Utah Legislature Attempts to Regulate Keywords – Again

Kate Kaye at ClickZ.com is reporting that the Utah House has passed H.B. 450, which is another law the state is considering to regulate keywords advertising. The Senate has until Thursday to pass the law, as Utah’s legislature only meets 45 days a year.

Unlike past regulation attempts, this version would give immunity to the search ad providers like Google and Yahoo. Instead, the burden would be on the advertisers. Even then, advertisers would be subject to injunction and attorney’s fees. In other words, advertisers wouldn’t face damages under this law. (I’m sure some lawyers will try to find other nifty laws to facilitate the extraction damages.)

Additionally, this law restricts its reach to Utah only. Advertisers using geotargeting to reach Utah consumers would be affected.

The law is being lobbied for solely by 1-800 Contacts, which has a history of being a proponent of keyword regulation. The major search engines are against the bill, despite its limited scope.

Related Reading:

Utah Legislators Doing Research — After They Passed the Law
Utah’s Misguided Trademark Protection Act
Election Year Brings New Efforts to Regulate Search Engine Data Collection

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