May 24, 2007

(Note: an alternative way of phrasing the question above would be, “How many laws is your blog breaking?”).

I came across a post today that begged discussion. The topic was “blogger law” and the post served up some useful and interesting facts of what a blogger (can and cannot) do legally. While the post had some great info of which I was unaware, there were some serious problems that just reminded me of how much I hate politicians.

Regarding the requirement of bloggers to disclose paid sponsorships (a la PPP & ReviewMe):

CONSIDER that even though the FTC’s paid review disclosure recommendation doesn’t appear to apply to links, meaning that webmasters aren’t required to “NoFollow” the paid links they give as of now, scholars at the University of Chicago Law School are currently discussing this as a future development for e-commerce law.

Now scholars are getting into the paid link game? You’ve got to be kidding me. I have NO vested interest in purchasing high-pr links, but turning the “nofollow” rule into law is absolutely ridiculous.

In addition to this gem of a tidbit, there are a number of other “laws” that just make no sense at all. Questions of whether or not “Deep Linking is Legal” are so upsetting to me that I almost had to stop reading the post (something like watching a car accident like this one or that one…you clicked, didn’t you?). The question itself led to a conclusion that bloggers should take certain steps when choosing to “deep link” to another site.

What good are these laws if they only apply to the blogosphere? In other words, how can someone apply these rules to blogs without applying them to websites in general?

All this hullabaloo about linking shenanigans are really becoming trite. Frankly, this is all the more reason to embrace social media optimization as the future, don’t you think?


  1. [...] In a ruling sure to please ignorant site owners and lazy webmasters everywhere, a Texas judge has allowed a ruling forbidding deeplinking to content. Instead of using a simple referrer redirect, the site owners spent thousands of dollars suing the website for linking directly to content. Now, these site owners will have much fewer inbound links, and substantially worse ranking. These corporate owners have chosen to isolate themselves from the web and are hurting themselves and web users in their community. [...]

    Pingback by The Naked SEO Guide from Netpaths » Don’t Link To Me Or I’ll Sue You! — May 25, 2007 @ 12:38 pm

  2. Thanks for the email, Adam. Comments should be back now, nonstop and in full-effect. :)

    Comment by Abhilash — May 29, 2007 @ 3:53 pm

  3. This is all ridiculous, like you say. What is the FTC going to do anyway? Shut down websites if you don’t use nofollow. Some of mine are hosted in Australia. Are they going to cross borders?

    And what counts as “paid review”? Before or after the fact. If I promote an affiliate product, I have not been paid, yet. So that get’s through that loophole anyway.

    This is stupid. I will just eventually move to a country where laws aren’t stupid. In my dreams somewhere.

    Comment by Stephan Miller — November 8, 2007 @ 7:09 am

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