Europe Says Google Has a “Pecuniary Interest” in AdWords Trademark Infringement

Google’s not unafraid of the legal action it often faces from France, but there’s an interesting twist in an ongoing saga over trademark infringement–and Google should be concerned.

While a European Union court advisor has submitted an opinion that mostly exonerates Google from accepting and displaying bids for trademarked keywords, apparently there’s an interesting loophole–at least one the European Court of Justice can consider.

Apparently advocate General Miguel Poiares Maduro did not accept that Google’s AdWords system is a neutral platform and exempt from legal action.

Google has "a direct pecuniary interest in Internet users clicking on the ads’ links," said a statement from the court’s press service, which means it can’t claim the same immunity as a search engine which EU law sees as a neutral information vehicle.

Don’t Take Facebook’s Word for It, Let Nielsen Help

Facebook IconFacebook is taking steps to help advertisers understand just how valuable advertising on Facebook can be. While there has been some discontent in the advertising community re: Facebook’s effectiveness as an advertising vehicle the Wall Street Journal tells of the new alliance Facebook has with Nielsen. Under the partnership, Facebook will begin polling its users about some of the display ads it runs on its site, such as a banner promoting a movie release.

Facebook will provide that data, including responses from those who didn’t see an ad, to Nielsen, which will package it for advertisers, say the companies.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg gets one thing that is important for sure when it comes to advertisers and data

Newspaper Publishers Half Way Sure About Paid Content Success

Pay for ContentSo the big guys like Rupert Murdoch and Barry Diller have already told us that paid content for newspapers is the wave of the future. Of course, when these two titans of the media world say jump the rest of us mere mortals are supposed to enthusiastically yell “How high?!” While, these guys have been right more often than not the rest of their industry peers aren’t so sure about paid content being the best things since colored ink for the newspaper industry.

The Center for Media Research is reporting

According to a survey conducted for the American Press Institute, reported in Media Buyer/Planner, more than half of newspaper publishers believe readers will pay to access online newspaper content. 51% of publishers say they believe they can successfully charge for content, while 49% either aren’t sure or believe paying for content will not work.

Celebs’ Tragedies Google News’s Boon

Last week was a record week for Google News in the United Kingdom, according to Hitwise UK—and largely because of celebrities missteps, tragedies and deaths.

The overall share for Google News UK jumped dramatically this week, from 46th most popular site to 28th most popular:
UK_Internet_visits_toGoogle_news_2009_2008_2007_2006_chart
The perfect storm that contributed to this: “Google News UK was a top recipient for many of the most popular terms”:

  1. [Patrick Swayze] (who died)—GNUK was the second biggest recipient of UK searches—8.25% of traffic
  2. [Kanye West] (who lost his mind)—again, second biggest recipient—8.26%
  3. [Katie Price] (a model who admitted she had been raped by a celebrity)—third biggest—9.29
  4. [Keith Floyd] (who died)—fourth—5.28%

Facebook Beacon Bows Out

Facebook IconAnnounced in November 2007, Facebook’s Beacon integrated advertising and profiles on the popular social network. It initially looked like a great way for Facebook to monetize—but users saw the implementation, where their activities on other sites were broadcast on FB without their consent, as highly invasive. Facebook reformed the program to be opt-in, and apologized. And now, Facebook is ending Beacon altogether.

Mashable reports (emphasis added):

This week Facebook said that it has settled a class-action lawsuit against the product, agreed to shut it down completely, and will establish a $9.5 million “settlement fund” to fund initiatives related to online privacy.

Omniture & comScore Join Forces for Good Measure!

It seems that getting itself acquired by Adobe isn’t enough to keep the web analytics giant Omniture busy. It has announced today that it will partner with the Boy That Cried Wolf comScore to unify online audience metrics.

Joking aside, it looks like a peanut butter/chocolate moment for the world of online audience measurement. The partnership will see comScore combine the data it gets from a 2 million person global panel with Omniture’s–raise pinky to side of mouth–1 trillion quarterly web site transactions. According to the announcement:

This strategic partner relationship blends these two methodologies in a highly automated way to create a unified approach for audience measurement designed to enable publishers to represent themselves in a more comprehensive manner to advertisers, and for advertisers to better optimize their media planning with the benefit of more extensive media reach data.

Warning: This Blog Post is Riddled With Legal Problems

One of my favorite tech blogs is Techdirt. Michael Masnick does a great job of mashing together technology and legal issues. I normally find at least one good story each day, but today I found three–so I thought I’d share them in a single legal round-up of sorts.

Up first:

Brazilian Court Says It’s Illegal To Distribute File Sharing Software If You Have Ads On Your Site

Next:

Canadian Appeals Court Says Linking To A Site Is Not Defamation

Lastly:

‘Free Credit Score’ Company Tries To Unmask Anonymous Blogger; Sues Wikipedia

That should keep you entertained while I rustle up the next story for you! ;-)