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Nexus One Name Irks Philip K. Dick's Estate

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the acting-like-a-dick dept.

Google 506

RevWaldo writes "According to the Wall Street Journal, the estate of Philip K. Dick says the name of Google's new smartphone infringes on the famous character name from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Isa Dick Hackett, a daughter of Mr. Dick, states Google has its 'Android system, and now they are naming a phone "Nexus One." It's not lost on the people who are somewhat familiar with this novel... Our legal team is dealing head-on with this.'"

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I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (2, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681222)

I read about this almost a month ago in the New York Times blogs [nytimes.com] and must point out one very important detail (to me at least) about this case that was not present in The Wall Street Journal article: Google applied for a trademark on "NEXUS ONE" [uspto.gov] . Now it's not even assigned to an examining attorney yet but come on. You can 'borrow' something from a novel but if you're going to be making money, hand over fist, with it you should probably get permission. And then on top of that you go after the trademark since Dick never did?

Even Motorola had the wherewithal to kindly ask Lucas before using Droid as a name for their phone because 'droid' is a registered trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. You would think the least amount of courtesy Google could do is not apply for a trademark out of respect of where they borrowed 'nexus one' from. And if Google's afraid that someone will just use that name to profit off of their device then they should just find another name instead of borrowing from a novel (deflating the argument of "they have no choice, they have to trademark everything they do"). I'm hoping that this is some Google executive not realizing that 'nexus one' is a reference to a Philip K. Dick android but now it looks more like them toeing the line of what they could use and then completely running off with it.

If they were just using the name, I'd consider this a nice homage or nod to the late great Philip K. Dick. But since they're applying for a trademark it's just a dick move.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (5, Insightful)

Tomun (144651) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681234)

The same name can be held as a trademark by different entities if the usages don't conflict.

I see no problem here.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (5, Funny)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681308)

Yep, here [mexned.nl] is a fine example of it

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (0)

Rikiji7 (1182159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681384)

that's insane

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (5, Informative)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681538)

It's a real product by Rösch Company: Linux [roesch-swiss.ch] . Micro&Soft [roesch-swiss.ch] For some reason, I would call toilet paper "Micro&Soft" :-P

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (3, Interesting)

Rikiji7 (1182159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681616)

there's also osx [roesch-swiss.ch] !

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681736)

I would call toilet paper "Micro&Soft" :-P

The same could be called for a certain part of your body.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (2, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681450)

Dick wasn't even using it as a trademark, to boot - it wasn't the title of a novel.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (3, Insightful)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681454)

I see two problems, one is greed and the other is the brain damage the lawyers must have incurred in not recognizing the simple fact you stated.
That, or they know about it and their greed feeds off the greed of the PKD silverspoons.

If not, I'll start googling every cool word combination I've ever used online and start demand royalties. Knowing a bit about authorship, PKD probably shat them out on an assembly line and would put the spoiled brats he left behind over his knee if he found out about this, if for nothing else than their lack of imagination.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (4, Informative)

ShinmaWa (449201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681586)

True, but it's not even the same name. The book refers to the replicants as "Nexus-6" models. This is the "Nexus One" phone.

Would an average person think that the estate of Philip K. Dick endorses the phone based on that? Highly, highly unlikely.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (2, Informative)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681610)

See also: Ubuntu Cola [aberguild.co.uk] .

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681766)

I had that when I was in Norway, it's rather nice

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (5, Funny)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681238)

Yes, the headline should read - Google rips off Dick.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (5, Funny)

Bottles (1672000) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681242)

Longest first post evar?!

You type fast. Very fast. Too fast, perhaps. That makes me suspicious.

Can you look into this Voight-Kampff machine, please, and tell me only the good things about your mother?

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (5, Funny)

mike260 (224212) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681266)

The flame that burns +1, Funny burns -1, Long.
And you have burned so very, very +1, Funny Bottles.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (3, Funny)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681312)

"let me tell you about my mother..."

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681614)

I should point out that subscribers see articles early.

