Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Using Key Words to Build Barriers

How do you turn a competitive field into silos?

Utah is still at the "forefront" of Internet legislation by creating yet another repository of protected things within the state's borders that need to be checked. This time it focuses on keywords, you know those terms used to link consumer searches with relevant offers, even comparative ones.

It seems that the legislature thinks giving consumers choice is a bad thing. It's unclear who can register terms but local companies like Overstock and 1-800-Contacts are in the mix. From the article:
"...if you type into Google's search engine, you will get sponsored links to, and Under the new law, Overstock could sue the search engine and the competitor if such ads show up in Utah-based Internet searches. "

For a legal review see Eric Goldman's comments.

If this prevails, are tags next?

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