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Utah's Third Attempt To Regulate Keywords Fails 68

Posted by Soulskill
from the third-time-apparently-not-the-charm dept.
Eric Goldman writes "Earlier this month, we discussed HB 450, the Utah Legislature's third attempt to regulate keyword advertising after the past two efforts failed miserably. The latest attempt barely passed the Utah House, aided in part by a 'yes' vote from Representative Jennifer Seelig, who also happens to be a lobbyist-employee of 1-800 Contacts, the principal advocate of HB 450. Nevertheless, HB 450 died in the Utah Senate without a vote when the Utah Legislature adjourned last night. Despite the seeming good news, it would be surprising if the Utah Legislature didn't try a fourth time to regulate keyword advertising in a future session."
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Utah's Third Attempt To Regulate Keywords Fails

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  • Wow... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by H0bbes1321 (1500483)
    Let it go huh? Geez...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by conureman (748753)

      They get those cush jobs with all the benefits, then feel compelled to DO something, anything...

      • It sounds like (Score:4, Informative)

        by Steve Franklin (142698) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @08:52AM (#27191819) Homepage Journal

        From what I can extract from the less than informative articles referenced, these bills attempt to protect Utah (read Mormon) companies from having to compete with out-of-state companies that provide the same goods and services. Something tells me this would eventually be shot down on constitutional grounds. I mean, imagine the state legislature of Maine trying to ban advertising for Coke because there's a Maine registered brand called Maine's Best Maple Cola (I'm just making this up).

        But yes, they get elected and they think they have to DO SOMETHING. Lulz.

        • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

          But that's what government is for - to regulate. Right? At least that's what (almost) everybody keeps telling me. "We need government to regulate business because a free market doesn't work, as we discovered with the current recession." Utah's Legislature is just regulating the advertising market as it's "supposed" to do. They are doing their job, so where's the problem?

          Of course I have to wonder -

          - if Bush-era deregulation is the cause of the U.S. market woes, then why is the European Union, the world's

        • by mysidia (191772)

          Hm.. I suppose Google, Yahoo, etc, could decide to ignore their keyword regulations and refrain from doing business in the state of Utah.

          This would mean they endeavor to remove sites based in Utah from their index.

          And they endeavor to block PCs whose geographic location is the state of Utah from buying/selling AdSense ads, and accessing their search, and other advertising-funded services.

    • Re:Wow... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kabuthunk (972557) <<moc.liamtoh> <ta> <knuhtubak>> on Saturday March 14, 2009 @12:10PM (#27192983) Homepage

      It's like Quebec and the referendum they try to push through every so often. Basically, it sucks for everyone except the person trying to push their agenda through.

      They can try to push through their agenda a hundred times. All it takes is a single ONE of those to go through, and everything is fucked forever. Because once it goes through, there's no way it will ever go back again.

      I see it as akin to brute-forcing a password or something. Keep trying over and over again, and eventually you'll get through. And once you do, it can't be undone.

      • by Dan Ost (415913)

        Why can't it be undone? Don't new laws get written all the time that undo or modify old laws?

  • LOLUTAH! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Chas (5144) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @08:45AM (#27191789) Homepage Journal

    I'm sure they'll eventually try something even dumber...like legislating that Pluto is a planet...

    Like...here...in Illinois...

    DOH!

    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by DMUTPeregrine (612791)
      The thing I don't get is, if "clearing" the orbit is what's needed for a dwarf planet to become a planet, why is Neptune a planet? It hasn't cleared its orbit of Pluto. It's a silly definition. Just make Pluto, Ceres, Neptune and Eris planets.
  • by UconnGuy (562899) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @08:45AM (#27191793)
    I can't imagine any legislature would even consider this seriously since there is no way for them to enforce this except for those businesses that deal in keywords and have servers in Utah and the company only deals in Utah (i.e. not on the internet). I would think that other than that, the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution applies and they would not be able to regulate it at the state level. Is this the case? I am usually wrong so I would like someone with a better sense of the law to comment on this.
    • You'd think that's how it works, that they can't nab people for stuff on the internet... Talk to Mr. Max Hardcore about that.

    • by Samschnooks (1415697) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @09:09AM (#27191895)

      I can't imagine any legislature would even consider this seriously since there is no way for them to enforce this except for those businesses that deal in keywords and have servers in Utah and the company only deals in Utah (i.e. not on the internet). I would think that other than that, the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution applies and they would not be able to regulate it at the state level. Is this the case? I am usually wrong so I would like someone with a better sense of the law to comment on this.

      This has nothing to do with the law; it has to do with politics.

      You grossly over estimate the altruism, intelligence, and motives of politicians. This legislation is designed to get votes. Period. Some cry baby vocal minority out there wants this and the rest of the population, more than likely, doesn't give a shit.