You actually can't post, but you can have something written and waiting.

Back when I cared to post much beyond whitty banter I used to do this.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681264)

So, what about USRobotics then?

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (1, Interesting)

patSPLAT (14441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681504)

At least US Robotics isn't attacking all business models in media industries. Google's attitude of a.) f*** the publishers and b.) f*** the authors is a curious one for an advertising company. They have no good will or benefit of the doubt in a case like this one.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (1)

Xiaran (836924) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681594)

I'd be more concern about these guys [skynetworldwide.com]

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (5, Insightful)

Rysc (136391) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681274)

It's still a homage. Not having a trademark on the name of a consumer electronics device is just plain stupid, business-wise. I don't think that sales of the book will be harmed by this, nor do I expect that there will be any confusion over which is which. In a good society with good laws there's no way the Dick estate would be able to get a dime or force any change based on this. Nobody asks for permission from Karel apek or his estate before calling something a robot, even though it's a clear reference, and I don't see why this should be any different.

The case of Droid is very different in that there really was an existing trademark and, though it would likely be legal use the name in another field, it's always (legally) safer to get permission.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (4, Funny)

Pedrito (94783) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681482)

I don't think that sales of the book will be harmed by this, nor do I expect that there will be any confusion over which is which.

Well, you're wrong. I'm never buying or reading the book now. It can't be anywhere near as good as the phone.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (5, Funny)

elocinanna (1640479) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681590)

"Hey you should really read this book" "Nah I'm waiting for the phone to come out"

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (3, Insightful)

neowolf (173735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681644)

This is really stupid. If anything, it might renew interest in a relatively obscure (for younger people) book. Now, it will just result in backlash as people will refuse to buy anything from Dick now. The estate has no real legal ground to stand on, and has now shot itself in the foot. Bravo!

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (4, Insightful)

digitig (1056110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681770)

I'm not sure the estate has shot itself in the foot. If people didn't already know the book they wouldn't have known the reference, so it wouldn't have renewed interest in the book. Now they are much more likely to become aware of the book, and the extra publicity is likely to far outweigh any boycott. If (as seems likely to me, but IANAL) the estate has no legal ground, who cares? This wasn't necessarily about winning the case.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (2, Insightful)

patSPLAT (14441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681520)

Authors and Publishers (and their estates) prefer their homages to be paid with $$$. Since they aren't Silicon Valley startups publicity doesn't have the same value.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681536)

I don't think that sales of the book will be harmed by this, nor do I expect that there will be any confusion over which is which.

Devil's advocate:
It could be argued that the Google phone name interferes with the Dick estate's ability to, in future, endorse the "official cellphone of the book/film".

A stretch, yes, but that's how lawyers think.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (1)

Rysc (136391) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681596)

Since we're being lawyers I will argue that the book is not titled "Android" and that a "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" model, or brand, of phone would be sufficiently different to the average consumer that no confusion would result.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (1)

Plunky (929104) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681666)

Hm, can you get an "Electric Sheep" screensaver for the android phone? I wonder how many PKD fans would buy one of those..

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681702)

Nobody asks for permission from Karel apek or his estate before calling something a robot

And nobody asks Isaac Asimov's widow if they can use the word "robotics". I agree, this is stupid.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681704)

So very true. I mean, it's been a while since I read the book (or saw the movie), but I don't seem to remember ANY mention of anything prior to Nexus 6. It's implied, I suppose, but it's not mentioned. So if there's no MENTION in his work of Nexus 1 relating to REPLICANTS (not Androids... he doesn't use that term either, IIRC), how is someone going to say "oh, I remember Nexus 6! This must be PKD's phone!" Sorry, Ms. hyphenated Dick... no reasonable person is going to look at a mobile phone and somehow be confused with a science fiction book that most people haven't read (rather saw the movie instead). Yeesh!

Is there any phrase for something so out there "grasping at straws" doesn't encompass the logical leap this idiot mooching kid is taking?

