My Meeting with the FTC

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As I mentioned in an earlier thread, I was invited to a meeting with the FTC this week by a client I do some consulting for. I just got the release from my client to talk a little bit about this stuff.

Before I get started, please don’t shoot the messenger. I am just saying what was said, not saying it’s right or wrong. Let me also say, that I was a very small fish in this meeting, so I didn’t have a chance to really get involved in the discussions much like other FTC meetings I have been at (as a consultant).

While I was asked not to disclose the parties involved, I will say that this meeting was done via live teleconferencing with lots of different BIG players represented from a wide range of industries. I was there helping represent a major hosting / data center provider. Not HG by the way.

This was my frist FTC meeting that didn’t involve a specific action by the FTC against a particular company. This meeting was much more like a two way discussion than most I have been involved with. It certainly had a parent (FTC) to teenager feel to it though.

First, these new regulations are targeting lots of people, not just IMer’s. I know some of the major job finding sites were represented, and they got a stern warning about the scammy “work from home” listings. These are the envelope stuffing / medical billing type of “jobs”.

One possible way to help these sites (and likely others) “police themselves” was something I mentioned to Brian (kindsvater) before my meeting that I had an educated guess based on a couple conversations the FTC might be considering. About 2 hours into the meeting this idea was bought up by an FTC rep. They mentioned setting up a system somewhat similar to the current DMCA laws and notification systems.

There is nothing really even in the works on this as far as I know, but they are considering it. Given that, I think it makes sense that we discuss what implication that might have on the IM industry. This would likely be something to the affect of simply notifying/involving people like merchants accounts and hosting providers of possible violations by there users.

Once notified, these bigger players would kinda fall into the realm of actively enabling violations if they failed to act. Thus increasing their liability. Basically the FTC is looking at involving more people who have more to lose in helping to “police” the internet.

I don’t know what all payment process providers were there, but there was mention of the fact the FTC had begun to get much more tough on the “enablers” of these scams. They are looking for an easy way to clean things up without having to go after every small time crook one by one. The FTC knows that if the people they are targeting can't take payments, their number will greatly diminish.

One of the FTC reps. did mention 2 very popular payment processors among warriors. For liability reasons, I will not say the names, but most of you can guess who these are. They indicated these are people they have identified as” enablers” and they are going to continue to “lean” on them to help clean things up.

The FTC is basically looking for places the scams are concentrated, and then they target those places as a whole rather than each person individually. A surprisingly smart move for a government agency.

I will tell you that the tone of the meeting was very much against any “business opportunity” or training that made “income claims” as a way to help sell their stuff. That’s not to say that all income claims are illegal, but it is to say that the tone of the FTC in this meeting was that they wanted income claims to go away. We all know they won’t, but the FTC is not for them. I will also say that the tone of the “crowd” at the meeting was mostly against these income claims as well.

I am sure good lawyers (Brian) will be able to help some skirt the fringes of the law on these matters, but my guess is that the “enablers” are going to be the biggest threat to those who chose to operate on the fringes going forward.

How tough the payment processors and such get on creating and enforcing new rules will just depend on how much pressure the FTC puts on them. I mean they make money with more clients, but not if those clients expose them to risks of action by the FTC against their entire business.

Sorry for the long post, but this stuff is important.
#ftc #meeting
  • Profile picture of the author vic alexander
    Thanks for this David.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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      Many thanks for such a long, thoughtful and interesting post, David.

      It's very important, as you say. To huge numbers of us, directly or indirectly.

      I know not everyone will agree about this, but for myself I'm really relieved and pleased to see the comments in your paragraph about "income claims": In the long run, I think that can only be beneficial all round.
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      • Profile picture of the author David Keith
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        Many thanks for such a long, thoughtful and interesting post, David.

        It's very important, as you say. To huge numbers of us, directly or indirectly.

        I know not everyone will agree about this, but for myself I'm really relieved and pleased to see the comments in your paragraph about "income claims": In the long run, I think that can only be beneficial all round.
        I should probably also make clear that this stuff was said in a discussion format, not as if (some of) it is or is going to be law.

        Although some of it is currently law (or soon to be) and will be applied as has been discussed in other threads.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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          Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

          I should probably also make clear that this stuff was all said in a discussion format, not as if it is or is going to be law.

          Although some of it is currently law (or soon to be) and will be applied as has been discussed in other threads.
          Understood - thank you. But (at least!) interesting and highly relevant in so far as even the parts that aren't (going to be) law (soon) are still doubtless evidential of their overall thinking/strategy/direction.
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          • Profile picture of the author Centurian
            Yes, this is the kind of stuff that has escalated with this administration. I've been watching multiple industries I've consulted in be shut down.

            Over recent years, there has been an activist agenda to seize control of all market sectors. Regulations have shut down private sector growth in production, development, education, manufacturing, housing, and every financial sector, to name a few.

            God help us if this continues to roll on. I've had two businesses completely shuttered in other industries due to elimination of the market by destructive government regulation. One of these had fifteen years of successful growth.

            The other enterprise, with $20 million dollar a month funding, was eliminated with one simple regulatory ruling. The motif is this. The only legitimate enterprise is the one run by government. Secondly, the government is here to help you.

            It reminds me of the sign on a farmer's market nearby, "Don't steal. The government hates competition."
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        • Profile picture of the author Centurian
          Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

          I should probably also make clear that this stuff was said in a discussion format, not as if (some of) it is or is going to be law.

          Although some of it is currently law (or soon to be) and will be applied as has been discussed in other threads.
          David, as I'm sure you know, if they're talking about it it's on their agenda. I've been involved downtown on many levels since the late 70's.