      In the meantime, the politicians get the support of the vocal obnoxious cry baby group (volunteer labor and money), which then enables said politicians get to keep their over paid cushy jobs.

      Simple.

  • by jonwil (467024) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @09:09AM (#27191899)

    Any time you have a law like this being proposed (especially one being proposed again and again), there is some special interest group or big company or lobby group pushing for it. Who is doing it in this case and why pick Utah as the place to lobby for it? (a testbed to get similar laws passed in other states?)

    • Always ask - cui bono?.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      No, I think it's something specifically about the state of Utah. I mean, this is the only state in the Union that has a virtual state religion. A religion with such power over civil society that you can literally be arrested for smoking on the sidewalk outside of the Mormon Temple. That they would try to protect their own homegrown businesses from competition from the outside world is not surprising.

      • by swillden (191260)

        No, I think it's something specifically about the state of Utah. I mean, this is the only state in the Union that has a virtual state religion.

        True, but that has nothing to do with this.

        A religion with such power over civil society that you can literally be arrested for smoking on the sidewalk outside of the Mormon Temple.

        Umm, you can be cited (not arrested) for smoking on any private property that posts "no smoking" signs. If when cited you refuse to stop smoking, then you can be arrested for disobeying lawful orders from police officers. The temple gets no special treatment in this regard. The area you're talking about is not a public sidewalk. There are public sidewalks next to the temple, and you can smoke on there. The area you're talking about is the private property betw

    • by PPH (736903)

      RTFA:

      aided in part by a 'yes' vote from Representative Jennifer Seelig, who also happens to be a lobbyist-employee of 1-800 Contacts, the principal advocate of HB 450.

      It might be interesting to see where this outfit ended up in a bidding war for some keywords. I'm guessing its a case of sour grapes.

  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @09:20AM (#27191943) Homepage Journal
    Great! First Utah gives us Orrin Hatch and the DMCA and now this? Can the rest of America vote to replace Utah with Puerto Rico?
    • You forgot Mittens Helmet-hair.

      As for trading--I'd rather see all those itsy bitsy western states with one or two representatives and two d--ned senators merged into one big state of El Diablo with two senators and as many representatives as they can actually justify by their real population. They could even paint it permanently blue if they wanted. Talk about the tail wagging the dog.

      • We'd call the result Alaska, except it's the wrong color. Must have been a mixup at the dye factory or something.

        Someone better fix it, quick, or Palin's head will continue to expand until she really can see Russia from her house.

      • by swillden (191260)

        I'd rather see all those itsy bitsy western states with one or two representatives and two d--ned senators merged into one big state of El Diablo with two senators and as many representatives as they can actually justify by their real population.

        Utah has three representatives, fully justified by the population. In fact, Utah will be the next state to get another representative, because the population is right on the edge of justifying a fourth. At the moment, Utah's populace is the most poorly-represented in Congress in the country (numerically).

        Actually, you may be interested to know that Utah originally proposed state boundaries that would have included much of the area you suggest for "El Diablo". It would have been called "Deseret", but it

      • >>>I'd rather see all those itsy bitsy western states with one or two representatives and two d--ned senators merged into one big state of El Diablo

        Bad idea. However, seeing California subdivided into North and South California would be cool (similar to how Virginia State and Dakota Territory were divided in two). No one state should have 21% of the electoral college needed to become president. That's simply too much power to be held by a single government.

        Also while we're at it, let's eliminate

    • Umm and SCO Group. Don't forget SCO Group.
  • Funny how the label is "Representative" when a Democrat politician backs these insane Internet regulations.
    • by Steve Franklin (142698) on Saturday March 14, 2009 @10:16AM (#27192199) Homepage Journal

      Some of us don't look at the party affiliation before determining whether the position is stupid or not. Unlike the Neonuts who will complain about something when a Democrat does it and then laud it as just beneath the second coming of Christ when a Republican does it.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        All Democrat and all Republican politicians are bad people, and I do mean ALL. You know who is a good person? Someone who wants to vote out EVERY incumbent in every position in every level of government in the entire country, those crooks, liars, and cheats, and replace them ALL with people who are self-employed or small business owners or managers from middle America. Why business owners or managers? You need the management experience and business sense or you can't be expected to run a country. Why small

      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        When Bush announced withdrawing soldiers from Iraq by 2010, the TV media barely cared.

        When Obama announced the same thing, the TV media was so cheerful I thought they were going to break-out in song..... and conveniently ignored the fact that 50,000 soldiers would still be there.

        There is bias. TV reporters are almost all Democrats and it colors their reports.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The following cryptic phone messages were left for key voters in the Utah Senate:

    Google enjoys sex with beagles

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