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Utah Bans Keyword Advertising

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the end-of-the-line dept.

The Internet 271

Eric Goldman writes "Last month, Utah passed a law banning keyword advertising. Rep. Dan Eastman, the Utah legislator who sponsored the law, believes competitive keyword advertising is the equivalent of corporate identity theft, causing searchers to be (in his words) 'carjacked' and 'shanghaied' by advertisers. He also takes a swipe at the EFF, dismissing its critique of the law as 'criticism from the fringes.'"

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Can't be (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18671537)

fist post !?!

Re:Can't be (3, Funny)

legallyillegal (889865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671545)

you win one (1) free internet

Apparently... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18671553)

that magic underwear doesn't come with an Int enhancement.

Damn Straight! (4, Insightful)

PixieDust (971386) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671561)

Because God knows that if I'm searching for "New Cars" I damn sure don't want to see any advertisements about car dealerships, finance companies, or anythign like that. Hell I don't even want results returning cars stuff. Why cant they just give me my sex in a new car porn and be done with it?!

Stupid advertisers.

Seriously, wtf is wrong with this picture?

Re:Damn Straight! (-1, Flamebait)

den479 (947905) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671631)

Wow, slashdotters arguing that fighting spyware (however misguided) is bad.

Re:Damn Straight! (3, Insightful)

Skreems (598317) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671865)

Showing ads related to your search term on Google or Yahoo hardly counts as "spyware".

Re:Damn Straight! (3, Insightful)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672113)

Showing ads related to your search term on Google or Yahoo hardly counts as "spyware".
--
Slashdot needs a "-1, Wrong" moderation option.
I'd argue that, in this case, Slashdot needs a "-1, Stupid" moderation option.

Re:Damn Straight! (1)

JensenDied (1009293) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672153)

/. has needed that option for a while.
That, and a stab poster in the face option.

Re:Damn Straight! (2, Funny)

Anomolous Cowturd (190524) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671935)

Umm... if returning ads based on the search terms you type into the very same site is spyware.... please start fixing the problem by removing your eyeballs (spy devices).

Re:Damn Straight! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18672107)

Here, use this fork!

Re:Damn Straight! (5, Funny)

jlindy (1028748) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671723)

Seriously, wtf is wrong with this picture?
Umm...Utah?

Re:Damn Straight! (3, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671751)

I think the idea is that if your searching for "Sam's Used Cars" you get get a bunch of links going to "Bill's Car and Plumbing Shop" before you get what you were looking for.

Thanks! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18671813)

I didn't know that going to google.com was like going to the Oracle at Delphi. A spiritual endevour to commune with raw, unaldulterated universal truth. I was under the horribly mistaken impression that google built, maintained an operated a tool that many people found useful, and all they asked as payment was their users left over attention. That leftover attention then being sold to those who might find such vast quantities of unused attention valuable. Thank you for disabusing me of this notion, and helping me realize that google, is akin to a public service. God forbid that a person going into someone else's place of buisness be subjected to offers from affiliated businesses. I much prefer the Mormon position of people being denied adaquate legal healthcare in a commercial health establishment based on particular whims related to imagined magic.

Re:Thanks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18672127)

The comment and the law as well as the article said nothing of the sort. Thank you for proving that there are a bunch of losers out there that just don't get it. BTW, the post didn't say anything about whether it was a good idea or not. Read the fucking article the post AC.

Because illiterate tools are what /. is all about: (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18672321)

"Specifically, the law creates a new intellectual property right called an "electronic registration mark," defined as a "word, term, or name that represents a business, goods, or a service."

This is a law which hopes to prevent businesses, especially those who made a useful tool to aggregate left over attention, from telling interested people about competing offers and businesses. This law is quitiscentially unAmerican in the sense that it's opposed to the free exchange of ideas, and to obtaining a competative advantage. It's positively feudal, and anyone who for a moment entertains a notion of legitimacy of such a law should be shot with a musket. Think of what the people get, the for the low low price of momentary curiosity which they may or may not act on a free useful tool, rather a variety of them, and a snap-shot of competing offers. The public domain of ideas belongs, wait for it you malignant asshat, the PUBLIC. Considering the fantastic deal the public is getting, via free sweet tools, ceeding yet another area of the public market place of ideas to dipshits that appearently give money to Mormon whores (the bad kind), those dipshits owe us all one motherfucking assload of everlasting awesome. A cure for cancer, cheap fusion power, something really magnificent for a new dominion over what we already collectively own: The knowledge that Plumber Bob is a plumber, and Dan's Plumbing offers the same services, maybe better, and maybe at better prices.