          They don't just talk about stuff in these conferences unless it's high on their agenda. This administration stated they will rule by fiat and regulation without congressional approval or oversight. Of course, with what's rolled out of Congress anyway that is no comfort.

          This is part of the reason we are seeing increased limitations and shut-downs. A full-court press is underway to completely regulate the internet on all levels.

          In the end, if we continue to embrace government regulation as a solution to protect everyone from everything, we deserve Benjamin Franklin's judgment. Those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither.

          While resorting to cheap income claims may generate a few extra sales, liars always lose. They are found out for the cheats they are and their "empires" soon implode. Life regulates liars and cheats.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Ausin
    Thanks a lot David for taking your time to post this.

    Personally, I'm glad that FTC is at least thinking of cleaning all this up a bit. Will benefit us in the long run.
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    The FTC is basically looking for places the scams are concentrated, and then they target those places as a whole rather than each person individually. A surprisingly smart move for a government agency.
    I wonder if the WSO forum might be considered a "place" because of some of the claims made...
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    I don't believe that any of my offers would attract these regulators, but if something was created two years ago, would it fall to regulating after the fact you think?

    For example. Suppose I had said in an offer, "my customers will make millions this year", and I had said that in a WSO thread two years ago... Even if I changed the context of my posting thread, the subject line of those people commenting on my thread likely show an archive of the original claim.

    Would those archival subject lines be used to beat me over the head today?

    Like I said, I don't think I have too much to worry about here, but I know of other Warriors who might need to hear an answer to this.
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    • Profile picture of the author David Keith
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      I don't believe that any of my offers would attract these regulators, but if something was created two years ago, would it fall to regulating after the fact you think?

      For example. Suppose I had said in an offer, "my customers will make millions this year", and I had said that in a WSO thread two years ago... Even if I changed the context of my posting thread, the subject line of those people commenting on my thread likely show an archive of the original claim.

      Would those archival subject lines be used to beat me over the head today?

      Like I said, I don't think I have too much to worry about here, but I know of other Warriors who might need to hear an answer to this.
      I am not a lawyer, but I would think some statute of limitations stuff might come into play on this as well as some precedents regarding the grand fathering in of laws.

      If a person changes their business to comply with new laws (or possible new laws) then I don't see how the FTC could hold what you did in the past against you. Especially if it was not illegal then.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Gram
    Thanks for posting this...very important stuff. I know that I will never ever mess around and give any income claims at all. No matter how true, it's just not worth it.
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  • Profile picture of the author DeltaBravoCooper
    Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

    The FTC is basically looking for places the scams are concentrated, and then they target those places as a whole rather than each person individually. A surprisingly smart move for a government agency.

    I will tell you that the tone of the meeting was very much against any “business opportunity” or training that made “income claims” as a way to help sell their stuff. That’s not to say that all income claims are illegal, but it is to say that the tone of the FTC in this meeting was that they wanted income claims to go away. We all know they won’t, but the FTC is not for them. I will also say that the tone of the “crowd” at the meeting was mostly against these income claims as well.
    David, Very interesting post! A couple of questions...
    How likely is the FTC to establish a new rule or law about this?
    How soon would it happen (months or years)?
    Is is going to be vague or specific?
    And do you think it will have much impact, or just few unlucky "examples" will be shot, but everything will pretty much continue as is...
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    • Profile picture of the author David Keith
      Originally Posted by DeltaBravoCooper View Post

      David, Very interesting post! A couple of questions...
      How likely is the FTC to establish a new rule or law about this?
      How soon would it happen (months or years)?
      Is is going to be vague or specific?
      And do you think it will have much impact, or just few unlucky "examples" will be shot, but everything will pretty much continue as is...
      The likely hood of such laws actually getting done is well outside of my pay grade. There are just way to many factors involved in that.

      You have to realize that while many here at WF think the "business opportunity" niche is all there is, it is a relatively small industry compared to all the things the FTC is charged with regulating.

      My personal opinion on this stuff is that it truly does not even actually have to be law to affect many folks. If the FTC applies pressure to a payments processor to not accept certain types of clients in certain industries, that will be probably be more than enough to start some changes.

      It won't matter if what you do is "illegal" if you can't find a way to accept payments for what you are selling, then you are out of business anyway.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kay King
        I wonder if the WSO forum might be considered a "place" because of some of the claims made...
        It wouldn't have to be - the pressure could be on the "enablers" to refuse to process the payments. That's the smart way to exert control - but focusing on the big services that so many people use to promote/sell/contact/host....

        Thanks for the info - it makes sense. I don't expect to see one big law about it - but a series of small adjustments and restrictions that eventually have a chilling effect on some sellers and online businesses.

        kay
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        • Profile picture of the author David Keith
          Originally Posted by Kay King View Post


          Thanks for the info - it makes sense. I don't expect to see one big law about it - but a series of small adjustments and restrictions that eventually have a chilling effect on some sellers and online businesses.

          kay
          I think you nailed it there. If the FTC does what I am kinda expecting them to do, we won't be notified of a big SOPA style bill.

          They will just work in the background, and it may just get harder and harder to work with the usual suspects of payment processors.
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      • Profile picture of the author ShayB
        Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

        It won't matter if what you do is "illegal" if you can't find a way to accept payments for what you are selling, then you are out of business anyway.
        It might come to the point where people are back to waiting for checks or money orders to be mailed to them.

        "Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery..."
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  • Profile picture of the author Adrian Int
    I'm getting pretty sick of inflated $$ claims littering every other message anyway.

    All good things must come to an end, right? >_>

    Good business will find a way. After all, the lowest point of market confidence is also, technically, the point of greatest opportunity in that market. Don't be too phased by this if you run a legitimate operation with a clear input value and clear output value.

