first in a line of Androids". It's nothing to do with the word being in a dictionary and all to do with the way it's been used. So his "greedy freeloading bitch of a daughter" most certainly HAS got a leg to stand on. If you're going to leap to such ill thought out conclusions go back to drooling over the Daily Mail.
1. This isn't a case of copyright (can't copyright the word Nexus). It's a trademark issue.
2. I doubt PKD trademarked Nexus-6
3. Even if he did, or just taking it as an unregistered trademark, there would have to be proof that Google are using Nexus One to pass off their business as PKD's, but they're not, and he wasn't a trading business, Nexus-6 isn't used to represent a trading business, and Google are using Nexus One to represent a phone, not a book.
4. Nexus is a (non trademark, product, etc) dictionary word, so on it's own is not trademarkable as it cannot singularly distinguish a business (a word and an image, number or phrase might be, but Nexus One is not Nexus-6). Nexus simply is a 'means of connection', and it's quite obvious that Google are saying they are providing a phone to connect people (but they can't say that because that's Nokia's phrase). Maybe an in joke reference to Androids also, but it's not going to be a threat to PKD's estate.
Move along here, nothing to see.
I don't think the problem is Nexus or Android but the use of "Nexus-x" for version x of an "Android"
G-Marketeer 1 "Sounds cool. Let's use it"
G-Marketeer 2 "We're clearly giving a nod to Dickies work. Should we ask first?"
No surprise, Google's evil has outstripped MS, Exxon, Union Carbide or even Apple. To my mind they are approaching the Khymer Rouge, German National Socialists and the current UK government.
Outstripped MS? - arguable at least, after all despite not being a convicted monopolist they have indulged in some questionable practices on occasion.
Outstripped Exxon? - well, I suppose in some heads using a pop reference for your phone is worse than allowing millions of gallons of oil to flood the oceans through poorly maintained tankers, and trying to duck responsibility for cleaning it up or compensating the victims (human and otherwise)
Outstripped Union Carbide - Yes, I'm not quite sure when Google was directly responsible for the direct deaths of hundreds and the permanent harm to tens of thousands, but I'm sure it's happened, otherwise you wouldn't make such a bloody stupid comment.
Khymer Rouge, National Socialists - hmm, you are leaving me slightly behind here to be honest.
Current UK Gov. Well, despite considering them a bunch of nasty, controlling, uneducated (in anything useful like history, science, engineering or mathematics), smug gits, I'm forced to accept that they are probably no more evil than Google, so I'll give you that one.
You sir are either a better ironicist (please consider this word a new trademark) than I am, or need a sense of proportion.
No-one can claim exclusive rights to Nexus, it's an English word. From the online dictionary:
1. a means of connection between members of a group or things in a series; link; bond
2. a connected group or series
But maybe a bit hubristic for Google, implicitly claiming to be the first connected group or series? I'd have awarded that honour to Racal, later Vodafone, for inventing the mobile.
No one sane in the US calls them anything other than French fries. McDonald's sells them that way, and that's good enough for everyone to live with. Last time I checked, the spineless nutjobs who made up the "freedom fries" nonsense didn't bother to boycott McDonald's or Burger King, or any of the other major French fry vendors none of whom were crazy enough to change their menus for a pointless fringe element. And that idiot Ney who got the name changed in the House cafeteria is gone and the names have been back to "french fries" and "french toast" since July 2006. Let it go already.
. . . the issue isn't with Nexus, it's not with Android either, it's with the combination of the two.
According to Google, Android is the type of phone and the model is Nexus-n.
According to PKD, Android is the type of machine and the model is Nexus-n.
QED Google have nicked the naming convention.
I've thought about using short phrases from books I like as names for my businesses and products and wondered if it would cause any problems along these lines. In particular, I've considered Philip K. Dick books.
I'm not a lawyer, but my understanding is that those types of phrases are generally fair game, legally speaking, unless they've been trademarked. As I understand it, the copyright that protects the book doesn't interfere with the ability to use some phrase that appears in the book, perhaps even the title, as a trademark.
However, I personally would prefer not to be sued by someone for using a phrase from their book, even if the claim is without legal merit. And if you're using a phrase from someone's book because you like the book, and the author objects, that's kind of awkward. (The estate objecting is kind of a different story.)
I think generally it doesn't become an issue unless you are or become a big business, like Google. Otherwise it may be unlikely to get noticed, and even if it does the author may not care. And if you're as big as Google, you have plenty of financial and legal firepower to fight it out or settle it with cash if you want.
I seem to recall hearing about a lawsuit concerning the name "Californication". If I remember correctly, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were suing to prevent the name from being used for the TV show, but the claim didn't succeed because they hadn't trademarked the name. Perhaps the matter isn't settled yet.
I hate to repeat something that plenty of people have already said, but there are a lot of people that don't seem to understand (or don't want to understand) that what seems to be provoking the daughter's ire is not just the name "Nexus One", which is pretty generic, but the use of that name in close connection with "Android". I don't know if that's a coincidence or not, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's not.
I'm not sure how big of a deal I think that is, even if it's not a coincidence, and even though I'm a fan of Philip K. Dick and becoming less enamored with Google all the time.
By the way, I just read an article ( http://www.abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=9312497 ) yesterday about how the economic downturn is helping sales of non-Champagne sparkling wines, such as Prosecco and Cava. Quote: "The United States has agreed to stop new domestic producers from using the name [Champagne], but many, including Barefoot, were grandfathered in since they have existed for years."
I'm siding with Isa Dick Hackett, partly because she's a fox, and partly because Google's chairman is a cock.
Y'HEAR ME, ERIC? YOU'RE A COCK AND YOU DESERVE EVERY BAD THING THAT HAPPENS TO YOU EVEN IF IT IS A PIECE OF DUMBASS 'LOOK-AT-ME' LEGAL SUERAGE.
If you really want a piece of scary-ass 'homage' my brother lives near Skynet Drive, where the UK military communications satellite constellation is controlled by contractor Paradigm Services.
it's a matter of common courtesy to ask permission from the estate. If the estate won't allow it, or not without a percentage, tough. It isn't homage to act like the author's kids - who are the legal administrators of the PKD estate - don't exist, it is disrespect. If a company with the wealth of Google doesn't want to pay a percentage for this so-called homage-that-treats-the-author's-kids-like-shit, then don't use it. There is no other way to look at it if you're honest and awake, a test which disappointingly many respondents here apparently fail.
So the PKD book uses "Nexus-6", and Google uses "Nexus One". Sorry, that's not really the exact same thing is it? The word "Nexus" followed by a random number? Or maybe she's hoping for some cash from the use of the word Nexus, in which case I hope she has looked into http://www.nexus.org.uk/ and anything else that takes Google 0.26s to find.
FAIL because this is hardly plagarism, and while her father's book might use "Nexus" and a number in the context of androids, the word "nexus" dates from 1660ish, and "android" from 1720ish (source dictionary.com).
Once upon a time people would have have been happy to say something like "that's named in honour of my dad's book". Pah! Fail. Go away.
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