Ignorance is not a virtue, and the idea that a privaleged few should be able to force it on the larger world is truly insane.

Re:Damn Straight! (1)

Brickwall (985910) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672315)

I wish the article had defined the term "keyword", and what he means by adware. For example, if I search for "Coca-Cola" on Google, does this mean I'll see ads for Pepsi? (Actually, I just tried it; you don't. And if you search for "cola" only, you get a few hits for Coke, then a whole page of "cost of living adjustments" before you get Pepsi. However, on the first page, there is an e-bay ad "Get great prices on cola"; I certainly don't object to that.)

I guess my beef with TFA is he uses a word like "keyword" that has a very specialized meaning for me - it's a reserved word in a programming language - without defining what the heck he means it to be.

Re:Damn Straight! (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672501)

Well, you had to follow the links to the other blogs and then follow them to others but somewhere in there, amist all this, you see the intention is to stop pespi from using "coke, coca cola" and stuff like that in the keywords for the pepsi site so it does come up first when searching for Coca Cola.

At least that is the impression of the intentions of the law form piecing everything together.

I suspect is happens on a smaller scale were some smaller or maybe a startup company does this to get attention when competing with a well known established company. It would be like me and you starting a computer shop and building out own systems then placing "dell, HP, Gateway, Frys, Best Buy" and stuff like that so when someone searches for a dell computer in our town when looking for a place to buy a dell computer locally, they would see our site near the top of the list.

And seeing how this is a local thing in Utah that companies volunteer registering for, I'm thinking it is more this then keywords in general. Anyways, your right, it would have been nive to have it explained a little better. I'm wondering if it was because the reporter/bloger just didn't know better or if the story is designed to get support against the measure. I'm not sure it is a good idea either way. But I wouldn't think it would be proper for someone to ride on someone else's success when there is no working relationship besides we compete with each other.

Re:Damn Straight! (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671869)

I have to say though, there is nothing more annoying than entering a search term and having websites turn up first in Google when they are just giant ad sites full of useless links and pop ups.

Re:Damn Straight! (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672323)

Easy, just search for

whatever -useless -ads -popups
:)

Re:Damn Straight! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18671995)

Oh fuck [fuck.org]

Re:Damn Straight! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18672129)

Before you dismiss these laws, read these posts discussing the problem and the legality:

http://senatesite.com/blog/2007/04/guest-blog-utah -trademark-protection.html [senatesite.com]
http://senatesite.com/blog/2007/04/constitutionali ty-of-trademark.html [senatesite.com]

This issue isn't as simple as the Slashdot hordes may make it seem.

Re:Damn Straight! (4, Insightful)

ChrisGilliard (913445) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672311)

I think the article was talking about key words that are trademarked being bought by a company that does not own the trademarks. Your example of a car dealership would not apply because a Toyota dealer sells Toyotas, etc. I don't think anyone has a problem with that. But, what if you ran a small grocery store that delivers online in your neighborhood and Walmart moved in and bought up all of the searches for your store on Google. Your competitor is really stealing your brand recognition that you spent many years building. Is this fair?

No, you miss the point (5, Insightful)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672345)

Because God knows that if I'm searching for "New Cars" I damn sure don't want to see any advertisements about car dealerships, finance companies, or anythign like that.
No, that isn't the issue at all. You have apparently not bothered to read TFA (I know, I must be new here). Keyword advertising is 100% legal after this bill; anyone and everyone can advertise using keywords like "New Cars". No problem there.

The issue the Utah legislators are against is (the following example is fictitious) Sony buying keyword advertisements for the "XBOX" keyword - in hopes of getting them to buy PS3s instead. The idea behind the law is that, in this example, Microsoft own the XBOX trademark, and by Sony buying ads for "XBOX", they are 'benefiting from another person's trademark'. Or something like that. To be more specific, it might be the case the Sony pay more, and people typing "XBOX" see ads for Sony, and not Microsoft. The legislators see that as "hijacking a trademark".

