The Google and Perfect 10 magazine copyright lawsuit is testing the legality of Google's Image Search program, but it could also offer a great opportunity for mobile marketers. There are lots of reasons why this story needs attention :)
From Times Dispatch Google versus Perfect 10-- The real story
The court ruled that Google didn't infringe the copyright to the full-sized images belonging to Perfect 10 because Google didn't host those full-sized images on Google computers. Google merely linked to those postings, and such linking didn't make Google liable.
The court also found that Google shouldn't be held liable for the copyright infringement of others in wrongfully reposting Perfect 10's pictures.
Those wins for Google are huge. Had the rulings gone the other way, they might have killed the Image Search program altogether and cast a cloud over all of Google's Web search functions.
As for Google's loss, the court ruled that Google infringed Perfect 10's copyrights by posting thumbnail images (which form the grid of initial search results) of illegally reposted pictures found on the Web, but only because Perfect 10 had a deal to license thumbnails of their pictures for use on mobile-phone displays.
The court said mobile-phone users might use Google to find those phone images for free rather than paying Perfect 10's business partner to obtain them.
I'm curious why Perfect 10 would license images for mobile-phone displays only?
Is it because mobile searching is much slower, and people are less likely to rebroadcast?
I used my mobile phone and Google Mobile to get Perfect 10 images, what they returned is the same images I got on my PC.
Here are a couple upcoming conflicts and opportunities that I see:
What if I take a picture using my camera phone and upload it to the Net?
What if there is a mobile marketing service (physical world connection) that offers the ability to take a picture of an image in a Perfect 10 magazine and be directed to a website, or content? Hint hint, wink wink, nod nod.
Magazine sales, brand recognition, exposure and content, this idea has all the goodies for a great mobile marketing campaign. Did any of these guys think about offering it?
I thought about this mobile marketing idea when the suit first started, but realized Perfect 10 wouldn't be able to act on it at the time. All it takes is a little Vision
Ok you can go back to the top of the page now, enough pondering.