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Google to Switzerland: Have your people call our people

August 30, 2009

“Copyright Google Inc.”

That’s what you see shimmering in the background over each image from Google Street View in what has to be the creepiest of many creepy freaks that spring from the intellectual loins of the Leviathan of Mountain View.

Just so we’re clear–that is NOT a Creative Commons license.

In addition to harassing peaceful English villages (“A Very English Revolt Sees Off Google’s Spies“), somebody…ahem…decided to deal with those who resist the Leviathan in typically 4Chan style:

“Members of social networking site Twitter are calling on Street View enthusiasts to sweep into action as a protest against the villagers [who don't want Google to own images of their homes].
They have already begun posting pictures of the village online and used the photographs to post tongue-in-cheek ‘masterplans’ on how to plot robberies, by climbing on red phoneboxes and swinging off tree branches.”

Because, after all, “none of us are as cruel as all of us“. That makes “tounge-in-cheek masterplans” so much more easier to tolerate, yes? Particularly if the images were of your own home?

According to Google: “Householders are entitled to request their property is removed from the site but only after the picture has appeared.” In other words, drop dead.

But is that really the law or is that what Google wants the law to be? I’m sure there are a bunch of MPs that will be more than happy to point out that law. The only way that the homeowners can make Google go away is to chase their car out of town (cheap) or to sue (expensive) or to call on their MP to make Google stop (unlikely given Google’s massive worldwide lobbying campaign).

The good thing about the physical world is that they still have the former option.

The latest in the collision between Stanford’s finest and Western Civilization occurred last week in Switzerland, but this time it was the Swiss government who told Google to stop. Did Google care? Nope.

Have your people call our people. Google intends to enforce their copyrights.

Now where is William Tell when you need him?

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