Now, this is an interesting issue. In essence, this is a case of one entity making use of anothers' trademark for profit. Which does seem a little 'off', at least if you value trademarks (I do, and I disvalue copyright and patents, at least in their current incarnation in the US). However, as pointed out in the past, the real issue isn't what is 'fair', but what is possible. Implementing this law is a lesson in futility. In other words, Utah don't get it. But they are not the complete morons implied by most people's reaction to the Slashdot title for this story.

Re:Damn Straight! (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672537)

Is that what he's really talking about though? Note the critical use of the word "competitive" in the summary - which is misleadingly missing from the title. I think this is more a case of doing a search for "Red Hat Linux" and getting a page plastered with advertisements for Windows Vista.

Too funny! (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671569)

Government's role needs to be closely defined, and carefully watched -- its powers must be limited, and its growth must be contained.

Sure, pal.

Follow the money.. (2, Interesting)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671571)

I got bored reading the articles and I couldn't find the answer immediately. Which campaign donor paid for this, or which Mormon edict is behind it? It's obviously one or the other.

Re:Follow the money.. (1)

jlindy (1028748) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671657)

It's obviously one or the other.
Most likely both

Re:Follow the money.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18671849)

So a mormon car dealer?

Re:Follow the money to here... (5, Interesting)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672053)

Which campaign donor paid for this, or which Mormon edict is behind it? It's obviously one or the other.

I think you might be onto something here.. It looks like follow the money. Now if I can find some data on the new registery mentioned in the article and who profits...

Snipped from the article....

Owners of eligible words can register the terms in a new registry by paying a nominal fee.

Great... (5, Insightful)

ZxCv (6138) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671581)

Because passing a stupid law like this in Utah will actually have any real effect on the use of keyword advertising.

The only real effect it will have is making things harder for advertising companies, by forcing them to filter out the dolts in Utah before serving up an ad.

This is nothing more than some 2-bit politician trying to make a name for himself, and won't do any good whatsoever for any of the citizens that were responsible for putting his sorry ass in office in the first place.

Re:Great... (3, Insightful)

AaronW (33736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671809)

All Google has to do is ban anybody from advertising keywords from within Utah... I am sure a lot of Utah businesses which sell online will scream bloody murder and the law will be repealed. Hell, just searching on "Mormon" brings up three ads, one from the church. I guess that should be banned too.

Re:Great... (1)

hobo sapiens (893427) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671897)

not sure if your link to edmunds after your name is intentional, but I am totally cracking over here! Well played!

Can anyone say "unenforceable law?"

Another waste of taxpayer money.

Re:Great... (1)

ZxCv (6138) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671955)

Haha... Unfortunately, as much as I would like to take credit for a (great?) joke, that link to Edmunds is purely coincidental. I'm pretty sure I've had that Edmunds link there since I signed up, as at the time I had no website at all to speak of, so I decided to put in the only site that I spent nearly as much time on as ./...

No, they won't have to filter (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18672085)

If your adserver is not located in utah, then you don't have to filter jack shit. Interstate trade is federally regulated.

Re:Great... (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672089)

Why not simply refuse to serve people in Utah or require an ad-less subscription? Everyone else in the world shouldn't be forced to subsidize people in Utah because the politicians don't like websites making money.

Re:Great... (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672421)

And you've totally missed the problem.

The problem is about trademarked keywords. Websites can still make money from non-trademarked keywords.

Three little words. (5, Funny)

TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671589)

Utah. Politics. Internet.

ZZZzzzzz......

Re:Three little words. (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671603)

Utah. Politics. Internet.


ZZZzzzzz......

Think "Internet Tubes".

Re:Three little words. (3, Funny)

QuasiEvil (74356) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671621)

Tune in to next week's installment of "Adventures in Utah" - you never know what those wacky Mormons are going to do next! Will they fight off evil by taking away its beer, or will the sight of a boobie in Manti bring about the apocalypse? Find out in next week's hilarious episode!

Re:Three little words. (-1, Flamebait)

Omega Hacker (6676) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671805)

you never know what those wacky Mormons are going to do next!

I know I'm gonna get modded down for this, and I probably deserve it, but I've always said that those people can't spell. They keep managing to add that second "m" to their name, and nobody seems to notice until they end up in the news like this. I guess they must have banned spell-checkers in Utah a while back.

