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Google Seeking Patent On Ads For Street View

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the virtual-billboards-on-pictures-of-billboards dept.

Google 86

theodp writes "CNET reports that Google is 'musing' about placing ads in Street View. The search giant reportedly floated the idea in a presentation to marketing and ad agency types in Europe a few months back. So will virtual billboards be popping up in Google Street View? A Google rep said the company had no current plans to put ads in Street View, but you might want to take that with a grain of salt. On Thursday, the USPTO revealed that Google is seeking patent protection for Claiming Real Estate in Panoramic or 3D Mapping Environments for Advertising. From the patent application: 'The street view display server can locate an ad image within the image database and overlay the region of interest with the associated ad image.' Connect the dots, and it sure sounds like a plan, doesn't it? Selling the Brooklyn Bridge is a pretty good scam — selling a view of it is even better!"

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How is this new? (2, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709306)

TV broadcasters have been doing this with football games and the billboard in Times Square for years, and game publishers have also been doing it with their virtual street views.

Google - for all your patent troll needs.

Re:How is this new? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30709346)

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Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30709514)

From the AP:

"WASHINGTON – The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate apologized on Saturday for comments he made about Barack Obama's race during the 2008 presidential bid and are quoted in a yet-to-be-released book about the campaign.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada described in private then-Sen. Barack Obama as "light skinned" and "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.""

So which of Reid's comments are we to believe reflect his true heart - his initial comments or his politically-timed apology?

Re:How is this new? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30709658)

As usual, you should read the claims before blathering on about things that sort of sound like what the /. summary is talking about.

Re:How is this new? (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709716)

That's what I was thinking. CBS and New Year's Eve a few years ago, IIRC. Does prior art still count in killing a patent application?

Re:How is this new? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30710096)

The patent is probably much more specific than you are imagining.

Re:How is this new? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30710156)

The patent is probably much more specific than you are imagining.

How would that affect the Prior Art issue?

If I have prior art of a hinge and you put a hinge in the accelerator pedal of a car can you patent it?

Your claim is far more specific than the prior art, yet prior art (whether it be patented or not) is supposed to trump patent-ability. Use of the hinge would be an obvious application of the prior art and not patentable.

http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2006/2006_04_1350 [oyez.org]

Re:How is this new? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30710208)

You would never have a patent on 'a hinge', you would have a patent on the specific sort of hinge that you created (this doesn't directly answer you, but it points out where you have got it wrong).

(I don't claim a deep understanding of that case, but it appears it was overturned because the combination of elements was found to be obvious to a practitioner, not because of prior art)

Re:How is this new? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30710300)

But I didn't get it wrong.

The example was chosen to show where GENERAL prior art trumps SPECIFIC patent applications.

GENERAL example of replacement advertising has been around in TV and WEB application for years (unpatented, not that it matters).

Google can not now say we are going to patent replacement advertising in street view, (a specific example).

That ship has sailed.

Re:How is this new? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30710324)

I guess you will be sad when they are granted a patent.

Re:How is this new? (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 4 years ago | (#30711794)

If I have prior art of a hinge and you put a hinge in the accelerator pedal of a car can you patent it?

If the combination is considered not obvious, then I believe the answer is yes.

Re:How is this new? (2, Insightful)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709840)

TV broadcasters have been doing this with football games and the billboard in Times Square for years, and game publishers have also been doing it with their virtual street views.

They have? I haven't seen a TV broadcaster that has a "online property management system". Have you? Nor have I seen a TV broadcaster that provides a user-selectable link associated with the region of interest in a geographic view. In fact, there's a whole bunch of things in the claims that I've never seen a TV broadcaster do. You know about claims, right? They set the boundaries of the invention, not the title, or the abstract, or some naive slashdot summary.

Google - for all your patent troll needs.

You don't actually know what a patent troll is, do you? Here's a hint - Google, a company who puts out a lot of products is, by definition, not a patent troll. A patent troll isn't just "some company who patents something I don't like" or even a company who patents something that already existed in the prior art. It's a company whose sole business model is patent litigation.

How you got an interesting moderation, I'll never know.

