Orkut, Google’s social network that never caught on in America, looks set to cost the company some money in Brazil. Google’s lost a lawsuit brought against it by Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello.
The lawsuit revolved around several fake profiles set up in Barrichello’s name. They ridiculed him for being second driver (or more specifically, second fiddle) to Michael Schumacher, and Google wasn’t quick to take the profiles down, despite being notified.
As a result, "A Sao Paulo court ruled that Google took too long to remove fake profiles mocking Barrichello from its website," according to a Grandprix.com article.
Barrichello was awarded $118,000.
Google appears to be suffering something of a losing streak with Orkut. Consider that comScore recently indicated the network lost its popularity lead to Facebook in India. Now there’s this lawsuit in Brazil, the only other big country in which Orkut’s been on top.
These developments don’t set the stage for the best possible Google Me launch. On the bright side (from Google’s perspective), $118,000 isn’t too much to a company with a market cap of $196 billion, and fake profiles aren’t the worst problem a social network has ever had to deal with.