    Besides, businesses that exploit loop holes have a limited life expectancy from their inception anyway don't they? :-P

    Cheers,
    -Adrian
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  • Profile picture of the author agc
    While I am glad that the FTC is taking is fraudulent claims seriously, and is taking steps towards cleaning things up, I am NOT pleased at the approach of creating "liability" for third parties.

    Why not? Because if the FTC / Fed-State-Local Government has some issue with something that someone is doing, the "defendant" has full recourse to due process. They get legal represenation, procedures, trials, appeals, the works. All the protections so WISELY built into the very foundations of our system of government.

    When a "third party" takes action, the rights of the "accused" invariably go straight down the toilet.

    Even ALLOWING third parties to take enforcement actions outside some very narrowly defined parameters is a GROSS VIOLATION OF DUE PROCESS. Yes YOU Paypal. And YOU TOO Apple, with your arbitrary censoring actions. And especially YOU, Google.

    So while I want the FTC to work to clean things up, I also want them to do so in a manner which is consistent with principles on which this country was built. I want them to actually do their job and work with the FBI, the State enforcement agencies, the local police. Do things the way they were intended to be done, instead of rounding up a posse, handing out tin badges, and and looking the other way when the wrong men get hanged.
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    • Profile picture of the author David Keith
      Originally Posted by agc View Post

      While I am glad that the FTC is taking is fraudulent claims seriously, and is taking steps towards cleaning things up, I am NOT pleased at the approach of creating "liability" for third parties.

      Why not? Because if the FTC / Fed-State-Local Government has some issue with something that someone is doing, the "defendant" has full recourse to due process. They get trials, procedures, appeals, the works.

      When a "third party" takes action, the rights of the "defendant" go straight down the toilet.

      I personally think that by even ALLOWING third parties to take enforcement actions outside some very narrowly defined parameters is a GROSS VIOLATION OF DUE PROCESS. Yes YOU Paypal. And YOU TOO Apple, with your arbitrary censoring actions. And especially YOU, Google.

      So while I want the FTC to work to clean things up, I also want them to do so in a manner which is consistent with principles on which this country was built. Work with the FBI, the State enforcement agencies, the local police. Do things the way they were intended to be done.
      I totally agree, that it is a scary direction for things to go in. In the meeting, the DMCA laws/system of enforcement was mentioned as "working well".

      I am sure we all have our opinions, and lets not kid ourselves, copyright violations are very much alive and well. But many have had decent success with protecting their content if they are proactive.

      It is certainly not perfect, and there is no easy answer.

      But if I think we may only have two real choices. Let the government (FTC in this case) hire another xxx million people to look over the shoulder of every business. Or we work within the frame work of existing businesses that just slightly adjust their procedures over time to help enforce laws.
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      • Profile picture of the author agc
        Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

        I totally agree, that it is a scary direction for things to go in. In the meeting, the DMCA laws/system of enforcement was mentioned as "working well".

        I am sure we all have our opinions, and lets not kid ourselves, copyright violations are very much alive and well. But many have had decent success with protecting their content if they are proactive.

        It is certainly not perfect, and there is no easy answer.

        But if I think we may only have two real choices. Let the government (FTC in this case) hire another xxx million people to look over the shoulder of every business. Or we work within the frame work of existing businesses that just slightly adjust their procedures over time to help enforce laws.
        Those are two extreme solutions. xxx million people vs no responsibility.

        How about a FEW people, combined with oversight rules by which the third parties aren't ALLOWED to take punitive action (only narrowly construed self protective action is allowed), but are REQUIRED to report predefined activities for investigation.

        If I want to take $11,000 out of the bank in cash, they bank won't say no. But they do send a FED Money Movement report. Can you imagine if the bank was allowed to just say no to giving me my money?

        Combined w/ some simple algorithmic processing to identify the biggest fish, they invetigators can spend their time reviewing the reports and referring them out for enforcement action, be it a first level warning / cease and desist, or seizure and prosecution action.

        It's not the old west, where the physical laws of time and space made a physical presence and direct intervention impossible. We don't have 4 million square miles of nowhere to police. This is information space. One agent actually CAN be everywhere at the same time.
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        • Profile picture of the author David Keith
          Originally Posted by agc View Post

          Those are two extreme solutions. xxx million people vs no responsibility.

          How about a FEW people, combined with oversight rules by which the third parties aren't ALLOWED to take punitive action (only narrowly construed self protective action is allowed), but are REQUIRED to report predefined activities for investigation.

          If I want to take $11,000 out of the bank in cash, they bank won't say no. But they do send a FED Money Movement report. Can you imagine if the bank was allowed to just say no to giving me my money?

          Combined w/ some simple algorithmic processing to identify the biggest fish, they invetigators can spend their time reviewing the reports and referring them out for enforcement action, be it a first level warning / cease and desist, or seizure and prosecution action.

          It's not the old west, where the physical laws of time and space made a physical presence and direct intervention impossible. We don't have 4 million square miles of nowhere to police. This is information space. One agent actually CAN be everywhere at the same time.
          Most businesses have a TOS system that says they don't want to do business with certain industries. Lots of web hosts won't allow adult content on their servers because of the legal risks involved in doing so. Of course their are also moral implications as well, But most just don't want the risk.

          I am simply suggesting that based on my experience with internet business, the likely outcome of all this is essentially going to be a tightening up of many TOS's from groups that could be considered enablers.

          Payments processors have really been in the risk management business since their inception. This is nothing new for them. And truthfully, it will affect a very small percentage of their clients.