Re:How is this new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30710392)

Wow, I barely had to scroll down at all through the comments to find someone who actually understands patent law. Normally I end up somewhere near the bottom, three days after the original post, before finding a comment that shows the author's understanding of patent law.

Why are you on Slashdot, anyway? I beat myself up every time I read crap like this story. People here are so amazingly dense. You won't set them straight ... believe me, I've tried.

Re:How is this new? (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 4 years ago | (#30711808)

How you got an interesting moderation, I'll never know.

Allow me to be the first person to welcome you to Slashdot.

Re:How is this new? (1)

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Re:How is this new? (1)

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Your number plate blurred out (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30709338)

And replaced with 904TSE [windows7.com]

Way to completely destroy utility (1)

word munger (550251) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709342)

Congratulations, Google! You've figured out how to change a useful feature (seeing what the street really looks like) into a useless one (overlaying the street view with things that aren't actually there)! Brilliant!

Re:Way to completely destroy utility (1)

TimHunter (174406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709492)

Where in all the linked articles did you find any notion that Google intends to do this? Isn't it more likely that Google is thinking about inserting a 1" square ad in the upper-right corner for something of interest in the area you're looking at? Say, I look at an intersection downtown and Google shows an ad for a restaurant near that intersection.

Re:Way to completely destroy utility (4, Interesting)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709522)

Thus far, Google has not displayed this sort of lack of taste. We'll see though. What I'm guessing is that it will be the form of a little transparent pop-up window with text ads relevant to whatever your looking at, e.g. if you're looking at a Border's, it will give you ads for a B&N or something. The kind of metadata to make these types of context specific ads has been creeping into google maps for some time. E.g., just look at this link [google.com] . You can clearly see the name of each business and an icon about just what kind of business it is there (hotels get a little stick person in a bed, restaurants get a knife and fork, etc.). Hopefully they would put them in a transparent window and somewhere unobtrusive, like on the street or in the sky.

Though, it does kind of give new meaning to the Futurama quote, "Behold.... the Internet." "My God! It's full of ads!"

Re:Way to completely destroy utility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30709670)

Thus far, Google has not displayed this sort of lack of taste. We'll see though.

Haven't been to YouTube lately huh?

Re:Way to completely destroy utility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30709780)

Exactly, I am a heavy youtube user and I am absolutely sick of the ads that pop-up before the video. They are loud, and run for about 15-20 seconds and cannot be skipped. And whats even worse is, they have a very small set of ads and the ads get repeated. In the last 3 days it has been either a car insurance ad or a ad about a tourist agency. I have viewed these two atleast 20-30 times in the past 3 days, that too with a small time interval between them (since most videos I see are around 5 mins in length).

It is sad that unobtrusiveness of ads has been completely forgotten in the case of youtube. It makes it so tempting to start using adblock once again.

Re:Way to completely destroy utility (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713292)

what ads that popup before the video plays? all I get are transparent overlay windows that come up at the bottom while the video is playing. I do not have to wait for an ad to finish first.

Re:Way to completely destroy utility (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30709990)

Thus far, Google has not displayed this sort of lack of taste.

Have you looked at YouTube lately?

Real-estate? (1)

janwedekind (778872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30710222)

Here is a beta release [milliondol...mepage.com] of the new Google Streetmap.

Re:Way to completely destroy utility (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709528)

Maybe they will charge a fee for fidelity.

Off-putting, but a great way to segment the market.

Re:Way to completely destroy utility (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709538)

However, you have to realize that if Google messes this up, many more companies will pop up to deliver the same service.

Re:Way to completely destroy utility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30710586)

That's the whole point of the patent -- not that Google will get this right or mess it up, but that the other companies who will try owe google royalties for something they came up with first.

Re:Way to completely destroy utility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30709540)

Streetview is useful? what would be more useful is a service that notifies me when they are coming around, so I can place my own temporary billboards for the occasion or just put up a generic "Google sucks" or "Cloud computing sucks" banner outside the door

Re:Way to completely destroy utility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30709546)

I'm sure you're not going to get completely confused if they put an ad in, say, the sky.