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (4, Informative)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681310)

If they didn't trademark it, there would be hundreds of Chinese made rip-offs in months. You clearly don't understand how trademarks work.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (2, Funny)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681348)

As is, there still will be, but they'll call it the "Neck Suss Won" just to cover their asses legally. Or because of extremely bad translation...

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (3, Funny)

MountainMan101 (714389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681358)

These aren't the Droids you're looking for.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (4, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681390)

I don't see the problem. There is no trademark by the Dick estate. There is no copyright or trademark infringement by Google even if Nexus One had been trademarked. And it cheeses off little people such as yourself and the parasites feeding off of the Dick estate. There's no downside.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (5, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681470)

It depends on what they registered the trademark for. You don't register a trademark and then it's good for everything. You have to select usages and the more you pick the more it costs.

Philip K Dick did not invent the term Android or even Nexus. The name Nexus One may be a nod towards Nexus 6 but they aren't the same and one is for a mobile phone and one is a fictional character.

I don't side with them because for starters its not the creator that's complaining. It's his lecherous kids who are just being greedy. They see the Android platform taking off, they're used to getting money for doing nothing (thanks to daddy) so they think they're owed a piece of Google's business.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681706)

Lucas didn't invent the term droid either, it's a clear abbreviation of android. Yet somehow he owns the use of the word in EVERY context. Anyone remember when Battletech was called Battledroiss before Lucas heard about it?

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681568)

Now I know why "You're a Dick" is such an insult.

In the first place, these people shouldn't even be able to hold copyright (maybe... are these Dicks American?). The constitution says congress can grant a limited time monopoly to authors and inventors. NOT their heirs.

In the second place, you can't copyright a name. I should write a story with characters from all the books of dead authors whose greedy estates want copyright on them, and let these Dicks sue me.

I'm... I can't think of the proper adjective. "Annoyed" is close. If Dick were alive then yes, out of courtesy Google should have asked him if it was ok, but not had a legal obligation to. His heirs? What a bunch of Dicks. Let them write some books. Copyright is supposed to promote the useful arts. How is a dead Dick supposed to write any more books?

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (2, Informative)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681604)

Trademark, not copyright. Copyright protects ideas, methods and invention. Trademark protects product names, product appearances and slogans used in advertising said product.

Copyright is established automatically, trademark must be registered for a fee.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (1)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681592)

Then Atlas the people who release the game Demon's Souls should be sue as well since the main starting point of the game is call the Nexus

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681714)

Nexus: The Jupiter Incident. It is a great game too.

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (1)

dschuetz (10924) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681650)

Is "Nexus-1" trademarked? Does it actually appear in the story? Does it refer to a phone?

All those are (I'd expect) no. I doubt Dick (or his estate) trademarked Nexus, and I don't think that Nexus-1 was ever mentioned in the book (though some might guess as to its existence because of Nexus-6 in the book. but even that's not guaranteed -- were there really 6099 other models before the Binford 6100?). And in the book, it refers to replicants, not to telephones.

"But wait, the telephone here runs an operating system called Android!" Yes, it does. But that's not what Nexus-1 refers to -- it refers to the phone. If the phone ran WinCE, I'd bet they'd still be complaining.

Finally, what does nexus mean, anyway? "A connection or series of connections within a particular situation or system." I can certainly see how that'd apply to such a well integrated smart phone. The fact that there's a geeky subtext/double-meaning is just a bonus.

Even Motorola had the wherewithal to kindly ask Lucas before using Droid as a name for their phone because 'droid' is a registered trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd.

You just proved my point there. Motorola didn't "kindly ask Lucas" because they were being friendly, they asked because Lucas has a trademark on the word Droid (for reasons passing understanding, as 'droid is just a diminutive form of android). So Motorola really didn't have a choice. And they certainly play up the "droid as friendly robot phone" angle in their ads.

Ultimately, I'd doubt that Dick's estate has any solid legal grounds to complain, and I'd have a hard time agreeing that they've got moral/ethical reasons. I think this is just a ploy to get money. And if they don't win a settlement from Google, at least they've got some free press, and might make some more book sales than they would have otherwise.

