Swedish Language Council drops 'ungoogleable' from new word list after legal pressure from Google

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Katre Scott-Hopkins
Estonia
Local time: 07:34
Member
Estonian to English
+ ...
The bigger the pettier Mar 27, 2013

Extremely petty of Google, quite ridiculous in fact. But good to know. Thanks for sharing!

 

Cedomir Pusica  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 06:34
Member (2009)
English to Serbian
+ ...
Not quite Mar 27, 2013

Google is right here: everything is googleable. Not everything can be found, though. icon_wink.gif

 

Terry Richards
France
Local time: 06:34
French to English
+ ...
They have a reason Mar 28, 2013

Google could loose copyright on their Trademark if it is allowed to enter the language and that copyright is quite valuable.

There are precedents - hoover (vacuum cleaner), biro & bic (ball point pens), xerox (xerographic copying)...

If Google is allowed to become a generic term for search engine, anybody could use it on their web site and claim that they are using the generic term and not the trademark.


 

esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:34
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
At the same time… Mar 28, 2013

…some people think, the word should be en English.

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:34
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Comment Mar 28, 2013

Terry Richards wrote:
Google could loose copyright on their Trademark if it is allowed to enter the language...


I'm not sure what country's laws would allow such a thing, but yes, some companies have a policy to prevent use of their name that may damage their brand identity. Google's response here is simply a matter of course -- they sent a lawyer letter to the Swedish group, and that's that.

From what I read, the problem here was not so much that the word "ungoogleable" was included in the list, but that it was defined as "can't be found on any search engine" instead of "can't be found on Google". The danger to Google here is that "to google" becomes a synonym for "using a search engine" instead of "using Google".

The Swedish group backed down because they have less money than Google, and did not want to test the limits of their rights, but in my opinion they had every right to put "ungoogleable" in their list as long as their list is indeed descriptive (in the academic sense). If it had been a competition to create new words, and "ungoogleable" was proposed, then it would have been a problem. But as far as I can tell the list is based on data from public sources, and anyone (and a judge) who examines the data would come to the same conclusion about their definition of "ungoogleable".

What Google is doing here is shooting the messenger. The Swedish group discovered that there is such a word and that that is the usual definition of it, and what Google is essentially doing is objecting to them making that fact known in a publication. If Google really cared about its brand, then logically speaking they should go after the folks who used that word in that sense in the first place, and not after the Swedish group who found out about it.


 

Michiel Leeuwenburgh  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:34
Member (2009)
English to Dutch
They are too late... Mar 28, 2013

Samuel Murray wrote:
The danger to Google here is that "to google" becomes a synonym for "using a search engine" instead of "using Google".


My Dutch dictionary defines the verb "googelen" as "searching the internet", not "using Google to search the internet".
How can Google expect to turn the tide with actions like these? Silly and a waste of time.


 


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Swedish Language Council drops 'ungoogleable' from new word list after legal pressure from Google

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