Does the Google Nexus One rip off Blade Runner?

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

When Google unveiled its new Nexus One phone this week, we weren't alone in thinking, "Hey, is this the first generation of machines that will eventually become the Nexus-6 replicants?"

Seems the family of SF author Philip K. Dick—who wrote "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?", which became the basis of Blade Runner and the replicants therein—are considering legal action against Google over what they consider copyright infringement.

Here's what the Wall Street Journal reported:

"We feel this is a clear infringement of our intellectual-property rights," said Isa Dick Hackett, a daughter of Mr. Dick and the chief executive of Electric Shepherd Productions, an arm of the Dick estate devoted to adapting the late author's works.

"Our legal team is dealing head-on with this," she said Tuesday. An attorney for the estate declined to elaborate on what legal steps it has taken.

The book coined the phrase "Nexus-6" to refer to the advanced humanoid androids that are chased by bounty hunter Rick Deckard (played in the film by Harrison Ford). A Google spokesman declined to comment to the Journal.

The family may have a point: After all, the phone runs the Android operating system. Get it? Nexus One is an android?

Well, in any case, when Verizon Wireless came out with its own Android OS phone, it got permission from Star Wars rights holder Lucasfilm to call it the "Droid."

Do you think PKD's family has a case?

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