(They also seem to have lost the trailing "c" of their angel's name)

Re:Three little words. (0, Offtopic)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671937)

Tune in to next week's installment of "Adventures in Utah" - you never know what those wacky Mormons are going to do next! Will they fight off evil by taking away its beer, or will the sight of a boobie in Manti bring about the apocalypse? Find out in next week's hilarious episode!

Well... I do have family in Utah. It's true it's strongly a Mormon state with people in office who employ strong mormon values, among which is an aversion to drinking. I was told there was a law passed where all mixed drinks had to be made from small bottles. On the one had, it was good these drinks were metered in a consistent way. On the other hand, small bottles typicaly are two shots. So not only was the taste of a gin and tonic thrown off, but those who thought they only had two mixed drinks at dinner actually had four.

So, the moral of the story is, those who have no experence with a product should not regulate it.

Damnit (2, Funny)

quarrel (194077) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671595)

Just when having 'mormon' was really starting to pay off ..

Fringes (2, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671607)

In Soviet Utah, Mormons call YOU a fringe group. OK, that was rude, but it sure was funny when South Park did it.

Re:Fringes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18672039)

Would have been better had you left the "a" out.

Re:Fringes (1)

rgigger (637061) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672165)

I am living in Utah, and Mormon and I thought it was pretty funny. I wish I could mod it up.

Re:Fringes (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672227)

Yeah, we don't want to hear what you have to say until you...how shall I say..."make a contribution". That's how it's done in Washington. You do me a favour, and I'll do you one. Go and ask one of those nice lobbyists over there...

But then... (2)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671611)

...how is SCO going to sell more licenses?

Re:But then... (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671647)

...how is SCO going to sell more licenses?

Well, from my sources, I heard they are planning to try using interpretive dance to sell licenses in about a month. If that fails, they will use flatulent dogs or poo flinging monkies.

Re:But then... (1)

Anomolous Cowturd (190524) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672103)

Umm, their poo-flinging monkeys are all busy in court.

Utah again. (1)

failure-man (870605) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671653)

I love this game! Time to look like they care about shit or something.

1) Make an idiotic law to solve a problem that doesn't exist that the feds will shoot down on free-speech/interstate-commerce/equal-protection/w hatever.
2) ???
3) Profit!

Re:Utah again. (2, Interesting)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671903)

That's just what I though when my senator (Byrd) proposed a constitutional amendment allowing school prayers - it a) Doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of passing, and 2) He gets brownie points for suggesting it. So in the end, nothing really changes except the good senators reputation amongst a certain constituency. Pure politics.

Re:Utah again. (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672447)

I would disagree that there isn't a problem. If someone Google's specifically for one company, then should a competitor be able to have the top ad?

Re:Utah again. (2, Insightful)

k8to (9046) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672581)

What about existing trademark law prevents it from being applied here?

Dumb Idea, Even Dumber Execution (4, Interesting)

MaceyHW (832021) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671691)

This ridiculous combination of horrendous policy, tortured understanding of technology, and regulatory sophistication boggles the mind. The best part is, rather than attack keyword advertising directly, the law creates an entirely new form of IP, the 'electronic registration mark':

Specifically, the law creates a new intellectual property right called an "electronic registration mark," defined as a "word, term, or name that represents a business, goods, or a service." . . . Once registered, an infringement occurs if another person "uses an electronic registration mark to cause the delivery or display of an advertisement for a business, goods, or a service: (i) of the same class, as defined in Section 70-3a-308, other than the business, goods, or service of the registrant of the electronic registration mark; or (ii) if that advertisement is likely to cause confusion between the business, goods, or service of the registrant of the electronic registration mark and the business, goods, or service advertised."
Luckily, the system is so loosely defined and, as TFA points out, directly in conflict with existing federal trademark law that it can't possibly stand. Apparently state legislators in Utah are available on the cheap, because I can't imagine the anti-keyword lobby has deep pockets. Maybe I can get some of this money, if only there were some way to cheaply deliver ads to this small group and only the small group...

Oooh, Conspiracy Theory! (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671851)

Maybe Microsoft has decided to use lobbying to make Google's business model illegal, that way they don't have to compete with them on their home turf!

Or, ya know, not.