Re:Way to completely destroy utility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30709858)

So they will try to fool us by putting a picture of one of those airplanes towing an advertisement?

That's still useful (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709848)

Congratulations, Google! You've figured out how to change a useful feature (seeing what the street really looks like) into a useless one (overlaying the street view with things that aren't actually there)! Brilliant!

It's useful to advertisers. Just because it's not useful to you doesn't mean that it's not useful to anyone. See Juicy Whip v. Orange Bang.

Re:Way to completely destroy utility (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30710020)

No problem.

The Bing "birds eye" view is already better than close up aerial Google views.

Bing should move to a better and higher-res Street View equivalent.

Protection Patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30709368)

There are many ways to use a patent.

One of them is to patent something so that others cannot use the feature to add value to their offereings that compete with yours. The add money that they can stop from flowing to another competitor can keep their service faster, cheaper and better than those that would use the patented feature.

Just an observation, a hope, that google would do this.

Redaction through advertisements! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30709414)

Please, there could be great uses for this:

I don't want my license plate there, put an ad over it, or all license plates.

Maybe it wasn't the best day for that picture of your house/business, request that it be redacted, and Google gets ad dollars for . . . respecting your privacy!

With a little sanity, this could help. Personally I wouldn't care if they made some money off of SOMEONE ELSE for respecting privacy requests, but here's hoping that they'd actually respect your request.

Re:Redaction through advertisements! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30709530)

And neither should my face be visible, they should put a McDonalds mask over it.

Re:Redaction through advertisements! (2, Interesting)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709598)

Problem is the Google ad model is an auction model. How do you know you win? Your arch enemy might put your license plate/face etc in all the wrong places simply by outbidding you...

errr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30709474)

Shouldn't the Brooklyn bridge be able to sell its advertising space to Google? I live near a very scenic park, my house overlooks it and is in a bunch of post cards and such, if Google try's to use images of my house for advertising, I'm sooo suing. To be honest Google is getting a bit too big for its britches and has definitely fallen into Microsoft, Intel territory.

Video Games (1)

brainboyz (114458) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709502)

Have been doing this for years in video games, prior art anyone?

Re:Video Games (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709854)

Have been doing this for years in video games, prior art anyone?

No, they haven't. Hint - read the claims of the linked patent, not the Slashdot summary.

Sounds like a great way... (1)

Evil Shabazz (937088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709524)

This sounds like a genius way to get me to stop using StreetView. Not like it was of much use beyond novelty, anyway.

I no longer use Google directly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30709634)

I have stopped using Google directly altogether. I only use its Web search engine through the scroogle.org proxy [scroogle.org] , I remember when most people were dying to get a Gmail invite. Nowadays practically everyone has at least one Gmail account. I have never used Gmail for anything I consider private and I refuse to email anything private to any Gmail address without at least encrypting it using PGP. I have lost touch with some people because of this, but my privacy is more important to me than staying in touch with everyone.

Re:Sounds like a great way... (1)

cortesoft (1150075) | more than 4 years ago | (#30710362)

I won't argue whether ads will make using it more of a bother than it is worth, but StreetView is useful in a non-novelty way in many situations.

Maybe you don't live in a city where this is an issue, but I often use it whenever I am traveling somewhere new (like a store or a persons home or apartment). This allows me to see a number of things that help me when I arrive: what does the store or building look like, so I can know when I see it? What is the parking situation like? Does it look like I ill be able to park in front, or is there a parking lot of some sort nearby?

In a city like San Francisco where I live, there is always a lot of traffic and not much parking, so you don't really have a chance to just drive slowly and try to figure it out when you get there. It is much easier to have an idea of what you will encounter before heading out.

Re:Sounds like a great way... (1)

Evil Shabazz (937088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30712264)

Yeah, that is a good use for it if you happen to live somewhere that has the streets done - but I find that even in west Los Angeles, Street View isn't available for my destination half the time.

