That's a Google Maps Street View screengrab of a scene taken by a Google camera at the corner of Kings Highway and East 19th Street in Brooklyn, N.Y.
How would you feel if you were one of the people in that grab? A related poll is below.
But first, I need to backtrack with some info.
With music publishers suing YouTube, and individual companies hiring surfers at $11 an hour to find unapproved (i.e. unlicensed) visual references in YouTube clips, how long before YouTube gets slammed with hundreds, if not thousands, of infringement claims?
Obviously, most of these claims will be bogus, and would ignore the principle of fair use.
It doesn't have to be about music. Let's just say that I take my new high-def digital video camera (woot) and make a short movie of a street scene. In the background is a store with a logo- maybe of the store itself, maybe of a famous soft drink line served inside.
I'd say that's fair use. But it ain't just my call.
That's because bogus has not stopped litigious, enabling attorneys. That's what happens when you are Google, and are perceived as a rich, vulnerable target. Emphasis on rich.
Let's not stop there. What about that fleet of camera-equipped Google automobiles now seen across the nation, taking Google Maps Street View street scenes where plainly identifiable businesses and indivuals can be seen?
I personally have no problem with it, but I can't say every attorney won't. Imagine if you are some backstreet attorney in Keokuk, a client comes in and says why the hell is my business being shown on this Street View, uh view?