          If paypal never handled another transaction for any product that had an income claim attached to it, paypal would not miss a beat. They would lose a very small percentage of their bottom line.

          And in truth, that small percentage is responsible for more than it's fair share of headaches/complaints paypal has to deal with.
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    • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
      Originally Posted by agc View Post

      While I am glad that the FTC is taking is fraudulent claims seriously, and is taking steps towards cleaning things up, I am NOT pleased at the approach of creating "liability" for third parties.

      Why not? Because if the FTC / Fed-State-Local Government has some issue with something that someone is doing, the "defendant" has full recourse to due process. They get legal represenation, procedures, trials, appeals, the works. All the protections so WISELY built into the very foundations of our system of government.

      When a "third party" takes action, the rights of the "accused" invariably go straight down the toilet.

      Even ALLOWING third parties to take enforcement actions outside some very narrowly defined parameters is a GROSS VIOLATION OF DUE PROCESS. Yes YOU Paypal. And YOU TOO Apple, with your arbitrary censoring actions. And especially YOU, Google.

      So while I want the FTC to work to clean things up, I also want them to do so in a manner which is consistent with principles on which this country was built. I want them to actually do their job and work with the FBI, the State enforcement agencies, the local police. Do things the way they were intended to be done, instead of rounding up a posse, handing out tin badges, and and looking the other way when the wrong men get hanged.
      While I agree with some of your concerns... this statement is troubling:

      Even ALLOWING third parties to take enforcement actions outside some very narrowly defined parameters is a GROSS VIOLATION OF DUE PROCESS. Yes YOU Paypal. And YOU TOO Apple, with your arbitrary censoring actions. And especially YOU, Google.
      You think "due process" should apply to private marketplaces?

      That is like not being able to fire a teacher due to tenure.

      Private marketplaces should have the right to refuse service to ANYONE.

      I understand that this raises concerns when companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple become so big that public discourse on the internet is privatized...

      But consider the warrior forum. There is no free speech here. Decision are arbitrary and unilateral. And that is a good thing because you are a guest here... including in the WSO forum.

      Allen should have the right as the owner of this forum to censor, deny service, and delete anyone and anything at any time for any reason he chooses... bound by of course any contractual agreements which again are between two private parties.

      As far as the DMCA goes... you register an agent with the Copyright office and you are insulated from certain liabilities if you comply. I much prefer that over SOPA or PIPA.

      Government is always getting in the way.... but the DMCA, at least in my experience, has been a pleasure to work with. I have been on both sides of DMCA complaints both as a complainant and a service provider and for me that type of self policing is much preferable over arbitrary government shut down or litigation.
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      • Profile picture of the author agc
        Originally Posted by Josh Anderson View Post

        While I agree with some of your concerns... this statement is troubling:

        You think "due process" should apply to private marketplaces?

        That is like not being able to fire a teacher due to tenure.

        Private marketplaces should have the right to refuse service to ANYONE.
        Private marketplace? Of course not (well except in extreme cases).

        Your key mistake is differentiating public and private marketplaces based on ownership rather than participation.

        If your marketplace has private participation and membership in or refusal of membership in has no impact on the a larger social context then sure, you can do whatever you want.

        When your privately owned marketplace benefits financially from the participaton of the PUBLIC, then it is, and SHOULD BE required to serve the benefit of the public that supports it.

        When a privately owned public marketplace has reached the point where it is unavoidable in the normal course of doing business, then it has to fall under even greater scrutiny for the greater good of the public it serves.

        After all, those private marketplaces wouldn't exist without the general population and they benefit greatly from the health and well being of said general population.

        Accordingly, it should be held to the highest standards that we set for our society. In this case, that means it should not be allowed to take punitive action against individual members of the public w/o reasonable due process.

        As as we can clearly see that these privately owned marketplaces couldn't give to ss... whits about anyone's rights but their own, it becomes clear that they should really not be allowed to take those actions at all, as "punishment" for crimes, real or imagined, is a role clearly reserved for the government.



        And as to your last statement: Are you really saying that a restaurant should be allowed to refuse service to ANYONE? So they should be allowed, for example, to refuse to serve colored folk?
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        • Profile picture of the author David Keith
          Originally Posted by agc View Post

          Private marketplace? Of course not (well except in extreme cases).

          Your key mistake is differentiating public and private marketplaces based on ownership rather than participation.

          If your marketplace has private participation and membership in or refusal of membership in has no impact on the a larger social context then sure, you can do whatever you want.

          When your privately owned marketplace benefits financially from the participaton of the PUBLIC, then it is, and SHOULD BE required to serve the benefit of the public that supports it.

          When a privately owned public marketplace has reached the point where it is unavoidable in the normal course of doing business, then it has to fall under even greater scrutiny for the greater good of the public it serves.

          After all, those private marketplaces wouldn't exist without the general population and they benefit greatly from the health and well being of said general population.

          Accordingly, it should be held to the highest standards that we set for our society. In this case, that means it should not be allowed to take punitive action against individual members of the public w/o reasonable due process.

          As as we can clearly see that these privately owned marketplaces couldn't give to ss... whits about anyone's rights but their own, it becomes clear that they should really not be allowed to take those actions at all, as "punishment" for crimes, real or imagined, is a role clearly reserved for the government.


          And as to your last statement: Are you really saying that a restaurant should be allowed to refuse service to ANYONE? So they should be allowed, for example, to refuse to serve colored folk?
          You can't truly force a business to serve anyone or even be in business at all. That's a pipe dream. If you try to do that, what you really do is just force people to say *uck it and shut the doors.

          Heck, if Allen wanted to pull the plug on this forum today, he has every right to do that. He doesn't owe any of us the "right" (and i use that term very loosely) to be a part of this forum.

