‘Laws’ Category

“FCC Studies Goal of National Affordable, Fast Internet”

April 8th, 2009
As USA Today reports: “The Federal Communications Commission Wednesday begins work on a national broadband plan, with the goal of ensuring that all consumers have access to services that are fast and affordable.” Story here.
This is essential infrastructure for any nation today. A good comparison is the United States’ interstate highway system, which was authorized in 1956. Imagine us today without interstate highways or freeways, trying to cross the country on an endless number of unorganized and independent roads. Do you know the #1-ranked country with broadband penetration ? Bermuda. The U.S. is #19, Japan #22. Check it out in this  amazing video. MySpace has 200 million registered users — if it was a country, it would be the 5th largest in the world (between Indonesia and Brazil).

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Associated Press Says: Get Permission — Or Else

April 7th, 2009

Associated Press is trying to put the proverbial horse back in the barn, as they try to rein in search engines like Google and news aggregators like Drudge from linking to, or  otherwise using,  AP content without compensation.

As the New York Times reports: “The A.P. will “work with portals and other partners who legally license our content” and will “seek legal and legislative remedies against those who don’t,” the A.P. chairman, William Dean Singleton, said…  “We can no longer stand by and watch others walk off with our work under misguided legal theories.”

A while ago, Jon Stewart had a newspaperman on his show (we forget who he was). But anyway, this guy was proposing a new model in which consumers paid for online content. Stewart humored him and then said, ya know, if you really wanted to do something effective, figure out a way to make newspaper ink addictive. To Stewart’s point, these guys are pretty clueless. You cannot turn back the clock and attempt to apply outdated and insufficient policies to the new world in which we live. Bottomline, you cannot monetize your business — internet or other — through simple force, regulation, and threat.

Everyday, little Rich Dog Millionaire finds our content on other sites, many — if not most — automated. Do we get get all huffy and try to chase them down? Or are we trying to build our business in this new world? Sorry Mr. Singleton, AP will not survive as a company if this is your game plan.

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French Will Kick Pirates off the Internet (Updated)

April 3rd, 2009

Yo-ho Y-ho! We’ve been watching this story during the last 48 hours and want to mention it here. France is in the process of passing a law that will literally kick pirates — no, not the Johnny Depp kind, the kind that download copyrighted material illegally — OFF the internet. The plan is, when a downloading suspect is identified (actually only the IP can be identified), the suspect will be notified not to do it again. If they do it again, they get their internet access cut off for three months. If they do it a third time, they can lose access for up to a year. The legislation has actually be modified a bit. In the original version, apparently the violator with suspended access would still of had to pay for the internet access he was not getting. Shiver me timbers! Here’s an article on it, courtesy of Euro News.

UPDATE: As posted here, this bill has been rejected by the French legislators

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Bloggers, Others Could Be Sued Under New Regulations

April 3rd, 2009

The Financial Times is reporting:

Revised guidelines on endorsements and testimonials by the Federal Trade Commission, now under review and expected to be adopted, would hold companies liable for untruthful statements made by bloggers and users of social networking sites who receive samples of their products.”

“If a blogger received a free sample of skin lotion and then incorrectly claimed the product cured eczema, the FTC could sue the company for making false or unsubstantiated statements. The blogger could be sued for making false representations.”

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Death Penalty for Bloggers

March 25th, 2009

If you’re one of the estimated 45,000+ bloggers in Iran, be careful — that wacky country  is contemplating imposing the death penalty on bloggers who violate “Islamic law” — that is, for writing about activities such as adultery, homosexual behavior, or drug use. While the world races into the internet age, some people seem determined to race back into the middle ages. Anybody wanna register a dot.IR domain?

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Craigslist Prostitution Task Force in New York

March 22nd, 2009

Police in Westchester County, NY are the latest to go after Craigslist advertisers/clients of the “oldest profession” — they’ve made over 100 arrests. Most recently, they arrested a husband and wife who were allegedly running a bordello in their quiet neighborhood home.

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Taxman Cometh Part II

March 20th, 2009

As we reported here, several states — including New York — have been passing legislation to increase taxes on internet-based sales. California is one of these states with pending bills. You can get additional info on the CA proposed taxes at these two links:

http://democrats.assembly.ca.gov/members/a14/News_Room/Press/
20090202AD14PR01.aspx

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html

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Cybersquatting: From Dennis Rodman to Bob the Builder

March 15th, 2009

 On Sunday, the United Nations’  World Intellectual Property Organization “said it (had) received last year a record number of complaints on cybersquatting — or abusive registration of trademarks on the Internet” — where someone tries to grab a domain name of a business or person, for the purpose of selling it back or otherwise exploiting it.  “Cases brought last year involved names ranging from basketball player Dennis Rodman, film star Scarlett Johansson to (the) popular toy Bob the Builder.”

In the near future, we’re going to discuss a related topic: capturing deleted or expired domain names —  and the good, the bad, and the ugly of it.

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Important Reminder: Prohibited Adword Campaigns

March 10th, 2009

We know of a guy who found a product he absolutely KNEW would be a big seller, and all he had to do was use Adwords, he just KNEW it. He acquired the product, wrote a business plan, set up his company, and – then – he found out it was against Google’s policy to advertise the product.  Important to keep this in mind. Check out Google’s Content Policy.  Among the prohibited items: academic aids (i.e., test-taking services), aids to pass drug tests, fireworks, miracle cures, tobacco and cigarettes, traffic devices (i.e., radar jammers), and weapons. Some items have restrictions, such as prescription  drugs, alcohol, and gambling (prohibited outside of Great Britian, Italy, France, and Spain.)
Are there ways around it? Sure, SEO for one (see this post). You could also try some other search engines or content advertising services that cater to specific categories, i.e. adult. But you’ll likely find many of the same prohibitions.  As you can see,  most of the restrictions have to do with existing laws and regulations, and you would have problems promoting such an item anywhere. Bottomline, plan your campaign all the way through before you dive in prematurely.

(Original content by www.richdogmillionaire.com)

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Internet Gambling Ban May Be Repealed

March 7th, 2009

There’s a move underway to repeal the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which banned online gambling in the United States three years ago. Congressman Barney Frank is leading the effort in Congress. “Advocates of lifting the ban say it is (an) impingement of personal liberty and estimate the United States could raise nearly $52 billion in revenue over the next decade by taxing and regulating Internet gambling instead.” Even the Attorney General of Utah, a state that is certainly not a friend of casinos or gambling, has called the ban a failure. The ban has failed like Prohibition failed. You still have online gambling but now it’s unregulated and untaxed. Additionally, the ban has hurt trade relations with the European Union.
The ban was attached to the SAFE Port Act of 2006 at the last moment and was passed at midnight on the day Congress adjourned for the elections.

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