(OTOH, trademark rulings often defy belief. Like when Palm lost the right to call their handheld computers "Pilots," because Pilot Pen complained, and (here's where it gets tenuous) you wrote on the Palm Pilot with a "pen-like" stylus. So anything could happen.)

Re:I Actually Side with Dick's Estate (5, Funny)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681750)

Even Motorola had the wherewithal to kindly ask Lucas before using Droid as a name for their phone because 'droid' is a registered trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd.

The clue is in the part of your own post starting "because" - even then, its debatable as to whether that trademark would apply to anything other than plush R2D2 toys.

Google applied for a trademark on "NEXUS ONE" [uspto.gov].

Yup - "Nexus 1". Not "Nexus 6". Its a dictionary word and a number. I Googled for "Nexus" and get the Tyne and Wear public transportation system, a Christian music school, a dating agency, a production company and a sponsored link to Amazon leading to a whole bunch of rather pornographic looking novels. No Dick (at least of the Philip K variety).

Now, if Google had jumped straight to "Nexus 6", launched an ad campaign featuring Rutger Hauer, and offered a free lead codpiece or a $100 mail-in rebate on a genuine goat, there might have been a case.

(Push your eyeballs out through your ears? There's an App for that!)

Where do you suppose it should stop? Should Red Hat need Paramount's permission for "Red Hat Enterprise Linux" - or Nokia for the "Nokia Communicator"? Is "Heroes" ripping off Neal Stevenson by having a character punnily named "Hiro"?

I think we all know what she really means (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681228)

Give me free money!

Re:I think we all know what she really means (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681760)

She needs to sue the estate for *her* abjectly pitiful name. 'Isa Dick'... really? come on, you're shitting me, REALLY?

What a Dick (-1, Troll)

atilla filiz (1402809) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681236)

is the daughter of Mr. Dick.

Re:What a Dick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681332)

Her brother is called Hasa

Philip... who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681272)

C'mon. I mistrust Google as much as the next gal, but so-called IP law is really getting out of hand. Argh.

Seriously though... (5, Insightful)

RedMountain (69974) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681290)

It's a freaking WORD. It comes from the DICTIONARY.

Re:Seriously though... (1)

Internal Modem (1281796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681396)

"Nexus One" is in fact two words.

Re:Seriously though... (1, Troll)

Internal Modem (1281796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681416)

Nexus-6 is in the dictionary?

How were you marked insightful?

Re:Seriously though... (2, Informative)

vagabond_gr (762469) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681464)

So is "apple", would you name your new phone like that?

Trademarks is all about registering common words for business purposes. And it makes some sense (at least much more than patents or copyright).

Re:Seriously though... (3, Insightful)

loftwyr (36717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681522)

No but Apple is a trademark in the computer hardware arena. "Nexus-6" is a fictional android in one book and movie,

I have a strong suspicion that the developers would have little to no idea that Nexus (centerpoint) One (first) was anything but how they felt about a phone. I think the PKD estate is groping for money and this suit, if it materializes, will be laughed out of court.

Re:Seriously though... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681526)

So is "apple", would you name your new phone like that?

Trademarks is all about registering common words for business purposes. And it makes some sense (at least much more than patents or copyright).

Eh, you don't know much about trademarks then. In general, the more generic the word is, the harder it is to trademark and the less protection you get. If you make up a word, that's better. If you have a non-obvious word, that's also better.

This is why you see businesses called "Kwik-E-Mart" instead of "Quick Market", or "Pentium" CPUs instead of "586s" (even if the CPUID does say 586 on it).

It doesn't have anything to do with the ongoing abuse against the English language, though it certainly contributes to it.

Capcha: Cohere

Re:Seriously though... (2, Informative)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681528)

So is "apple", would you name your new phone like that?