Re:Dumb Idea, Even Dumber Execution (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18671915)

Great, so now somebody can quickly register every commonly purchasable product word (car, automobile, refrigerator, computer, etc.) and get an exclusive on online advertising to Utah internet users. Instant profit!

As has been pointed out, it won't stand. It can't, because as written it is completely open-ended nonsense.

I'm so torn (3, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671701)

I hate politicians, but I hate advertisers, too. Ack! (head explodes)

Google can cope easily (4, Funny)

auroran (10711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671731)

They have already proven they can handle themselves with difficult governments.

First Google China edition
Now Google Utah edition.

Re:Google can cope easily (5, Funny)

tuxicle (996538) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671891)

Not fair comparing the two:

Google China: Firewall for 1.2e9 people
Google Utah: Free adblock for about 5 people?

Quick! (4, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671777)

So, who will be first to purchase AdWords for "Dan Eastman?"

I just googled him and got no advertisements, so looks like he's even cheaper than the average politician!

Re:Quick! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18672407)

Looking for Dan Eastman?
Find exactly what you want today.
www.ebay.com

There is a reason... (3, Funny)

stox (131684) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671779)

Utah is one of the places used to simulate Mars landings.

Re:There is a reason... (1)

Loplin (1037544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672333)

I wonder what would happen if intelligent life were found on Mars.

Re:There is a reason... (2, Funny)

Anomolous Cowturd (190524) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672413)

The mormons would send missionaries to make it unintelligent again.

Re:There is a reason... (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672557)

They'd get eaten by Arachnids from Klendathu.

Could be worse (4, Funny)

EvanED (569694) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671793)

Rep. Dan Eastman...believes competitive keyword advertising is the equivalent of corporate identity theft, causing searchers to be (in his words) 'carjacked' and 'shanghaied' by advertisers.

Well, at least he's not appropriating the name of an entire city to make his point.

My two explanations (5, Insightful)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671831)

This is so obviously wrong the reasons it is wrong may not be obvious, so here is my attempt at three concise explanations:
  1. Old-fashioned thinking says that Google is the new newspaper. This is wrong. It's the new concierge. If you go to a hotel and ask the concierge for reservations to Morton's and he says, "ah, but here is a better steakhouse that my buddy runs" -- can you imagine that being illegal?
  2. Old-fashioned thinking says that the world is hierarchical. That's just post-Aristotle Western thinking. According to this new Utah law, if you want to find competitors to Jiffy Lube, you must first identify the superclass or super superclass (species and genus, respectively, in Aristotalean terms) and type that into the search engine. Typing in a specimen (i.e. Jiffy Lube) to find siblings is called associative lookup in computer science parlance. I'm wondering when the law is coming that bans content addressable memory.
  3. Old-fashioned thinking says that there is a bright line between paid and unpaid search engine placement. Even if an advertiser is not paying for Google AdWords, you know they're paying for search engine optimization -- just not directly to Google. Will SEO be the next thing made illegal, since it is a form of advertising that has no explicit "this message paid for by..." message? And if not, do we prefer SEO (i.e. Google spam pages) to AdWords?

Re:My two explanations (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671961)

4) He's trying for the republican ticket in '08. I think he just might get it, too.

Re:My two explanations (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671981)

"If you go to a hotel and ask the concierge for reservations to Morton's and he says, "ah, but here is a better steakhouse that my buddy runs" -- can you imagine that being illegal?"

Google isn't doing that, Google is saying "hey go to Frank's" because Frank paid them 50 cents to tell you that. It may not be illegal, but it is arguably unethical.

Re:My two explanations (4, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672057)

Then someone should tell that to the people who've been printing phone books for the last few decades. Or have you never actually opened up a nice thick paper phone book with its orgy of keyword based advertisements?

Re:My two explanations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18672393)

Ahh yes, the Yellow pages. See those are different from the white pages. In the yeloow pages, you look up "car dealer" and there you find your car dealers and keyword advertisement. What this Utah guy is complaining about is if you opened the white pages and looked up "BMW" and on the page where the dealers are listed there are 13 adds for "Mazda".

Re:My two explanations (3, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672587)

Yeah, but then again Google has never claimed to be the white pages. For that matter, their stated business model of making money off of people looking things up sounds a lot more like the yellow pages to me. Just because a legislator in Utah has decided that Google should act like public service/reference manual doesn't make it so.