          Just because it has gotten pretty big doesn't mean that suddenly I or anyone else has the right to infringe upon his right to run his business.
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          • Profile picture of the author agc
            Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

            You can't truly force a business to serve anyone or even be in business at all. That's a pipe dream. If you try to do that, what you really do is just force people to say *uck it and shut the doors.

            Heck, if Allen wanted to pull the plug on this forum today, he has every right to do that. He doesn't owe any of us the "right" (and i use that term very loosely) to be a prt of this forum.

            Just because it has gotten pretty big doesn't mean that suddenly I or anyone else has the right to infringe upon his right to run his business.
            You can't force a business to serve anyone. But you can force them to serve everyone. Within limits. There are limits on what you can make them do. They like that. there are also limits on what they can choose to do. Not surprisingly, they DON'T like that.

            If a restuarant doesn't want to serve coloreds, there is no way to keep them from closing up shop and going out of business. Ditto for Allen and this forum.

            But while they choose to stay in business, you (the law of society) absolutely CAN require them to make the bathroom available, can require them to use beef in the beef tacos, and can require them to serve colored people. Don't like it? Hey, you can always close up shop.

            I heard there are still a few backward places on the planet where you can get away with all kinds of crap. Unfortunately, being an American, you may not find yourself in a position to benefit from those "benefits".

            RE: WF. WarriorForum (as a participant) is not essential to doing business. But once you start having vendors, that line starts to blur. If a vendor is making a living, and invest heavily, and then one day Allen decides to to ban that vendor and replaces all the vendor's WSO's with offers from his cousin using the same URl's... (yanno, that ANYONE for ANY REASON part of the argument)...

            People can complain, but really, can they? If he deletes any and all complaints or disagreement?

            SHOULD he be allowed to do that? What liability should he create for himself in doing so?

            So yea, people would revolt. But what if he does something more savvy, more calculating than that. somethign more subtle. something where SOME people complain, but most people just don't really notice or care.

            Does that make the banned vendors kids suddenly have tuition for school and food to eat?

            And WF doesn't even rise to the level of unavoidable. Well except for in the IM market place perhaps.
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            • Profile picture of the author David Keith
              Originally Posted by agc View Post

              You can't force a business to serve anyone. But you can force them to serve everyone. Within limits.
              No you can't at all sir. You absolutely can't force me to be in business at all. If you tell me I have to serve everyone, I will simply close the doors and go home. I go home and fire all my employees.

              Then you go to work, pay taxes and the government mails me an un-employment check for how many months now? That will solve the economic problems.

              I suppose we will just have to agree to disagree because we are miles apart on things.

              EDIT: And for the record, I am not upset, I just don't see either of us convincing the other of our views, so no point in continuing with this.
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              • Profile picture of the author agc
                Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

                No you can't at all sir. You absolutely can't force me to be in business at all. If you tell me I have to serve everyone, I will simply close the doors and go home. I go home and fire all my employees.

                Then you go to work, pay taxes and the government mails me an un-employment check for how many months now? That will solve the economic problems.

                I suppose we will just have to agree to disagree because we are miles apart on things.

                EDIT: And for the record, I am not upset, I just don't see either of us convincing the other of our views, so no point in continuing with this.
                Let's not talk about "you", because I don't want it to seem that I'm playing some kind of race card against "you".

                I'm really just focused on the unreasonableness of the "right to refuse to serve anyone" argument with a concrete example where the right to refuse to serve anyone HAS been dealt with definitively in the past.

                Rather, let's talk about "Joe".

                If Joe would rather close his restaurant than serve black customers, hey, nobody can stop him. And he can fire everyone and he can go on unemployment, yes he can.

                And in that vacant commercial space he used to rent, someone else can open a new restaurant, one that serves black customers and hires black employees. And since the owner probably left a job somewhere else to start this new business, that place will be hiring replacements too. And when Joe gest tired of starving once his food stamps run out, he'll probably go back to work, and probably for someone with a more socially productive point of view, since they elected to stay business. And some of the black customers, after enjoying their meal, will stick around the check out the other businesses in the area too.

                Ol' Joe will still end up serving black customers in the end, because society has decided that the time has come to do so. He'll just end up being a lot more bitter about it, and have a much greater personal loss attached to it.

                Yes, Joe closing his restaurant it may have an "economic impact". But there is no guarantee that it'll be a negative one. It will certainly be much larger to him relative to his finances than it will be to the public relative to the public's finances.

                The simple fact is the public does have the right to place limits on what people can do with their private property.
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                • Profile picture of the author David Keith
                  Originally Posted by agc View Post

                  Let's not talk about "you", because I don't want it to seem that I'm playing some kind of race card against "you".

                  I'm really just focused on the unreasonableness of the "right to refuse to serve anyone" argument with a concrete example where the right to refuse to serve anyone HAS been dealt with definitively in the past.

                  Rather, let's talk about "Joe".

                  If Joe would rather close his restaurant than serve black customers, hey, nobody can stop him. And he can fire everyone and he can go on unemployment, yes he can.

                  And in that vacant commercial space he used to rent, someone else can open a new restaurant, one that serves black customers and hires black employees. And since the owner probably left a job somewhere else to start this new business, that place will be hiring replacements too. And when Joe gest tired of starving once his food stamps run out, he'll probably go back to work, and probably for someone with a more socially productive point of view, since they elected to stay business. And some of the black customers, after enjoying their meal, will stick around the check out the other businesses in the area too.

                  Ol' Joe will still end up serving black customers in the end, because society has decided that the time has come to do so. He'll just end up being a lot more bitter about it, and have a much greater personal loss attached to it.