No, but I might name a brand of beach towels Apple, or ski boots, and what exactly would Apple Inc. or Apple Corps Ltd (remember them?) do about it?

Trademarks is all about registering common words for specific business purposes.

There, fixed that for you. To clarify, and I'll type this really slowly to make it easy for you to understand: a novel is not a phone.

Re:Seriously though... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681556)

"Apple" is a registered trademark. "Nexus" was never trademarked by Dick or his family.
"Apple" is the name of an entire company. "Nexus" was the name of a fictional model of android in a novel.
Labeling a consumer electronic device with "Apple" is likely to cause consumer confusion as to who made the product. Labeling anything "Nexus" might produce a few chuckles, but not even a moron in a hurry will think that Dick's family made that product.

Well actually.... (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681680)

There was an issue with Apple Computer's name and logo being too similar to that of the Beatles' Apple Corps. There was basically a "we're cool with it" agreement so long as Apple Computer stayed out of the music business and Apple Corps stayed out of the computer business. And then the iPod came out..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Corps_v._Apple_Computer [wikipedia.org]

Re:Seriously though... (1)

kinnell (607819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681738)

So is "apple", would you name your new phone like that?

Trademarks is all about registering common words for business purposes. And it makes some sense (at least much more than patents or copyright).

I think the issue here is that when they refer to a violation of their intellectual property rights, they mean copyright, not trademark. You can trademark a common word, but you can't copyright it AFAIK.

Re:Seriously though... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681740)

I dunno apple aint a great example as they started a music store even though apple (record label) already existed and they had a prior agreement not to. What does that show? Well other than that apple are dicks, it's a perfect example of use the same trademark in two different markets without any problems (see also Linux the detergent)

Too Far (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681298)

This has gone way too far, in two ways. One, we are not talking about a book, we are talking about a WORD. Two, Philip's heirs should not earn ongoing profits from work done by Philip a generation ago. Has their income incentivized them to produce anything noteworthy themselves? I think not; in direct contradiction to the whole point of congress's authority to assign limited monopolies.

Google should do two things. The should fight this in the courts, but much more importantly, they should use their considerable resources and clout to lobby congress to update the legal framework such that it encourages, rather than hinders, innovation in the sciences and the useful arts. Congress, elected by the people, has the last word on this one.

Re:Too Far (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681462)

Though some copyright holders could argue, and not without some merit, that it falls under similar care for your descendants as...everybody does. Even if it's usually by the method of "good" home & education (which in turn assures good living standards for your grandkids, and so on)

Owning words (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681306)

Get a grip. Back in the bad old barbarian days, before lawyers and corporate assholes roamed the earth, lots of people shared the exact same words. Really, it was quite commonplace to hear people talking, and see them writing, and they shared the exact same language, and it was fine. Nobody got bothered by it. Now I expect we'll all have to invent our own unique words.

Re:Owning words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681582)

You can zooomr my Hulu as far as I'm veohed. I'll use the Imeems I google and nobody can flickr me!

America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681324)

Starting stupid lawsuits based on thin air, FUCK YEAH!

It is generic word (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681328)

Estate (5, Insightful)

alewar (784204) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681342)

Philip Dick has been dead for more than 20 years, time for his family to stop parasitizing on his success.

Re:Estate (0)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681506)

The way you stopped parasitizing on success of your parents or grandparents? By, say, denouncing any possible benefits from your education that was allowed by their success?

Now, I'm disgusted by "cheating" the public in regards to initial deal about copyrighted works and public domain. But yours is not as clear-cut argument as it seems, IMHO. We all do it. We always did. It makes sense evolutionary.

Re:Estate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681552)

What you just said doesn't make any sense at all.

Re:Estate (3, Insightful)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681694)

What? I don't get paid for the work my father did. Why should I? He did the work, not me. I get paid for the work that I am enabled to do by the education he was fortunate enough to be able to provide me.

