Bev Stayart Loses Yet Again In Her Quixotic Quest To Blame Search Engines For Search Results She Doesn't Like
from the stayartisms dept
Well, she's now lost her case against Google as well. The court, after mentioning the earlier cases, basically notes that it could have just dismissed the case on Section 230 grounds, but goes beyond that to dismiss the case on the overall merits. It dumps the publicity rights claim by noting that (a) she failed to show her name has any commercial value (needed to get publicity rights) or (b) that Google ever actually made use of her name.
First, plaintiff alleges no facts which suggest that her name has any commercial value or that Google derives any pecuniary benefit as a result of the connection on the internet between her name and sexual dysfunction medications. Second, plaintiff alleges no facts which suggest that Google used her name for any purpose much less that of advertising or trade. Plaintiff’s allegations establish no more than that Google enables internet users to access publically available materials connected to plaintiff’s name. And it is not unlawful to use a person's name "primarily for the purpose of communicating information. . ."The court also rejects her claim that Google is selling ads on the phrase "bev stayart levitra" by noting that Google is clearly selling ads just on the term "levitra," rather than on her name (though, it's questionable if it's in any way against the law to sell ads on someone's name).
Eric Goldman, who wrote the analysis linked above, wonders if she'll appeal this ruling too and give the Seventh Circuit appeals court "a second mocking opportunity." Meanwhile, I feel compelled to point out -- once again -- that the further Stayart tilts out this particular windmill, the stronger and stronger the connections between her name and the terms she finds so objectionable becomes. This was pointed out all the way back when she began this campaign, and it appears she still hasn't quite understood this concept.