Re:My two explanations (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672071)

You are operating under the presumption that "the buddy" runs the stakehouse. In reality, the concierge gets a cut and it is not a buddy. It is a commercial relationship. Especially if you replace a few letters in "stakehouse" to get the actual customer request. That is if the customer has forgotten to wink.

Re:My two explanations (1)

jimmydevice (699057) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672387)

You totaled a perfectly great joke by explaining it.
Silly person!

Re:My two explanations (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18672445)

1. The concierge in your senario is not being paid. A more appropriate example would be if (as someone else pointed out) the concierge calls up his "buddy" and makes the reservations and that buddy pays him.

2. This law, from what I've gathered, isn't saying that if you google "Jiffy Lube" then no competitors can come up in the search results, it's just saying they can't come up in the keyword ads. So your associative lookup is all good.

3. Old fashioned thinking also says that a trademark is something that one company can own. I know IP is not so highly regarded here on /. but it is something respected in the real world. A company should be able to protect it's trademarked name in advertising.

Re:My two explanations (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672571)

This law, from what I've gathered, isn't saying that if you google "Jiffy Lube" then no competitors can come up in the search results, it's just saying they can't come up in the keyword ads. So your associative lookup is all good.


So does this mean that in Utah, a company like Newegg can't come up in keyword ads brought on by a search for AMD, or Asus, or nVidia, or any other products that they sell?

Parochial retards. (0, Troll)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671909)

As if some two bit dumbass from the middle of nowhere can make a law that matters to a some company in Finland.

When will these dorks ever get a clue?

RS

Re:Parochial retards. (3, Funny)

Anomolous Cowturd (190524) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672427)

You know what they say... regulating the internet is like teaching a pig to sing - it wastes your time and annoys the internet.

This isn't much of a surprise (3, Interesting)

ElForesto (763160) | more than 7 years ago | (#18671957)

... at least for those of us living here in Utah. They've caught a bit of flak from members of the Bloghive in these parts, especially with the hackjob [senatesite.com] responses [senatesite.com] they've got going on. Of course, these are the same guys who tried to get a special E911 tax on VoIP [windley.com] and almost passed statewide franchise agreements [freeutopia.org] , so you've got to know they're not entirely with it.

Targeted Ads (1)

ffejie (779512) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672001)

I sure hope they stop targeting ads all-together. I would hate to be watching a baseball game and see ads for merchandise or tickets. I'd much rather see ads for something completely random like American Idol or adult videos.

What did you expect? (4, Funny)

novalogic (697144) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672003)

Someone put an Adword in on google for "Douchebag" and it linked to http://www.daneastman.com/ [daneastman.com]

Of course! (2, Funny)

airencracken (993443) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672033)

The law is supposed to help relieve the congestion in the tubes. As you all know the ads can clog the tubes like nobody's business.

Analogy? (1)

lilomar (1072448) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672087)

causing searchers to be (in his words) 'carjacked' Is that an implied car analogy?

Send me to hell or salt lake city (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18672141)

If he cares so much about business being shanghaied online why doesn't he put his energies into doing something about a real problem such as domain squatting.

I'm trying to think of a reason why the trademark regime isn't sufficient to deal with any "confusion" issues and I've got nothing. I suspect his confusion is actually related to being a total idiot.

Give em a switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18672145)

I say give the good people of Utah a 48 port switch. That should cover the next 100 years of growth in Utah. Also since all their PC's will be connected to 1 switch; they can boast speeds of a 100 meg; tell em' it is the new internet. They won't get adware, received unsolicited emails, Keyword Advertising, etc.

I think this will make Utah and the rest of the world quite happy. However, I will miss their news blurbs on slashdot.

Interstate commerce (2, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672159)

It has been horribly overused and corrupted, but surely laws pertaining to Internet have to be decided on national or, better, international level. With 50 states passing conflicting laws, soon no employee of a tech company will be able to travel across state lines without risk of arrest.

bullshit (4, Insightful)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672161)

The Utah legislators are confusing trademarks with owning a word. The purpose of a trademark is to identify a product uniquely, not to give a company control of a word.

Advertising a competing product when potential customers search for a trademark is exactly what trademarks were supposed to accomplish.

Re:bullshit (4, Insightful)

Brickwall (985910) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672509)

Advertising a competing product when potential customers search for a trademark is exactly what trademarks were supposed to accomplish.

