Putting The Toothpaste Back In The Tube

    Utah, home of Big Love, has done it again. After trying unsuccessfully to ban Internet porn and Internet spyware, Governor Jon Huntsman and the state legislature have enacted a law (Utah SB 236, the "Trademark Protection Act") banning the use of keyword search engine advertising. Here is yesterday’s article in the International Herald Tribune. Talk about trying to get the toothpaste back in the tube. Spending on pay-per-click advertising is now way over $10 billion a year, far surpassing the advertising revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC combined. The idiocy is so staggering it makes me want to stutter. To begin with, trying to impose geographic limitations on the borderless Internet is going to be quite a trick. Here is a brilliant deconstruction of the whole mess, courtesy of Eric Goldman, a member of the faculty of the Santa Clara University School of Law, and director of the school’s High Tech Law Institute. As my colleague and client Rick Law put it, the members of the Utah legislature are the new Luddites.