FTC Regulations

To clarify the comment at the bottom of yesterday's review regarding "FTC disclosure," here's a brief catch-up on recent FTC regulations on book blogging:

Basically, the FTC requires that any product review or endorsement for which compensation is provided must include a full disclosure of said compensation. So, for example, if a publishing company paid me $50 to write a review of their book, I would have to disclose that information within my review. Or as a footnote/sidenote/more info note. I'm a bit fuzzy on the details.

This is a) not new (the laws regulating this were passed in 1980) and b) perfectly logical. Where it starts to get hairy is in recent FTC regulations declaring that receiving a book counts as payment for a blogger - so if a publishing company pays me no cash, but sends me a review copy of a book, that must be disclosed. If it isn't, a blogger can face up to $11,000 in fines.

Needless to say, there's been a bit of an uproar about this. I'm not very good at brief summaries, so read for yourself some of the varying opinions, objections, etc:

Teleread's Objections
Another Open Letter to the FTC on Media Bistro
The First Open Letter to the FTC on Media Bistro

1 comment

  1. Well this seems silly to me. In order to review the book, you must read it. In order to read it, you must be supplied, in some capacity, the text of the book. To disclose that one's received the text of the book seems inherent in the act of reviewing.


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