Re:Sounds like a great way... (1)

Evil Shabazz (937088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30712278)

Hate to post twice, but I was heading out to pick up a DLP projector tonight and the one I wanted at the price I wanted was at Best Buy (surprised? me too) in Culver City, but at one I'd never been to. I thought, hey, I'll see if I can use Street View to help me, like that guy from /. said. :) I put in the address, and while a slightly nearby street had been mapped, it was done a couple years ago while the entire area was being redeveloped - and thus is now totally useless. It's just a bunch of photos of constructions sites. :(

This is one of those areas where patents are good (4, Interesting)

melted (227442) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709554)

This is one of those areas where patents are good. They prevent everybody else from doing this shit. :-)

Re:This is one of those areas where patents are go (1)

mxh83 (1607017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709756)

you have wayy too much misplaced faith in google..

Re:This is one of those areas where patents are go (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709758)

This is one of those areas where patents are good. They prevent everybody else from doing this shit. :-

They prevent everybody else from using Google's way of doing this shit.

Without a license.

The patent protects only their implementation of the idea.

It does not protect the idea itself.

Re:This is one of those areas where patents are go (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709870)

The patent protects only their implementation of the idea.

It does not protect the idea itself.

Good paraphrase, but almost entirely backwards. That comes from Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service, which was a copyright case. Copyright protects an implementation, but not the idea. Patent law protects the idea, not the specific implementation.

But... (1)

Armakuni (1091299) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709560)

...doesn't an invention have to be non-obvious to be patentable? Placing ads on a map on the web seems pretty obvious to me...

Re:But... (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709692)

Did you read the claims? For example:

1. A computer implemented method for managing one or more real property regions, the method comprising:

providing a geographic view of a property within an online property management system;

identifying a region of interest in the geographic view including at least a portion of a real property region;

analyzing the geographic view to locate one or more promotional features within the geographic view positioned upon a real property region;

providing a user-selectable link associated with the region of interest in the geographic view;

receiving a request for the region of interest in the geographic view via the user-selectable link;

receiving data to alter at least one of the behavior or the appearance of the region of interest;

storing the data in association with the geographic view; and

updating the region of interest within the geographic view based upon the received data.

You can't go by what the abstract says, and you definitely can't go by what somebody's summary says on Slashdot. What's claimed is what counts, and if there's some claimed aspect that isn't taught by the prior art, then they'll get a patent for it.

That said, it's infrequent that the originally-filed claims are allowed. By the time Google actually gets a patent, the allowed claims will probably look a lot different from this.

Re:But... (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#30711950)

Unfortunately, the claims you've quoted are basically how all online mapping applications work. Even mapping APIs, like Oracle MapsViewer (and Oracle Maps JS API).

Prior art exists (1)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709580)

Google never heard of "Where's Waldo?"

Re:Prior art exists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30709636)

Google never heard of "Where's Waldo?"

Actually they have (or at least they've heard of the British version, "Where's Wally?"
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/5021443/Google-Street-View-Wheres-Wally-found-in-London.html

Then I want compensation (2, Interesting)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709654)

If you're going to use a picture of my house to place advertisements, then I want to be compensated for the use of my house. Either that or take the photo down. And I'm sure businesses are not going to want a competitor's ad placed in or around a photo of their building!

Re:Then I want compensation (3, Insightful)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709882)

If you're going to use a picture of my house to place advertisements, then I want to be compensated for the use of my house.

I assume your house is on a public street. If so, maybe you should construct a high fence or plant a row of trees, since you have no right to prevent other people from looking at it, or even taking a picture.

Re:Then I want compensation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30710026)

Try taking photos of the fronts major league baseball stadiums and selling ad space on the photos you publish and see if the MLBA doesn't sue your ass into the ground.

Re:Then I want compensation (1)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 4 years ago | (#30710048)

Because the likeness of the stadiums are trademarked and in fact actively used in the trade of tickets and merchandise? And your house isn't? Sounds like the system working to protect things that make sense.

Re:Then I want compensation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30710204)

That's actually not the case, the stadium here you can take all the photos you like and use them as you will with one exception. You can't use an image that contains the name of the stadium, "Oriole Park at Camden Yards". Any other photos are fine and MLBA has no case.

I don't agree that Google should be able to use your house's image to sell ads, any more so than I should be able to use images of random pedestrians to sell ads.

