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back to article Philip K. Dick's kid howls over Googlephone handle

Philip K. Dick's daughter is "shocked and dismayed" that Google has apparently named its fabled cellphone after one of her father's creations without consulting his estate. Isa Dick Hackett has even gone so far as to discuss the matter with her legal counsel, The New York Times reports. On Saturday, Google confirmed that it has …

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Dictionary says "android" is an early 18th century word.

Like, before Bonnie Prince Charlie.

I don't know whether Google was "inspired" by PKD. Apparently the world still waits for a product, device or service named Ubik.

"Androids" is a popular book, but probably less popular than the movie "Blade Runner" - a title licensed or swiped from a completely different sci-fi book.

Meanwhile, if that's what "nexus" means, I suppose there's an outside bet on seeing the thing launched instead as Android Fascist.

Come to think, does the phonieverse already use the name Total Recall for anything? Probably does.

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Black Helicopters

I like traffic lights

Surely just a combination of words in a book isn't enough to make them 'yours' forever more?

Don't they have to be a registered trademark or somesuch?

Uh oh, there's a time nexus at the door, better send the android to sort it out.

ANDROID defeats evil NEXUS (aka google)!! FILM@11

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FAIL

Not a valid claim

Although I am no lawyer, and I am a big fan of PKD. I don't think this claim is valid.

As I understand it you do not get trademark rights on names / etc. from the publication of a single book - as this does not constitue a 'source' but as a single work (unlike e.g. Lord of the Rings books or the Harry Potter series of books - which are seen as a source). And you don't get them if you haven't applied for them either.

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Unhappy

unfortunately...

Isa Dick wasn't her birth name:

Birth Name: Isolde Freya Dick

Nickname: Isa

(from imdb)

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Joke

real names

Her dad's birth name wasn't Philip either, it was Isaac. Can't understand why he changed it...

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Anonymous Coward

Good grief

I think Isa Dick Hackett must be dreaming of a fat pay cheque ... sadly, that is all it will probably ever be ... a dream.

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Anonymous Coward

Steve Roper

It will be difficult for Google to "disclaim any connection with Philip K. Dick's story" given the reference to Nexus One and the context of "the first in a line of Androids". It's nothing to do with the word being in a dictionary and all to do with the way it's been used. So his "greedy freeloading bitch of a daughter" most certainly HAS got a leg to stand on. If you're going to leap to such ill thought out conclusions go back to drooling over the Daily Mail.

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Bod

Trademarks

1. This isn't a case of copyright (can't copyright the word Nexus). It's a trademark issue.

2. I doubt PKD trademarked Nexus-6

3. Even if he did, or just taking it as an unregistered trademark, there would have to be proof that Google are using Nexus One to pass off their business as PKD's, but they're not, and he wasn't a trading business, Nexus-6 isn't used to represent a trading business, and Google are using Nexus One to represent a phone, not a book.

4. Nexus is a (non trademark, product, etc) dictionary word, so on it's own is not trademarkable as it cannot singularly distinguish a business (a word and an image, number or phrase might be, but Nexus One is not Nexus-6). Nexus simply is a 'means of connection', and it's quite obvious that Google are saying they are providing a phone to connect people (but they can't say that because that's Nokia's phrase). Maybe an in joke reference to Androids also, but it's not going to be a threat to PKD's estate.

Move along here, nothing to see.

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Electric bloody sheep indeed

I don't think the problem is Nexus or Android but the use of "Nexus-x" for version x of an "Android"

G-Marketeer 1 "Sounds cool. Let's use it"

G-Marketeer 2 "We're clearly giving a nod to Dickies work. Should we ask first?"

*pause*

G-1&2 "HAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHA"

No surprise, Google's evil has outstripped MS, Exxon, Union Carbide or even Apple. To my mind they are approaching the Khymer Rouge, German National Socialists and the current UK government.

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@Dave Cradle

Outstripped MS? - arguable at least, after all despite not being a convicted monopolist they have indulged in some questionable practices on occasion.

