Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Google To Replace Billboards With Adsense In Google Earth Google Files Patent To Let Them Replace Billboards In Street View
pictures can be months or years out of date. This means that billboards
in Street View are often outdated and different – until now.
Google has filed a patent in the United States that would let them place
their own ads – observably something similar to AdSense –
over the old, real life billboards.
Google's patent filing mentions modernizing certain ads – like if
a movie theatre owner wants to purchase ad space so the movie posters
outside his theatre are modernized to reflect current movies (Avatar)
instead of ones from 9 months ago (Monsters vs. Aliens).
But these are the only uses that Google sees for these virtual adspaces.
Part of the patient mentions an auction system, where advertisers could
bid over the rights to place their ads over the top of old billboards.
This could lead to legal issues – like a restaurant buying a prime
billboard over a rival.
Of course, there is the legal issue of the billboard owners getting
upset about Google making money on their billboards – but they
don't have a case. In 2002, the USA Today paid Sony Pictures
Entertainment for placement in the Spider-Man movie. In the movie, when
Spidey was swinging through Times Square, the film's editors digitally
removed a Samsung ad and turned it into a USA Today ad.
Samsung, the ad company, and the building's owner sued Sony Pictures
Entertainment, but a court ruled that it was legal. Billboards are big
money, and Google will likely be sued by some enterprising billboard
company – but they've got legal percent on their side.
Of course, this may never come out at all. A Google spokesman told the
UK's Telegraph: We file patent applications on a variety of ideas that
our employees come up with. Some of those ideas later mature into real
products or services, some don't. Prospective product announcements
should not necessarily be inferred from our patent applications.
Props to Gizmodo for the image.