I am wondering if it is legal to use Google Maps (via API code) in the following case: A webpage offers a local search to find lawyers that are located close to where you live. The page is free to visitors. If a lawyer wants Google Maps to show along with his entry he has to pay money for that. Otherwise he has a basic entry without the Maps feature.
Google writes on www.google.com/apis/maps/terms.html "The API may be used only for services that are generally accessible to consumers without charge." Now the point is, what is meant by "consumers"? The visitors of the page, for whom the service is free? Or also the lawyers who can choose to pay for a Map along their entry?
The API may be used only for services that are generally accessible to consumers without charge.
this doesn't mean nobody can make any money in the development of google maps-based web services. there are tons of google maps-based applications involving business partnerships that don't happen without charge.
since the lawyer in question could be run over by a bus without ever having consumed google mapping services or even used a web browser, i think the answer is clear. he may be a beneficiary but not a consumer...