Outstripped Exxon? - well, I suppose in some heads using a pop reference for your phone is worse than allowing millions of gallons of oil to flood the oceans through poorly maintained tankers, and trying to duck responsibility for cleaning it up or compensating the victims (human and otherwise)

Outstripped Union Carbide - Yes, I'm not quite sure when Google was directly responsible for the direct deaths of hundreds and the permanent harm to tens of thousands, but I'm sure it's happened, otherwise you wouldn't make such a bloody stupid comment.

Khymer Rouge, National Socialists - hmm, you are leaving me slightly behind here to be honest.

Current UK Gov. Well, despite considering them a bunch of nasty, controlling, uneducated (in anything useful like history, science, engineering or mathematics), smug gits, I'm forced to accept that they are probably no more evil than Google, so I'll give you that one.

You sir are either a better ironicist (please consider this word a new trademark) than I am, or need a sense of proportion.

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back @ ya

The former. But slight exageration doesn't mask the intent.

I see Google as like the martians in "Mars Attacks!"

"We come in peace" *zap*

"We come in peace" *zap*

"Do no evil"...

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...what was that marketing phrase?

oh yes!

First, do no harm.

Let me know how that's going for you.

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Nexus is an English word, not a made-up name.

No-one can claim exclusive rights to Nexus, it's an English word. From the online dictionary:

Noun

1. a means of connection between members of a group or things in a series; link; bond

2. a connected group or series

So tough!

But maybe a bit hubristic for Google, implicitly claiming to be the first connected group or series? I'd have awarded that honour to Racal, later Vodafone, for inventing the mobile.

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Google should buy her a goat...

... then push it off a roof.

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Champaign

If you were making sparkling wine in Illinois or Ohio, you might just get away with calling it Champaign, but everyone would laugh at you.

Odd that the US is ok with calling their bubbly Champagne but baulk at french fries...

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Ok, just stop that....

No one sane in the US calls them anything other than French fries. McDonald's sells them that way, and that's good enough for everyone to live with. Last time I checked, the spineless nutjobs who made up the "freedom fries" nonsense didn't bother to boycott McDonald's or Burger King, or any of the other major French fry vendors none of whom were crazy enough to change their menus for a pointless fringe element. And that idiot Ney who got the name changed in the House cafeteria is gone and the names have been back to "french fries" and "french toast" since July 2006. Let it go already.

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The nexus of the crisis

Speaking with some degree of expertise, this is a non-starter as a legal complaint, but it's still a win-win for the Dicks and Google - free publicity for both.

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Anonymous Coward

But not

Sandy Pearlman.

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Homage

It's called homage. Get over it, Ms K Dick.

Next thing you know, K & R will start charging Stroustrup, Microsoft and nVidia for using the name "C" in C++/C#/Cg without asking permission.

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As has been pointed out . . .

. . . the issue isn't with Nexus, it's not with Android either, it's with the combination of the two.

According to Google, Android is the type of phone and the model is Nexus-n.

According to PKD, Android is the type of machine and the model is Nexus-n.

QED Google have nicked the naming convention.

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Will it have a mood organ?

I've thought about using short phrases from books I like as names for my businesses and products and wondered if it would cause any problems along these lines. In particular, I've considered Philip K. Dick books.

I'm not a lawyer, but my understanding is that those types of phrases are generally fair game, legally speaking, unless they've been trademarked. As I understand it, the copyright that protects the book doesn't interfere with the ability to use some phrase that appears in the book, perhaps even the title, as a trademark.

However, I personally would prefer not to be sued by someone for using a phrase from their book, even if the claim is without legal merit. And if you're using a phrase from someone's book because you like the book, and the author objects, that's kind of awkward. (The estate objecting is kind of a different story.)

I think generally it doesn't become an issue unless you are or become a big business, like Google. Otherwise it may be unlikely to get noticed, and even if it does the author may not care. And if you're as big as Google, you have plenty of financial and legal firepower to fight it out or settle it with cash if you want.