Re:Estate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681746)

Your logic is so flawed that my brain is going to explode

Re:Estate (2, Insightful)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681764)

We used to have people like this. They used to be called nobility. They were perceived as parasites by the general population, even though they actually had an obligation to provide their ass for military defense in case of war. Which is more than the Phillip K Dick estate does for sure.

It appears someone is living up to their name. (0, Troll)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681354)

The children are dicks. In the vernacular sense of the term.

I hope that if this makes it to trial that the judge slaps them with billions in fines for bringing a frivolous suit.

For even thinking they have a case, they deserve to lose every penny they own. I truly hope someone just shoots them.

Obligatory comment on copyright (5, Insightful)

bradley13 (1118935) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681366)

Given that he has been dead for 28 years, his works should be in the public domain. Then there would be no dispute.

Re:Obligatory comment on copyright (3, Informative)

EyelessFade (618151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681444)

Indeed, the copyright laws of today is just insane.

Re:Obligatory comment on copyright (0, Flamebait)

operand (15312) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681492)

That is not true. This book was first published in 1968 so it will be 95 years after the publication date. Source: http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm [cornell.edu]

Re:Obligatory comment on copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681660)

Those were not the laws in force when he wrote the book, therefore it is silly to argue that he was incentivised by them. Even more so for laws passed after he was dead.

Re:Obligatory comment on copyright (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681672)

I think you misunderstand the sense in which GP was using 'should'.

Re:Obligatory comment on copyright (2, Informative)

exa (27197) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681500)

I wonder if Isa is good in bed. Because whenever I'm reading Dick, I'll feel like I'm effing her from now on.

Re:Obligatory comment on copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681532)

We must protect the creators so they can creator more work, particularly post death. Even though you would expect companies^W people to sit still until a cash cow dries up doing exactly the opposite of what copyright is supposed to help with. By extending copyright and ensuring some creators are rewarded, we're still enjoying a plethora of new works from PKD, Elvis, Lennon.

Seriously, this typifies exactly where copyright has failed. Who are these people? They didn't create any of the titles, have no idea what was in PKD's head (or what he was smoking) when he penned them, yet they get large amounts of cash for all his work and movie rights. It's worse that Kraftwerk's army of lawyers looking for blip and beep samples in tracks in the 80s and 90s, when all the band had to do was write a few more tracks to make a lot more money.

In this post I now copyright... (5, Funny)

Mystery00 (1100379) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681440)

I'm now copyrighting NEXUS TWO, NEXUS THREE and NEXUS FOUR by using these in my post.

When Google brings out next generations of its phone, I'll sue them and become rich!

You gotta think ahead.

Fascinating moderation (3, Interesting)

bradley13 (1118935) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681442)

Some copyright attorney must be reading /.

As of a few seconds ago there were 30 replies, of which four or five said that the heirs should no longer be profiting from the copyrights, since Philip K. Dick is long dead. All of those posts have been marked "troll".

Would our budding copyright attorney like to explain this? Guess what: "troll" is not a substitute for "disagree".

Re:Fascinating moderation (1)

fprintf (82740) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681768)

No worries, that person will not get moderation duties much more once meta-moderation is complete. It tends to be a self-correcting problem around here... in addition to the following up-mods undoing the prior incorrect moderation.

This is shameful (5, Insightful)

genmax (990012) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681474)

The people on whom the connection is not lost, would see this as a tribute from Google to Philip K. Dick. It would be sad if this sort of unbridled greed on the part of some discourages companies and people from expressing their admiration for the contributions of others.

I do not have a problem with an author's children trying to assert their legal rights --- but this would've been as wrong if the author himself had talked about suing. There is really no reason, legal or otherwise, for Google to be paying money to the Dick foundation. Trademark laws do not apply here. And, does anyone think the name is going to "help" Nexus / Android sales ? Or that there will be people who will buy the nexus thinking it is a Dick novel ? Is Google really profiting or abusing Dick's IP ? Are book sales going to be affected ?

Re:This is shameful (1)

Rysc (136391) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681546)

Is Google really profiting or abusing Dick's IP

Insert howls of juvenile laughter here.

