Michelle Malkin has raised the Evil Google! alarm again over some advertisements which were rejected by the AdSense/AdWords department for "trademark" infringement.
Now, I'm not a lawyer, and I don't play one on television, but I don't think that Google is at fault here: The ads in question actually contain a trademarked phrase ("MoveOn.org"), which is generally only allowed when the surrounding context is obviously a satirical work. I don't know about you, but "Help Susan Collins stand up to the MoveOn.org money machine." doesn't sound all that "satirical" to me, and it definitely contains the explicit trademark. See the USPTO listing for yourself if you don't believe me. (From my understanding of Trademark law, which is admittedly lacking, a "Character mark" does not necessarily have to be in a particular style or font to be violated. It is the mere description of the text itself which is being trademarked. See here for discussion related to this concept.)
Is Google being "evil," contrary to their corporate policy?
I doubt it. More likely, MoveOn is judiciously defending their trademarks, and Google is merely responding to their actions. I can't really say that I find fault with that.
Rather than complain about Google taking action in response to a complaint, how about we conservatives concentrate more on bringing the battle back to the libtards? Any time one of our trademarks (we do register those too, right?) are violated, we should immediately fire off a letter to the offending parties.
And how about we come up with some biting satire which doesn't break trademark law, but is sarcastic enough to drive our points home?
Help Susan Collins tell MoveOn to Move On—to Canada. The nation will be a better place.
Update: I've got preliminary word that confirms my suspicions:—Google yanked the ad due to a complaint that was filed by MoveOn.org themselves. Poor little babies can't handle a little bit of criticism, can they?
Here you go: This is how my contact over at Google described this incident:
Ok, I figured out what his account is (it was a pain, the email address he posted is not the one he logs in with), and looked at the ads. As far as I can tell, they passed the automated system checks and got approved, which is why they appeared at first. They are currently marked disapproved due to a trademark violation. I can't find where the history is stored for this, so I don't know who or when marked them disapproved. [As far as I can tell], it was mostly likely due to a complaint from the trademark owner. MoveOn probably has people or scripts constantly doing searches and looking for trademark violations of their name, and then they file complaints. The URL for a trademark owner to file a complaint:
I don't know the exact details of how the automated approvals work, but I can see where it would be very hard to automatically find ads that violate trademarks, since we can't possibly know whether the person who placed the ad has the right to use that trademark in most cases. Like ads that Dell places probably mention Microsoft in some of them - no automated system could figure out whether this is ok or not, unless Microsoft complained.
So it's not Google being evil and pulling the ads critical of MoveOn just because - it's most likely MoveOn filing a complaint about it, and Google having to comply by law. I imagine that if Blackwater filed a complaint against that ad that was critical of it, that ad would get pulled too. What I would suggest is to just remove the name MoveOn from the ads and replace it with some non-trademarked term, like "morons" or something :)
Also, suggest that as people find ads they don't like that also happen to violate trademarks, these people should contact the trademark owner ask them to file a complaint. Like somebody should tell Blackwater to file a complaint against that ad critical of it.
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