Brazilian NGO sues Google in USA

Rio de Janeiro-based NGO AfroReggae has been suing Google since September 2016 for allegedly failing to give credit to the partnership that resulted in a project named Beyond the Map (Além do Mapa) – a series of 360-degree interactive videos showcasing the history of residents of the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, launched just before the Rio Olympics.

The NGO claims that it gave Google support in the incursion into the communities, presenting the company´s producers with local information, trivia and life histories, which was part of AfroReggae´s previous project named It Is In The Map (Tá no Mapa). AfroReggae was founded in 1993 with the mission of using the arts and culture as tools of social development. AfroReggae delivered its vital contribution to the project but Google surprisingly did not recognize the NGO in the credits of the service. In face of the frustrating situation, AfroReggae filed a case at the court in Santa Clara County (Silicon Valley, California), where Google’s headquarters is located.

In late June, the court gave the green light to AfroReggae’s action, opening the possibility for charging punitive damages. The NGO´s attorney explained that no set amount will be presented beforehand, since the assessment of the extend of the damage will be carried out by the court, which shall take in consideration the damage caused and the size of the company as well as warning it wants to give the company in order to avoid recurrence.

The NGO´s attorney sustains that Google took advantage of AfroReggae because the Olympics was a huge event, so an unique opportunity for promotion was lost.

Álvaro Petrillo
Attorney at law in Peduti

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