Also, there are at least 5 items visible on the front of my house that I hold trademark or copyright to, so that would be an issue for them. And the original architect who designed the place might want to have a word as well, given it was designed and built only 6 years ago.

Re:Then I want compensation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30710388)

"The system working...." what a laugh. Both stadiums here have been built by a combination of taxpayer dollars and money raised by the state lottery (which was supposed to be used to fund the educational system). So now we have some of the shittiest public schools in the country and some asshole pro sports team owner gets to profit off of what WE paid to build. And ticket prices are to high to afford to take a family to a game.

Yeah, that system "works" but its too bad it makes absolutely no sense. WE paid for it, WE should own it.

I guess I'll be incorporating the image of my home into the logo of my tiny little freelance art business I do on the side.

Re:Then I want compensation (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30710044)

Then how about you give me your address?
I have a nice 30 feet high ad-frame, featuring my documentary “Home of Goatse”, that I want to place around the entry to your house.

Re:Then I want compensation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30710180)

Sure 127.0.0.1

Re:Then I want compensation (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713046)

There is a difference between taking a picture of private property, as it is seen from public property, and modifying that image with an advertisement.

This is not about the right to photograph. Modifying that picture with the intent to make a person believe the advertisement was like a billboard, or physically present at the location could possibly be construed as being endorsed by the private person/entity that owns that property.

I can absolutely understand the logic in a business or person objecting to the content, or the nature, of these modifications. What if Google has an advertisement placed by an abortion clinic that get's pasted across a virtual billboard, or the actual wall of a church?

Best Buy advertised on the side of a Wallmart?

Burger King advertised over a McDonald's sign?

These are valid arguments. The only way Google could ever construct a database of what is condoned by the property owners is by actually conducting interviews. That would probably render the whole idea nonviable from a business standpoint. It's highly likely that Google has very little data in which to provide smart and targeted advertising, specifically knowing what the user may have been looking for when seeing that particular property from Street View.

I totally agree that a photograph of private property, as seen from public property, is perfectly legal to take and then copyright and sell.

It is also reasonable to say that modifying those pictures with the specific intent to gain public attention to a service, product, idea, political group, religious group, etc. without having the informed consent of the property owner is something that can be litigated.

In any case, it is an absolute guarantee that Google will spend 10+ million dollars on litigation in the first year from property owners regardless of the outcomes of the cases themselves. It is as certain as sundown and sunset that there will be property owners incensed at either not getting paid for the advertising itself, or the content of the advertising.

So it is not IF, but WHEN, the court cases begin and we can see how the courts in different countries are going to decide.

Re:Then I want compensation (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30710598)

What's your legal or moral justification for this? I could understand if someone browsed Street View, saw your house with some, say, MPAA ads beside it and assumed that you supported the MPAA. But otherwise, they're not using your house, they're using a picture of your house. If someone takes a picture of your house, you don't have any rights to that picture.

Re:Then I want compensation (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 4 years ago | (#30712064)

Wow, you sound like those folks who try to insist that their names are copyrighted in order to prevent people from talking about them. Has it occurred to you that photos taken of your house do NOT belong to you, but to the photographer?

Re:Then I want compensation (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713298)

if you're clueless enough to have adverts on your house then that will happen, but if you read the summary, then you would know that it only applies to adverts found in the image, not ordinary buildings.

Laughing Man logo (Ghost in the Shell) (1)

starbugs (1670420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709676)

It would be more interesting to see a Laughing Man [wikipedia.org] logo superimposed over peoples faces.
These ads would be just as annoying.

Ad Overlay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30709702)

It sounds to me like they intend on finding actual, physical billboards and replacing them with their own virtual ads. No where does it imply that they will be adding additional ads that weren't there in the first place.

Re:Ad Overlay (1)

mxh83 (1607017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709782)

Well even if they did just that, it would not be an accurate representation of the actual surroundings.

So, I'm looking for ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709732)

... the Fine Arts Gallery. I look it up on Google maps, but when I arrive at the location, all I can find is this building of classical architecture. There's no McDonalds logo (as shown in street view, clown and all) anywhere in sight.