This topic is awesome.

my next invention will be called "Luke Skywalker" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681480)

I'm going to invent some random thing and call it the "Luke Skywalker", why? because the power supply heat makes it feel LUKEwarm and when you throw it up in the SKY it looks like it is WALKing. I see no trademark or copyright problems with my scheme.

Another infringing greedy corporation? (2, Informative)

Master_Mahan (1715524) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681490)

They should be suing the Star Trek franchise as well for using the term Nexus in Generations. They obviously made MILLIONS from that movie...

Re:Another infringing greedy corporation? (0)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681550)

Nexus is a generic word. However, Nexus One is a direct reference to the Nexus Six in Blade Runner - or at least that's what the plaintiff will try to prove. The Nexus in the movie is not a direct reference and nobody should think it is.

Re:Another infringing greedy corporation? (1, Informative)

Master_Mahan (1715524) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681676)

I think that was my point...

Re:Another infringing greedy corporation? (1)

Master_Mahan (1715524) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681730)

However, that may not have been entirely clear from my initial post. You see, I'm a copyright and patent lawyer... :)

Re:Another infringing greedy corporation? (1)

iamapizza (1312801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681756)

So all they need to do now is prove that 1 = 6.

Good luck (3, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681496)

I think they're going to have a hard time making that case since so few people will make the connection. Dick is not one of those authors whose works are so familiar to the general public that there is likely to be any mental connection between the average person visiting a T-Mobile store and thinking about buying an Android phone and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

Re:Good luck (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681608)

I think they're going to have a hard time making that case since so few people will make the connection. Dick is not one of those authors whose works are so familiar to the general public that there is likely to be any mental connection between the average person visiting a T-Mobile store and thinking about buying an Android phone and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

I might agree with you if they'd named their new phone the Ubik or something like that...

But they chose a reference that the average person just might get - seeing as Blade Runner is a fairly well-known movie.

do they choose the name 'dick' intentionally (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681512)

for, they sure know how to behave like one as a family.

ah and, fuck trademarks. with this stupid mindset, in 50 years time we will run out of words and phrases to name things. and, given the possibility of infringing on someone's 'rights', we will probably be start refraining from using those words during ordinary talks in daily life.

this has to stop before it gets to that point.

In related news... (3, Interesting)

spywhere (824072) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681534)

...Isaac Asimov's bloated corpse is suing over the Japanese robot named Asimo.

Is-a-Dick (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30681580)

Anthony Burgess is resposible for the names Heaven 17, Miloko, Korova (Records) etc... Borrowing names from fiction is a time honoured tradition and until authors begin trademarking their invented names, one the estate can do fuck all about...

I should start a band called "Goggly Gogol" (again from clockwork orange) and release a song called "googling for the dick's nexus" just for shits and giggles!

Corporate Darwinism (4, Interesting)

zuki (845560) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681632)

Without wanting to add too much to the anti-copyright vituperations, has anyone considered how difficult it must truly be for a lawyer sensing a great case such as this one, with hundreds of billable hours (regardless of the outcome) to refrain themselves from telling their clients that serving papers to one of the planet's largest corporate behemoths is the only option, when in reality they pretty much know that they are guaranteed to lose the case but will still manage to milk the estate for plenty of money by going that route, and that this will be the closest they'll ever come to being 'cool with the in crowd' ?

How Darwinian! In that sense,they are taking the role of parasite, which as we all know is necessary for the ecosystem to function properly.

Unhappy? How about Phil Dick's name (1)

clyde_cadiddlehopper (1052112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681668)

His parasitic offspring inherited an appropriate surname.

What really irks me is... (1)

dushkin (965522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681678)

The name "Dick"... heh heh... that name means "penis".

How about this... (4, Interesting)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 4 years ago | (#30681734)

Free digital copy of "Blade Runner" with every Nexus One (director's cut, of course). Google gets to demo the phones' video chops and gets the coolness cred, PKD's heirs get a chunk of the royalties. Win-win.
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