Friday, October 09, 2009

FTC regulations, blah blah blah

The FTC has come out with new regulations for bloggers and the blog world is all atwitter about it (so is the Twitter world, which I guess means they are ablogger about it). Anyway, we (bloggers) who discuss books must now discuss them in the context of how those books were acquired.

Many bloggers are upset about the new regulations, and see them as a violation of free speech, an attack on the First Amendment, and the end of the world as we know it.

I dunno.

I have more of a "wait and see" attitude about the whole thing. I don't really have a problem with disclosing how I acquired the books I give away on the blog. Primarily, I think violations of the new rules will be virtually impossible to enforce anyway, but what do I know? According to Janet Reid, whom I think very highly of, absolutely nothing, and she's probably right (scroll down in her blog about 8 or 10 comments to see my comment and her response. Scroll down to the consumer lawyer Briane P's comment to see that take on the whole dealy). Anyway, listen to her, not to me, because she's smarter about the industry than I'll likely ever be.

Regardless of the whole kerfuffle, I am a law-abiding blogger, so I've posted the text of my disclosure at the bottom of my blog. This disclosure will remain on the main page of my blog on a permanent basis or until the FTC rules fall victim to the imminent challenge it is likely to face in the Supreme Court. All you have to do is scroll to the bottom of my main blog page and you'll see it there. I think it speaks for itself. Go there now. I'll wait.

Back again? Okay, good. So, whether it is the end of the world or JAFR (Just Another Freaking Regulation), I'm covered. Now you know.

Update 10/11/09. Here'a another take on the whole thing from the Wall Street Journal online.



Anonymous said...

I can understand the desire for a "truth in advertising" type disclosure. Is the blogger giving an honet review or a paid advertisement? Having said that, more regulation is not always that effective. How important is it that this disclosure be made? Is it really necessary? No. Personally, I think it is a waste of time, effort, and money. We read reviews of books all the time. We take their views for what they are. If we don't like the book or agree with the review, we won't buy that author again and will probably not pay attention to that reviewer's oppinions next time. That is as effective a regulation as you need.

TJ Bennett said...

Hear, hear! (Or is it here, here? Never can remember...)


Alyce said...

Thanks for the link to the wall street journal article - I hadn't seen that one yet. It's nice to know that mainstream journalists are also upset about this.

I liked your disclosure on your main page. It seems to cover all the bases.

Carol L. said...

I also want to thank you for the Wall Street Journal link. I hadn't
one yet either. I love your disclosure. Perfect and honestly put.
Carol L.

Virginia C said...

"Wait and See" is a good idea. Things like this are usually modified.

gcwhiskas at aol dot com