I seem to recall hearing about a lawsuit concerning the name "Californication". If I remember correctly, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were suing to prevent the name from being used for the TV show, but the claim didn't succeed because they hadn't trademarked the name. Perhaps the matter isn't settled yet.

I hate to repeat something that plenty of people have already said, but there are a lot of people that don't seem to understand (or don't want to understand) that what seems to be provoking the daughter's ire is not just the name "Nexus One", which is pretty generic, but the use of that name in close connection with "Android". I don't know if that's a coincidence or not, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's not.

I'm not sure how big of a deal I think that is, even if it's not a coincidence, and even though I'm a fan of Philip K. Dick and becoming less enamored with Google all the time.

By the way, I just read an article ( http://www.abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=9312497 ) yesterday about how the economic downturn is helping sales of non-Champagne sparkling wines, such as Prosecco and Cava. Quote: "The United States has agreed to stop new domestic producers from using the name [Champagne], but many, including Barefoot, were grandfathered in since they have existed for years."

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Anonymous Coward

Why do all my coins show Joe Chip's face?

I'm siding with Isa Dick Hackett, partly because she's a fox, and partly because Google's chairman is a cock.

Y'HEAR ME, ERIC? YOU'RE A COCK AND YOU DESERVE EVERY BAD THING THAT HAPPENS TO YOU EVEN IF IT IS A PIECE OF DUMBASS 'LOOK-AT-ME' LEGAL SUERAGE.

If you really want a piece of scary-ass 'homage' my brother lives near Skynet Drive, where the UK military communications satellite constellation is controlled by contractor Paradigm Services.

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Authors' Pathetic Kids

Dick's estate is as pathetic as Tolkien's estate. A bunch of descendants, with absolutely NO literary talent whatsoever, pissing and moaining about infringement and royalties. Get a frickin' job and quit trying to live and bank off of daddy's success.

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Anonymous Coward

Legal or not

it's a matter of common courtesy to ask permission from the estate. If the estate won't allow it, or not without a percentage, tough. It isn't homage to act like the author's kids - who are the legal administrators of the PKD estate - don't exist, it is disrespect. If a company with the wealth of Google doesn't want to pay a percentage for this so-called homage-that-treats-the-author's-kids-like-shit, then don't use it. There is no other way to look at it if you're honest and awake, a test which disappointingly many respondents here apparently fail.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Rev. Ignatius Killfile

The word replicant was brought into the picture by David Peoples while he was tidying up Hampton Fancher's script for Blade Runner: note that Dick didn't call his novel Do Replicants Dream Of Electric Sheep.

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Checking a dictionary...

nexus [ˈnɛksəs]

n pl nexus

1. a means of connection between members of a group or things in a series; link; bond

2. a connected group or series

I think (1) makes a clear case for it to be used as a name for a communications device.

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FAIL

Another Nexus

Did anyone play warzone 2100?? or was it just me...

actully it was probably just me..

that game had superb research & build. and was superb in 3D with the Elsa shutter glasses!

Fail as WZ ultimatly did.

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Deja Apple?

I'm waiting for the next model: "Butthead Author's Daughter"

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Coat

the question is

Will it pass the voigt-kompf (typo?) test!!!

And it better have longer than a 4 year life span!!

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FAIL

Nexus-what?

So the PKD book uses "Nexus-6", and Google uses "Nexus One". Sorry, that's not really the exact same thing is it? The word "Nexus" followed by a random number? Or maybe she's hoping for some cash from the use of the word Nexus, in which case I hope she has looked into http://www.nexus.org.uk/ and anything else that takes Google 0.26s to find.

FAIL because this is hardly plagarism, and while her father's book might use "Nexus" and a number in the context of androids, the word "nexus" dates from 1660ish, and "android" from 1720ish (source dictionary.com).

Once upon a time people would have have been happy to say something like "that's named in honour of my dad's book". Pah! Fail. Go away.

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