                  Yes, Joe closing his restaurant it may have an "economic impact". But there is no guarantee that it'll be a negative one. It will certainly be much larger to him relative to his finances than it will be to the public relative to the public's finances.

                  The simple fact is the public does have the right to place limits on what people can do with their private property.
                  This will be my last response to this as I really don't feel it's adding much to the discussion at hand.

                  Forget race. Why do your rights to eat at my restaurant trump my rights to not serve you for any reason at all.

                  These reasons may include normal prejudices or they may include things like I don't like blonde's, so I don't serve them. You are suggesting the rights of blondes trumps my right not to serve them.

                  Most people don't have a problem with blondes, so they can eat anywhere. Anywhere but my restaurant because I don't like blondes and that is my right to feel that way.

                  What you suggest the government do is in fact infringe on my rights not to like blondes. Why can't i not like blondes. BTW. For all of you blondes out there, I do like blondes. if your interested, you can reach me at 555-ILikeBlondes...JK...god I hope that phone # doesn't actually work.

                  I will bow out of this part of this discussion now. We are just too far apart on this to change each others view. I enjoyed the discussion though.

                  By the way sir, how long have you been in business?
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                  • Profile picture of the author ShayB
                    @ agc -

                    You can't force a business to serve anyone.

                    You CAN require that they adhere to federal laws in order to operate a business. It's a condition of doing business. You don't comply, you get shut down. You don't WANT to comply, you shut yourself down.

                    Simple.
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                    • Profile picture of the author agc
                      Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

                      @ agc -

                      You can't force a business to serve anyone.

                      You CAN require that they adhere to federal laws in order to operate a business. It's a condition of doing business. You don't comply, you get shut down. You don't WANT to comply, you shut yourself down.

                      Simple.
                      Exactly. Thank you.
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        • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
          Originally Posted by agc View Post


          And as to your last statement: Are you really saying that a restaurant should be allowed to refuse service to ANYONE? So they should be allowed, for example, to refuse to serve colored folk?
          'Hate crimes' are purely a crime of thought.

          -Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author Centurian
      Originally Posted by agc View Post

      While I am glad that the FTC is taking is fraudulent claims seriously, and is taking steps towards cleaning things up, I am NOT pleased at the approach of creating "liability" for third parties.

      Why not? Because if the FTC / Fed-State-Local Government has some issue with something that someone is doing, the "defendant" has full recourse to due process. They get legal represenation, procedures, trials, appeals, the works. All the protections so WISELY built into the very foundations of our system of government.

      When a "third party" takes action, the rights of the "accused" invariably go straight down the toilet.

      Even ALLOWING third parties to take enforcement actions outside some very narrowly defined parameters is a GROSS VIOLATION OF DUE PROCESS. Yes YOU Paypal. And YOU TOO Apple, with your arbitrary censoring actions. And especially YOU, Google.

      So while I want the FTC to work to clean things up, I also want them to do so in a manner which is consistent with principles on which this country was built. I want them to actually do their job and work with the FBI, the State enforcement agencies, the local police. Do things the way they were intended to be done, instead of rounding up a posse, handing out tin badges, and and looking the other way when the wrong men get hanged.
      That's the way the whole crooked income and sales tax system was built. Make the businesses be the tax collectors and public police of the people.

      While you're at it, spy on your neighbor. Be a good citizen for the empire. It's not that we rue government, just stay within your boundaries. As Thomas Jefferson said, "We must bind the government down with the chains of the Constitution."

      As far as regulation is concerned, business and human interaction has historically been governed by contract law and common law. This is what prevailed before we had "consumer protection agencies." As was mentioned, we are here as guests and consent to a contract of obligations and rights.

      The free market provides alternatives to monopolies, if there is no government interference to protect or create them in the first place.

      One simple rule governs the marketplace. Wherever profits abound, ruinous competition will arise.
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    • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
      Originally Posted by agc View Post

      When a "third party" takes action, the rights of the "accused" invariably go straight down the toilet.
      When you operate business in a third party private environment like a marketplace such as the WSO forum your "rights" are limited and generally defined by TOS.

      However, I would like to point out that under the DMCA you DO have rights.

      Here is a process I went through with a company that sent a DMCA takedown notice to my company (a service provider) due to a third party infringement:

      1. The copyright owner sent a DMCA take down notice claiming that a third party using our service was infringing on their copyright.

      2. Complying with the requirements of the law we suspended the infringing product.

      3. The infringer claimed to be innocent. They were informed that without a DMCA counter notice we could not take action to reinstate their offer. They then sent a counter notice. Here is an example: Do-It-Yourself Counter Notification Letter

      4. We reinstated the offer providing a copy of the counter notice to the copyright claimant and informing them that we would need an injunction from the court to take further action.

      5. The copyright claimant obtained the injunction and sent it to us and once again we took down the offer of the infringer. The case was later decided by the court in favor of the copyright claimant.

      The DMCA is not perfect but its a heck of a lot better than legislation such as SOPA or PIPA... nor is this type of situation fun for any of the parties involved... but at least there is a clear course of actions and at least the service provider has some protections against liability.

      This is not legal advice... do not consider this a perfect example. I am not a lawyer... as a service provider I merely try to follow the law and appreciate the value of the DMCA with the protections is affords my company.

      It would be far more effective for the FTC to use a model similar to the DMCA to allow industries to help police themselves then to arbitrarily shut service providers down.

      I am not saying that this is the solution... but its better than arbitrary rule making and legislation.

      Online marketplaces are too valuable to national and global economies and self policing can be an effective element of protecting consumers. The warrior forum uses it.
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      • Profile picture of the author agc
        Originally Posted by Josh Anderson View Post

        When you operate business in a third party private environment like a marketplace such as the WSO forum your "rights" are limited and generally defined by TOS.

