Friday, May 18, 2012

Whatever long grandiose name Iran uses for itself v. Google, Inc.

Iran has announced yesterday that it is considering legal action against Google for not labeling the gulf that forms its southern boundary "the Persian Gulf" in Google Maps. Google, though silent as to whether the decision involves the longstanding regional feud as to whether the body is the Arabian Gulf or the Persian Gulf, has not provided any label for the water. Anyone who has looked for names of bodies of water on Maps can sympathize with not seeing a geographic feature denominated, but I am a little curious as to which judicial body Iran intends to turn to for justice and why a sovereign country will subject itself to that body's jurisdiction. Not to mention the source of legal duty to provide names for things. And why they would pursue Google without also filing the international equivalent to a quiet title action regarding the name, so as to actually establish some right as against more than just one American corporation. Perhaps we should split the baby by using a more functional description, and call the gulf the Great U.S. Aircraft Carrier Holding Tank.

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