On the FTC Thing

If you’re a blogger, you’ve probably heard about the Federal Trade Commission deciding to come down on blogs without paid editors and whether they got a free copy of things they review. (For more information, see this interview with Richard Cleland of the FTC.)

I’m not that worried about disclosing whether I got free copies of stuff I reviewed on my blog (answer is: generally no, because eArcs are very rare) rather than for Tor.com. I’m not even upset that edited blogs don’t need to comply.

I just wonder if this means that non-professional bloggers will stop receiving free products. That, really, is the question.

At some point (before December 1st) I will finish editing the S∂ reviews and note whether they were products I paid for, received via Hugo packet (which is a variant of “paid for”), free products, or were Tor.com reviews (not covered by FTC law).

2 thoughts on “On the FTC Thing

  1. Hmmm, interesting. I hadn’t read about the payed stuff being exempt. I wonder what that means for murky stuff, such as receiving a book at work, and cross posting it to a personal blog.

    Honestly, I am of the opinion that the administrative clarification won’t really change anything. While I understand the blogging community’s interest in the subject, adding a line of code to your footer should be enough to take care of any legal issues. Beyond that, well, the blogosphere needs something to talk about…

  2. Hi Alec,

    Yeah, there’s gray areas there; for my case, I only post excerpts of paid reviews to S∂ and link to the rest, and have done so for some time now.

    My only concern is that there is definitely someone out there who hates me and could use this (among many other things) to create nuisance, including attempts at legal crap. He’s already done it once for something else.

    So for my sake (and for any blogger who’s managed to be significant enough to accumulate enemies, and somehow it doesn’t take very much significance at all) I’m going to tag stuff both before and after December ’09.

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