        However, I would like to point out that under the DMCA you DO have rights.

        Here is a process I went through with a company that sent a DMCA takedown notice to my company (a service provider) due to a third party infringement:

        1. The copyright owner sent a DMCA take down notice claiming that a third party using our service was infringing on their copyright.

        2. Complying with the requirements of the law we suspended the infringing product.

        3. The infringer claimed to be innocent. They were informed that without a DMCA counter notice we could not take action to reinstate their offer. They then sent a counter notice. Here is an example: Do-It-Yourself Counter Notification Letter

        4. We reinstated the offer providing a copy of the counter notice to the copyright claimant and informing them that we would need an injunction from the court to take further action.

        5. The copyright claimant obtained the injunction and sent it to us and once again we took down the offer of the infringer. The case was later decided by the court in favor of the copyright claimant.

        The DMCA is not perfect but its a heck of a lot better than legislation such as SOPA or PIPA... nor is this type of situation fun for any of the parties involved... but at least there is a clear course of actions and at least the service provider has some protections against liability.

        This is not legal advice... do not consider this a perfect example. I am not a lawyer... as a service provider I merely try to follow the law and appreciate the value of the DMCA with the protections is affords my company.

        It would be far more effective for the FTC to use a model similar to the DMCA to allow industries to help police themselves then to arbitrarily shut service providers down.

        I am not saying that this is the solution... but its better than arbitrary rule making and legislation.

        Online marketplaces are too valuable to national and global economies and self policing can be an effective element of protecting consumers. The warrior forum uses it.

        The scenario you described worked perfectly EXCEPT for item 2 (bold).

        At that point, no due process had been followed, yet a punitive action had been taken. If the court had later found in favor if the "accused" who would pay for the lost business and damaged reputation that was caused BEFORE due process had been followed?

        Further, hosting providers don't give a crap about the rights of the business clients they are hosting... because they are compelled to only care that they are being held liable for the actions of their customers.

        A) that causes them to not care about what's right, rather to only care about removing their liability. If you as a service provider gave the client a chance to respond and then put the material back online, then good for you. (well other than having taken it down prematurely in the first place). You're at least trying. But recognize that the vast majority of SPs won't even bother.

        B) The service providers tend not to take "targeted action". They usually lack the skill to remove just the wart, so they usually just lop off the head. So now you have a dead patient instead of a patient missing a wart. Again, AHEAD of the accused having ANY chance to avail themselves of due process. If there were any justice in the world, that would earn the SP 100% liability for any losses that result should the accusation be found to be invalid in court. Luckily for SPs and unluckily for the poor SOBS who get their businesses wiped out on a mere accusation, there is no such justice in the world.

        C) The service provider should never be liable for the actions of the clients. Period. they service provider should ONLY be liable for the actions of the service provider. Whats the difference? If they SP gets a court order to remove content, and they don't comply, THEN the SP is liable. Liable to the court that gave the order. but in the absence of a court order to do something, the SP should not be REQUIRED to do anything more than notify the client of the complaint. The SP can have a policy that if the client doesnto respond than the site goes offline, but again, that leaves the client time to avail of process.

        The only reason DMCA works "reasonably well" is because the vast DMCA complaints are fairly obvious infringements. And yet, there are numerous examples of businesses being impacted by frivolous DMCA actions.

        Should we just be honest with ourselves and change our official standard for crime and punishment to be "eh. close enough."?

        A system where "eh, close enough" is acceptable, how would you feel about your chances defending yourself against accusations of child abuse arising from a neighbor upset because your dog peed on his roses through the fence?

        to me, this is not a "grey area". It's really plain as day. WHO DO WE ENTRUST WITH THE AUTHORITY TO IMPOSE PUNISHMENT FOR OUR ACTIONS? Who do we grant special immunity from liability for the damages caused by their actions?
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        • Profile picture of the author David Keith
          Originally Posted by agc View Post


          At that point, no due process had been followed, yet a punitive action had been taken. If the court had later found in favor if the "accused" who would pay for the lost business and damaged reputation that was caused BEFORE due process had been followed?

          to me, this is not a "grey area". It's really plain as day. WHO DO WE ENTRUST WITH THE AUTHORITY TO IMPOSE PUNISHMENT FOR OUR ACTIONS? Who do we grant special immunity from liability for the damages caused by their actions?
          There is no right answer here. If you do it your way, the offending page stays up for months while in court, and then who pays the losing party. We still have the same issue. Someone will lose the case in the end if it gets that far, and should be held liable for damages.

          But in the real world, what happens to a vast majority of these situations is that a claim is filed, and the accused never fight the claim at all because they did in fact steal the content.

          Either way you do it, someone is going to be punished until a court solves it... assuming both parties actually feel they are legally right and it goes that far.
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          • Profile picture of the author agc
            Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

            There is no right answer here. If you do it your way, the offending page stays up for months while in court, and then who pays the losing party. We still have the same issue. Someone will lose the case in the end if it gets that far, and should be held liable for damages.

            You answered your own question. A court decides who pays the losing party, and how much.
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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

    About 2 hours into the meeting this idea was bought up by an FTC rep. They mentioned setting up a system somewhat similar to the current DMCA laws and notification systems.

    There is nothing really even in the works on this as far as I know, but they are considering it. Given that, I think it makes sense that we discuss what implication that might have on the IM industry. This would likely be something to the affect of simply notifying/involving people like merchants accounts and hosting providers of possible violations by there users.

