Is the Google Phone an Unauthorized Replicant?

Stories about Philip K. Dick’s daughter taking aim at Google’s deep-pockets for naming the “Google Phone” Nexus One have been all over tech blogs during the last week or so. Now that it seems the phone is truly about to come to market, maybe they’ll have to take her seriously. This summary story in the New York Times captures the issues fairly well:

Motorola tugged at the hearts of science-fiction fans everywhere when it announced that its first smartphone using Google’s Android software would be called Droid, the name given to the lovable robots in “Star Wars.”

Google appears to be trying the same tactic with its own soon-to-be-released Android phone. The device is called Nexus One in at least two government filings.

As many bloggers have noted, the name Nexus One seems to be a reference to the cyborgs in the dystopian movie “Blade Runner,” which in turn was based on the novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by the late Philip K. Dick. Both the film and the book feature a bounty hunter tracking down several rogue Nexus-6 cyborgs, the sixth generation in the line of Nexus robots.

But unlike Verizon Wireless, which licensed the Droid name from “Star Wars” creator George Lucas for use with the Motorola phone, no one at Google discussed the name with Mr. Dick’s family — and they’re not happy about it.

Isa Dick Hackett, a daughter of Mr. Dick, said in an interview Tuesday that she was “shocked and dismayed” by reports indicating that the Google phone would be named after her father’s famous characters. “We were never consulted, no requests were made, and we didn’t grant any sort of permissions.”…

[continues in the New York Times]

, , , , , , , ,