Google: EFF defends right to sell AdWords

Google: EFF defends right to sell AdWords.
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor on

Last week, I put forth “Google YouTube ‘victims’ championed by Chilling Effects, EFF, Harvard Law School.”

This week, the EFF (Electonic Frontier Foundation) has come to the Google rescue once again, seeking to prevent “improper attacks on digital speech intermediaries.”

Calling itself an advocate for “online speakers, consumers and technology innovators,” the EFF filed an Amicus Brief in support of Google in “Rescuecom Corporation v. Google, Inc.”

In supporting Google in a “trademark use” doctrine case, EFF defends the purchase of Google AdWords as a “constitutionally protected activity.” EFF portrays Google as a technological advancer of free speech, while putting forth the right to purchase AdWords as a fundamental requirement if free speech on the Internet is to flourish.

EFF extols the virtues of Google’s multi billion dollar AdWords business, over Google’s touted “perfect” search engine in the EFF fight for "civil liberties."

EFF acknowledges that the groups it rallies do not readily appear at the top of Google’s search engine results, but nevertheless applauds Google for the AdWords opportunity to buy placement on a Google SERP:

Groups like the Coalition may not appear highly-ranked in non-sponsored search results…Fortunately, Google will also display information a user might not initially seek but still find valuable via its “Sponsored Links.”

EFF puts forth that trademarked words are “vehicles of expression” and “proxies for shared interests” on the Internet.

In other EFF words, it is the public that has overriding ownership rights in corporate trademarks, not the corporate trademark owners themselves.

ALSO: “YouTube: Is Viacom hurting innocent YouTubers?” and  “Google YouTube: Is Viacom the big bad wolf?

Editorial standards