How the heck did this get modded informative? Trademarks were established so that the time and effort a company spends establishing its brand won't get hijacked by someone offering a substandard product with the same name. How useful would it be if you went to the store to get "Aspirin", and there were 10 different versions with the same name, but half of them were weaker and less effective products? Yes, you can always read the ingredients but look at a can of generic corn vs., say, Del Monte. I've found through experience that the Del Monte version is always crisper and sweeter (meaning it was probably canned more quickly from fresher corn) than the generic version. However, both labels will read "corn, water, salt". If the generic maker was able to copy Del Monte's tradename, buying canned corn would be a crapshoot.

Now, you may say "canned corn, big deal", but what if the "Michelin" tires you paid for were actually retreads or substandard tires? Not only do you get ripped off by paying the premium price, but I don't really want to risk a blowout at 60 mph.

There is a ton of marketing research - from both ad firms and university professors - that shows that brand names are useful to consumers. The brand provides information and assurance about a certain level of consistency and quality to the consumer. For example, having tried Hunt's, Aylmer, and generic ketchup, I'll stick to Heinz. I have tried some generic products (e.g. hot dogs - for some reason I have food on the brain tonight!) that I find perfectly acceptable to their brand name versions. Here's another - I take a generic version of metformin to help control my diabetes; it's less than half the price of the brand name version, and it works perfectly well. But I've also tried many generic products (rough toilet paper, inferior laundry detergent, lousy frozen food to name a few) that were completely disappointing.

But those are inexpensive products where the cost of testing them is a few bucks. When I upgrade to an HDTV, it's going to be a Toshiba or Sony or Samsung or LG; it's not going to be an Avanti. When I spend $2,000, I want the assurance of a brand name (quality, warranty, likelihood the maker will be around in five years).

That's what brand names are supposed to accomplish, not to make it easier for competitors. Sheesh!

Re:bullshit (3, Insightful)

asninn (1071320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672579)

Really? I thought the purpose of trademarks was to allow you to build a brand identity without people freeloading off of your good name - for example, if you create a new drink and call it, oh, "Coca-Cola", then others aren't allowed to create cheap/inferior versions and also calling them "Coca-Cola" in order to trick people into thinking that what they're buying is your product, thus hurting your business when those people are dissatisfied with the drink's quality.

Of course that doesn't mean that advertising competing products when people search for trademarked names should be illegal (in fact, the very idea that it should be is so whacky that I'm not surprised that this is from Utah of all places), but I don't think being able to advertise competing products is the *purpose* of trademarks or the reason why they were created.

Brightside... (1)

lordsid (629982) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672231)

I don't really see the Series of Tubes missing Utah. They are welcome to create their own Series of Tubes without keywords.

I know I'm not going to miss them.

Wait a minute...! (2, Funny)

pookemon (909195) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672253)

Utah has the Internet? When did that happen... ;)

Re:Wait a minute...! (1)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672289)

>>Utah has the Internet? 2 copies of it even. You know, because they believe in Jesus twice there.

Re:Wait a minute...! (1)

pookemon (909195) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672369)

That's alotta pipes!... (Re: Sig. I've still got my A1200 floating around somewhere...)

Utah??? ban advertising?? (1)

aaronoaxaca (1082897) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672299)

Isn't advertising what America is all about these days? Crazy desert people..

In Denmark... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18672359)

In Denmark it is illegal to use company names and other trademarked names for adwords. Only generic words can be used.

Sounds like a trademark law extension (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672383)

Not inherently a bad thing. All depends on whether you feel that others cashing in on your established band is a good thing or not...

Question (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 7 years ago | (#18672415)

Which Utah based business bought this law?

Okay, I think I need a kleenex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18672493)

I xeroxed the document and placed it on your desk.
I just have google for bandaids.
By the way, I think I need an aspirin.
My wife just bought a new brassiere, it looks awesome!
Anyone know where to buy some dry ice?
I think I need a kleenex.
My son just bought a pogo-stick.
Anyone can recommend a good yo-yo?
Anyone can FedEx me some durex, I am all out.
I just got hit in the head by a frisbee.
I lost my tupperware in the park.
I just photoshopped this image of Utah.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_generic_and_g enericized_trademarks [wikipedia.org]
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