Beverly Stayart Strikes Again! This Time, Stayart Sues Google

By Eric Goldman

Stayart v. Google, Inc., 2:10-cv-00336-LA (E.D. Wis. complaint filed April 20, 2010)

I’ve previously blogged about Beverly Stayart (a/k/a Bev Stayart) and her mockable lawsuit against Yahoo. She has repeatedly declared that she is the only Beverly Stayart / Bev Stayart in the world and that her name–due to the cachet she has built up from being a quality human being–is being used to peddle sex-related pharmaceuticals. She lost her first foray against Yahoo on 47 USC 230 grounds but nevertheless is trying again.

Now, she has launched another effort to defend her name—this time she is suing Google for similar concerns. (Like we couldn’t see that coming!). She objects to the fact that Google Suggest prompts searchers on “bev stayart” to search for “bev stayart levitra.” (para. 13). Anticipating a 47 USC 230 defense, she argues (para. 15) that Google Suggest represents first party editorial content that drops out of 230 coverage. The complaint also seems to raise the question of whether selling a personal name as a keyword trigger constitutes a publicity rights violation; but the complaint does not appear to evidence any understanding of broad matching, i.e., that a search for “bev stayart levitra” will deliver Levitra-related broad-matched ads for reasons having nothing to do with Bev Stayart. (See this recurring defect in paras. 90-109).

(Note: this prompted me to check out a search for “eric goldman levitra.” My first result, from www.hosmersoda.com, looks pretty sploggy to me, but there’s no way I’m going to click on these links!!!)

Some unsolicited advice for Bev Stayart: stop suing search engines, and stop running vanity searches on the search engines. Life is too short to fret about sploggers!

Two final notes: Bev’s attorney is, once again, Gregory A. Stayart, her employer and presumably a family relation. Also, searches for “Bev Stayart” and “Beverly Stayart” are worth a look—I can’t recall other search results quite like that.

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