SEMPO Says No, SMA-NA Says Yes To Fight Against Traffic Power

Further to my earlier post on the Traffic Power story, some were wondering how the two US search marketing organizations would respond to the suit alleging that SEO Book's Aaron Wall revealed Traffic Power's trade secrets. The answer is in. SEMPO is staying out of the fight, while SMA-NA is jumping in and siding with Wall.

The SEMPO statement from our forum discussion on the case:

It is the policy of SEMPO not to comment on any legal cases pending, particularly those that do not directly involve our organization. This matter in particular will be decided under existing case law relating to freedom of speech, libel/slander, and contract law. There is no compelling reason for a nonprofit group with a mission of education and market expansion to become embroiled in a legal discussion unless there is a specific reason for it such as providing expert opinion on definitions or methodologies; and if we had been solicited, then we certainly wouldn?t be able to comment.

I can understand the caution, but then again, you kind of like the chutzpah of fledgling SMA-NA deciding to take the potentially risky move and diving in. Some highlights from SMA-NA leader Ian McAnerin's blog post, Traffic Power Lawsuit, Blogging, and the SMA-NA:

I felt it was a key issue, and a serious one affecting the internet as a whole. As such, I discussed it with the other paid members of the SMA-NA at the time and decided it would be best to see what we could do about this on behalf of the SEO and Blogger industry....

I talked to Aaron and got his approval to help out on behalf of the SMA-NA. Then I went to one of the best law firms (IMO) in the state - Jones Vargas, whom I've worked with before, and contacted Ariel Stern, an all-around nice guy....

It was pretty clear that SEO's and bloggers sometimes need legal help (I get questions all the time, for example). So I talked to the fine folks at FindLaw and we are in the process of working out the details on providing methods of connecting experienced internet lawyers to SMA-NA members, in addition to providing other legal resources, advice and benefits.

Once we work out the exact details, I'll use that as a template to approach lawyers in Canada and Mexico so that any SMA-NA member anywhere in North America (or any SMA member worldwide who needs legal help from within North America) will be able get it.

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Danny Sullivan was the founder and editor of Search Engine Watch from June 1997 until November 2006.

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