Gerald Celente Sues Google and Blog Impostors
After numerous attempts to deactivate impostor blogs through Google's "Enforcement of Blogger's Content Policy," Gerald Celente has taken action. Last week he filed a federal lawsuit against Google and those running the impostor blogs.
This case could be precedent-setting and have wide implications for the Internet giant who owns the blog hosting service where the impostors flourish with impunity. The lawsuit, filed in New York last Wednesday, claims that malicious bloggers are exploiting Celente's name and trademarks in order to generate revenue for themselves through advertising.
The suit further states that the impostors post inaccurate and offensive information that viewers are led to mistakenly believe comes from Celente, thus doing irreparable harm to his reputation while damaging his business.
Commenting on his lawsuit, Celente observed, "When Google acquired Blogger last April it represented a departure from its business model. Indeed, Google admitted, 'truth is, we're still figuring a lot of it out.'
"A year later, since Google persists in refusing to act upon its own clearly stated anti-impostor policy, it would appear that either they are 'still figuring a lot of it out,' or they're making so much money from impostor blogs on their AdSense 'click-through' advertisements that they just don't care about the extensive and ongoing damage being done," said Celente.
"Maybe The Google Blogger Team doesn't actually know what the word 'impostor' means," mused Celente. "The multiple complaints addressed to Google provided detailed information to substantiate my claims of trademark infringement, unfair competition and impersonation, but we receive only evasive, inane responses that fail to address the impostor issue:"
Thanks for Your reply.
Blogger is a provider of content creation tools, not a mediator of that content. We allow our users to create blogs, but we don't make any claims about the URLs or content of these pages. In cases involving trademark, if a contact email address is listed on the blog, we recommend you working directly with the author to have the information in question removed or changed.
Sincerely, The Blogger Team
Celente suggested that the Google Blogger Team should consult a dictionary for the definition of 'impostor:' One who imposes upon others for the purpose of deception; a pretender.
"You don't need a Philadelphia lawyer to tell you what the word means. Maybe Google would do well to contact Facebook for a lesson in how to address the impostor policy it claims to have but refuses to enforce," Celente added. "When I complained to the corporation about an impostor site hosted on Facebook, it replied swiftly and responsibly:"
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. We have removed or disabled access to the third-party or user-generated content you have reported to us for violating our Statement of Rights & Responsibilities.
Celente contends that Google is one of the few social networking sites that has not yet developed a means for brand owners to protect their trademarks. "I continually read how Google aggressively protects its own intellectual property, why aren't they applying the same standards when it comes to protecting my intellectual property?" he concluded.
Note: The case is Celente et al. v. Google Inc. et al., case number 1:12-cv-08083, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Celente is seeking injunctive relief and monetary damages for unfair competition, cybersquatting and violations of privacy and publicity rights.
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