Big Brother is blogging


Media Bloggers Association president Bob Cox is all over the story regarding the Federal Trade Commission’s brand new Guides on Endorsements and Testimonials, which, as Bob explains, will certainly affect bloggers. In fact, one of the examples given of a testimonial in the proposed revisions, found here, is of a product review written by a blogger.

I made my views known on this a while ago: I’m against this sort of regulation, which I think is an unconstitutional restriction on free speech,

Blogs are an effective and powerful new medium. The key to their development is not to protect them from themselves but rather to permit them to be what they are: free and unfettered. Blog readers and regulators alike need to trust the market and their own common sense, and reach for the opiate of regulation last, not first. Consumers of blogs have to be skeptics and take advantage of the opportunity for self-education provided by the blogosphere in unprecedented scope.

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Those who disclose more, and more accurately, will be more trusted on that account. Ultimately all a blogger, a lawyer, a politician or anyone else has is his persuasiveness, his intellectual honesty and a track record of trustworthiness. In the pure market of expression, that is all the regulation needed.

Others have come around to agreeing.

I think most consumers — from a policy perspective, enough of “most” — can figure this sort of stuff out for themselves by now.

Originally posted on lawyer Ron Coleman‘s LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION:® blog on trademark, copyright, new media and free speech.

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