Feeds

Facebook nemesis sues Google (and wins)

Milks Mountain View for $761

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

After claiming he invented Facebook, Aaron Greenspan now says he has successfully sued Google. At a Northern California court earlier this week, Mark Zuckerberg's ex-Harvard classmate won $761 from the world's largest ad broker.

Greenspan made headlines back in the fall of 2007 and the spring of 2008 after claiming that he created Facebook at Harvard - not Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and not the founders of ConnectU, who recently won a $60 million settlement in suing Zuckerberg and company for allegedly copying their idea.

One of those Greenspan headlines appeared on The Register. And after reading this headline, Greenspan declined to speak with us about his Google suit. But he details the kerfuffle in a recent piece on The Huffington Post.

Famously, Greenspan has written a tome entitled Authoritas: One student's Harvard admissions and the founding of the Facebook era, in which he claims to set the Zuckerberg record straight. He hoped to advertise the book via Google search ads. But Google wouldn't let him post ads against searches that included the word Facebook. Facebook, Google told him, is a trademark registered to Facebook.

So Greenspan filed a petition with the US Patent and Trademark Office, claiming prior use and accusing Zuckerberg and Facebook of fraud. He suspects that Facebook lobbied Google to keep him from serving ads on Facebook keywords.

The petition is still pending.

In the meantime, Greenspan signed up for the other side of Google's advertising equation, AdSense, which allowed him to post ads on his own site. At least for a while. In early December, the Mountain View Chocolate Factory summarily canceled his AdSense account, claiming his membership in the program "posed a significant risk to our AdWords advertisers."

Such language is often used when Google suspects AdSensers of click fraud. And apparently, Greenspan was serving ads from a so-called parked domain - a site that includes nothing but ads. Though this is par for the course on Google's scam-enabling AdSense for Domains operation, it's verboten on the ad broker's primary AdSense network.

But in typical fashion, Google did not give a reason for the termination. With its terms of service, Google reserves the right to axe AdSense members for "any reason." And this happens often, particularly when click fraud is suspected.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?