Utah Trying to Regulate Keyword Advertising….Again!? Utah HB 450

5 03 2009

By Eric Goldman

When I first heard that the Utah legislature is considering yet another law to regulate keyword advertising, I thought: Are you kidding me? After all, Utah has pursued these regulations twice with disastrous results. The first time, in 2004, Utah’s attempt to regulate adware-mediated keyword advertising was declared unconstitutional, and Utah amended the law in 2005 to make it irrelevant. In 2007, Utah tried again, passing a law that restricted keyword advertising across-the-board. That law was a spectacular failure, garnering derision both within Utah–especially from angry Utah citizens shocked that their elected representatives passed a law that the state AG thought was unconstitutional and that was going to cost valuable taxpayer money to defend in court–and globally as everyone wondered if the Utah legislature was really that crazy. In 2008, the legislature tucked its tail between its legs and repealed the 2007 law.

With this track record, the Utah legislature wants to try regulating keyword advertising again…? Are you kidding me?

Then again, perhaps this latest foray really isn’t all that surprising.


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