Re:So, I'm looking for ... (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709876)

Speaking of McDonald's, I bet they'd use street-view ads to make their own fantasy version of the golden arch-less Cycle Center in Chicago [newsbank.com] . (Via WP [wikipedia.org] )

They'd probably replace trees with Big Macs and bikes with Happy Meal toys.

linux sucks teh dick (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30709740)

faggots.

Re:linux sucks teh dick (1)

mxh83 (1607017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709772)

Which distro does that? I'd like to get it.

Google is well within its rights to do so. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30709846)

The places may be public but the pictures belong to Google and it wants to mash it up with ads it is well within its rights to do so. And it is well within our rights to stop using Google maps too. And other big players are there with their own street views Microsoft and Apple. Let there be competition and let the marketplace decide.

Bur just yesterday we saw Mexico claiming copyright on ALL images of their heritage monuments built by the people it killed and eradicated. Google is most likely will cravenly let such governments walk all over it and assert its rights only against fairer governments like that of USA. Sad but that is life.

Prepare the lawyers... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30710014)

Because if anyone sees an ad next to his house, that does not fly with him, he’s gonna sue. Which means basically everyone who gets that this could mean money. Which in this artificially bad economy means everyone. ;)

VRML (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 4 years ago | (#30710224)

Would creating a 3d bilboard sign in a VRML world count as previous art?

Viagra Ads on Washington Monument (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30710434)

nuf sed

patents block others, that's what they're for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30711106)

Patents prevent other people doing something. This means google can block any competing "standalone" streetview type web applications whose only revenue stream planned might have been in-streetview advertising. You may bitch about patents being anticompetitive, since that's what they're for (not for "compensating inventors", that's always been a lie-to-children).

Billboards (2, Insightful)

Mantrid42 (972953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30711536)

I assumed they would be overlaying ads onto existing advertising space; i.e., billboards. After all, the companies who wanted to advertise on the billboard did so with the expectation that their only audience would be people driving by. By leaving these images as they are, those companies get free advertising, which is not something Google is required to give them. Similarly, if the content of a billboard has changed since the image was taken, it's unfair for the earlier company to receive free advertising while the newer one does not. If they want to superimpose new, relevant ads over old, useless ads, that's fine by me.

Use this instead of blurring (1)

Eadwacer (722852) | more than 4 years ago | (#30712674)

Don't blur faces. Don't blur the top of NSA HQ, just stick an ad up there.

This is so cool (1)

vtstarin (1679928) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713076)

So if customer browse in our street they can see what's we offer... This is so cool..

For You, Half Price (1)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713520)

Slashdot shouldn't be linking to sites which require registration, such as the NY Times. To see the article, try this google search [google.com] . The first link is page one, and the third link is page two.

Could be neat. (1)

Xeno man (1614779) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713544)

It would be neat if they could overlay existing billboards and bench ads with their own ads and clicking them brings up a larger view so that they are not obtrusive at all. Ads on existing billboards would make them expected and relevant to some degree. Or if your looking at a store front from street view there already is a link for that stores website (if existes). There is a right way to do advertising and a wrong way of shoving it in every corner you can.

Uh oh - NO WAY (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 4 years ago | (#30713810)

There is no f*cking way I will allow Google to plaster my house with ads, especially those I cannot control. If I don't allow people to deface the sides of my house, why should I allow this virtual graffiti?

Search term "abortion clinic" in your browser? All the ads may lead to pro life supporters (or imaging a abortion clinic ad plastered on a church). Tiger Woods' house? Ads for relationship agencies (as a matter of fact, I have already seen that with Google ads surrounding Tiger Woods reporting). Looking at Neverland? Hey, cool place to stick child protection ads..

Someone who doesn't support Google? I wonder what that house will get for ads..

It would be the equivalent of putting up all those ad boards, but without having to seek permission from the locals.

No way, not ever.

I think I speak for Slashdot on this one... (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30714916)

...when I say FUCK YOU SOFTWARE PATENTS.

Well, OK, some readers may not have used all caps, but that's because they aren't as awesome.
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