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  1. #1
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    Default New Rules for Bloggers and Affiliate Marketers

    FTC’s New Guidelines May Change Nature of Online Business

    From the CAP News page:

    October 21, 2009 (CAP Newswire) -- Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S. announced that bloggers and similar online marketers and advertisers must now disclose the exact relationship they have with any product or service they write about or promote. If they fail to do so, they can be subject to fines of up to $11,000.

    This new rule may sound fair, but it’s actually much more strict than the rules applied to traditional media like newspapers and magazines. And it has many in the online business world concerned. The guidelines "are the types of vital regulatory issues that, if decided without due care and reasoned judgment, will impair the continued growth of news and content in the online space," the president and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, Randall Rothenberg, said in a letter sent to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.

    "I urge the Commission to retract the current set of Guides and to commence a fair and open process in order to develop a roadmap by which responsible online actors can engage with consumers and continue to provide their invaluable content and services.”

    The IAB is "not arguing that bloggers and social media be treated differently than incumbent media,” Leibowitz continued. “Rather, we're saying the new conversational media should be accorded the same rights and freedoms as other communications channels.”

    Writing in PCMag.com, Chloe Albanesius explains the rules as such: “If a college student with a well-known gaming blog, for example, receives a free copy of the latest game for review and posts a positive review, the student would have to tell readers that he received a free copy of the game. The manufacturer is also required to tell him that he has to disclose their relationship.”

    On the other hand, in traditional media, no such disclosure is necessary. When you see a review of the newest Pink CD in Rolling Stone, you can take for granted that Pink’s record label sent the magazine an advance copy for review. And when Roger Ebert reviews the latest film from Paramount Pictures, again, you can assume he was allowed to see an advanced screening of that movie, for free.

    Since these older types of media don’t have to disclose their exact relationships, why should bloggers?

    Online gambling affiliates, can you imagine the effect this might have on your website? If you blog about sites with which you also have an affiliate marketing relationship, then beware: These new rules apply to you, as well.

    To read PCMag.com’s writeup of the situation, click here. For an in-depth analysis written by an industry blogger outlining how these new rules may affect you, click here.
    Nathan - CasinoAffiliatePrograms.com Staff
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  3. #2
    Moderator - Big Kahuna Dominique's Avatar
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    Like they have nothing better to do than to stifle the internet.

    I think it just bugs them that people from all over the world communicate freely and say what they want.

    If governments start regulating the web, regardless of how they manage to get started, soon the whole thing will be riddled with rules and world wide free expression will once again cease.

    Why? It's hard to rule people who have all the information accessible. In the past, the first thing a dictator did is to control the media. People fought wars blindly, with only the info the dictator wanted them to have. That way you can control people easily.

    Open up communication and information internationally, and governments find their control slipping because - low and behold - people think for themselves.
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    it applies only to US resident bloggers and affiliates, right?!

    I wonder why they don't enforce it on presidents and future governors... "look this war may be called a war on terrorism, our creative team thought it rolls better in people's mouths.. but the truth is..."

    can't the law enforcers/creators/whatnot-ers can come with a warning label as well??!
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    what a bunch of clowns
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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindyslotsnbj View Post
    it applies only to US resident bloggers and affiliates, right?!
    Canadians should be concerned as well. Don't forget, Canada hands over anyone the American government tells them to. Mark Emery, for instance. A huge breach of sovereignty IMO but something we're sadly quite used to.
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  7. #6
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    All i have is a little cooking blog that i post in for fun and maybe one day make money from! How messed up is that to stifle free speech! doesn't the government have better things to do??
    Yvette Arlic
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    This is pretty absurd, but what isn't when it comes to regulation and the internet. What these "lawmakers" (jokes in a suit) don't understand is that the internet can't and wont be silenced, or open up with big old arms and say "yes you can have all of our information so you can use it against us" ... right, good luck with that.

    The implications of the internet on economic, societal, and political levels is in its infancy. Literally. Its a toddler, and the the far reaching changes that the internet will have on our lives will continually amaze, and governments can't stop it, but they will try.

    The good thing for us as webmasters is that the geo-political environment in the world isn't conducive to over-all oppression (though there will always be isolated incidents). Without governmental unity across say 60% of the world (anyone want to handicap that? ) there will never be regulation that will shut us down. There will be speed-bumps, but ultimately this train isn't stopping anytime soon.

    In conclusion, take this with a grain of salt, if you are really worried, move your server off shore and register a company in a country with a nice International Business Act that will let you operate remotely and not charge you income tax, then turn around, drop your pants and show the FTC where they can stick their tyranny.

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    Moderator - Big Kahuna Dominique's Avatar
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    Hey, you got that wrong!

    They should drop their pants and turn around and I'll show them where to put their tyranny!
    dominique




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    This public outcry makes me angry.
    Freedom of speech has limits. The same people crying about this regulation would never complain if they reduced this freedom of speech when it comes to pedophiles and other abnormal behaviors.

    The internet is currently the flagship of misinformation. While some of you may be honest in your reviews (which I strongly doubt), I doubt you can legitimately build a claim that the affiliate marketing industry isn't based on lies and deception. Hell, we even purposely hide the links so that people don't know they're clicking on an affiliate link, because we want them to think we're honest.

    Now.. you can contest the regulation because it most likely won't have the desired effects: we all know they can't effectively police the internet. But please don't look like a fool arguing about freedom of speech when you're asking for freedom to bull**** potential customers. Tyranny? If tyranny is the right for people to have legitimate information on internet, I'm a tyrant.
    Last edited by JackTen; 10-21-2009 at 04:48 PM.
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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackTen View Post
    This public outcry makes me angry.
    Freedom of speech has limits. The same people crying about this regulation would never complain if they reduced this freedom of speech when it comes to pedophiles and other abnormal behaviors.

    The internet is currently the flagship of misinformation. While some of you may be honest in your reviews (which I strongly doubt), I doubt you can legitimately build a claim that the affiliate marketing industry isn't based on lies and deception. Hell, we even purposely hide the links so that people don't know they're clicking on an affiliate link, because we want them to think we're honest.

    Now.. you can contest the regulation because it most likely won't have the desired effects: we all know they can't effectively police the internet. But please don't look like a fool arguing about freedom of speech when you're asking for freedom to bull**** potential customers. Tyranny? If tyranny is the legitimate right for people to have legitimate information on internet, I'm a tyrant.
    You are Silly.
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    Wrong.

    First, there is no correlation from affiliate marketing to pedophiles, unless you are trying to tell us something? We'll assume though, for the sake of a "quality" post that there is: Pedophiles lose their right of freedom of speech because they broke the law (and one that should actually be there) This FTC BS is an infringement upon not only our right to freedom of speech, but more importantly an invasion of our privacy, both from personal and business perspectives. All of which Pedophiles lose when they break the law... in case you still might be hanging on to that.

    Next, The Affiliate marketing industry isn't built on lies and deception, corrupt people use the system dis-honestly. Different niches (gaming specifically) have larger problems then most with this, and thats only because the industry is in its infancy and the first people to most always capitalize in new industry? Crooks. This will change.

    Please; if you are going to have an opinion, especially one that you feel the need to voice, at least take the time to understand the implications that a ruling such as this has. These small usurps in power and control that governments continually try and make is not to "help" -- *remove wool from eyes*

    ~G.Wilde
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