    Once notified, these bigger players would kinda fall into the realm of actively enabling violations if they failed to act. Thus increasing their liability. Basically the FTC is looking at involving more people who have more to lose in helping to "police" the internet.
    Very interesting. What would make that concept work is allowing companies to voluntarily register with the FTC as service providers rather than having the FTC arbitrarily choose. This would be very beneficial to online marketplaces.

    I hope ideas like that are more than just passing thoughts...
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Thanks for the heads up Dave.

    I for one, would love to see half of this "money making" crap gone. For good.
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by John Romaine View Post

      I for one, would love to see half of this "money making" crap gone. For good.
      I hate the way people insist on being told that they can make money with something, then demand to know how much.

      It's like they're standing in the grocery store insisting that someone tell them straight up whether they can sell the tomatoes, and how much of an income they can expect to make as a full-time tomato seller.

      Nobody can tell you that.

      Sure, you can sell the tomatoes. Once you buy them, they will be your tomatoes, and you can do whatever the hell you want. Just like any WSO you buy that teaches you a skill has taught you something you can hire yourself out to do for others. It's your skill. You can do whatever you want with it.

      But when it comes to how much you can make, that's a stupid question. You can make whatever you charge when you find people who will pay it. Some writers work for two and three cents a word; some writers work for two and three dollars a word.

      The difference is not that one of them learned writing from this book, and one of them learned it from that book. It's more likely that one of them learned his craft well, and the other was asking how much money this was going to make him.
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  • Are sites like elance and odesk going to be affected by this? They're my bread and butter. If it suddenly became not Kosher for PayPal to do business with them...

    ...Oooooh man, I don't even want to think about it. I'd have to get a job with some stupid ad agency or something.
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    • Profile picture of the author David Keith
      Originally Posted by Andy Button View Post

      Are sites like elance and odesk going to be affected by this? They're my bread and butter. If it suddenly became not Kosher for PayPal to do business with them...

      ...Oooooh man, I don't even want to think about it. I'd have to get a job with some stupid ad agency or something.
      I don't really see much going on with those sites. They are just places for people to buy and sell services. That is much different than this stuff.

      While there are scams on those sites too, those sites are already pretty much self policing in many ways. Scammers from either end (buyers / sellers) don't usually have much success or last very long on those places.
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  • Profile picture of the author TonyLaw
    ...The FTC knows that if the people they are targeting can't take payments, their number will greatly diminish...
    This is basically how the Feds took down Internet poker in the US. There is no law against playing poker for real money, just a law against payment processors from transferring funds from US players to poker rooms. As I understand it.
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  • Profile picture of the author agc
    By the way. Thanks for having a RATIONAL discussion on this matter. I was beginning to think such things aren't possible on WF.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hobo82
    Thanks David for taking the time to share this with us. Nicely done.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tadresources
    Thanks for this, it's very informative.
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  • Profile picture of the author Orator
    David I don't suppose anyone gave any indication of when they might begin applying the pressure? Also do you think that PayPal is just going to try to make an example of some of the bigger fish, or they going to go after everyone that sell stuff in the make money online niche?
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    • Profile picture of the author David Keith
      Originally Posted by Orator View Post

      David I don't suppose anyone gave any indication of when they might begin applying the pressure? Also do you think that PayPal is just going to try to make an example of some of the bigger fish, or they going to go after everyone that sell stuff in the make money online niche?
      Pretty much all those questions are outside my pay grade. I have a friend who has a corner office type job at paypal, but he wouldn't even confirm to me if paypal was even represented at the meeting. Although, I personally find it hard to believe they weren't.

      Like Kay mentioned earlier, if this is the way the FTC chooses to proceed it is likely just going to be a series of baby steps rather than a knockout blow type of thing. But that is certainly just speculation.
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      • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
        Banned
        Originally Posted by agc View Post


        And as to your last statement: Are you really saying that a restaurant should be allowed to refuse service to ANYONE?
        Absolutely.

        So they should be allowed, for example, to refuse to serve colored folk?
        If a colored-owned restaurant wants to refuse service to white folk, they absolutely should be allowed to do so.

        Unfortunately, the law says otherwise. And because of that slippery slope, private property rights have been whittled down more and more every year. It's only a matter of time before they cease to exist altogether.

        It wouldn't have to be - the pressure could be on the "enablers" to refuse to process the payments. That's the smart way to exert control
        It's the bogus way of doing it. Instead of going after the ones breaking the rules, they decide to penalize third parties who are guilty of doing nothing wrong.
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        • Profile picture of the author agc
          Originally Posted by Black Hat Cat View Post


          If a colored-owned restaurant wants to refuse service to white folk, they absolutely should be allowed to do so.

          Unfortunately, the law says otherwise. And because of that slippery slope, private property rights have been whittled down more and more every year. It's only a matter of time before they cease to exist altogether.
          Fortunately, the law in this country says otherwise. Even though it is a crying shame that it has to.

          And we're on that slippery slope precisely because of people like you. People who think it's perfectly ok to have separate but equal, so long as you get to be the more equal kind of equal.
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        • Profile picture of the author davezan
          Originally Posted by Black Hat Cat View Post

          If a colored-owned restaurant wants to refuse service to white folk, they absolutely should be allowed to do so.

          Unfortunately, the law says otherwise.
          Look on the bright side: at least the law (hopefully) won't say you can't censor
          or discriminate against, say, a**holes.
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    • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
      Originally Posted by Orator View Post

      David I don't suppose anyone gave any indication of when they might begin applying the pressure?
      Now. When the government says they would like to see something happen you don't wait until they pass a new law. Existing laws already cover income claims.

      There are two recent threads about PayPal cracking down on sellers making income claims AND affiliates promoting those offers.

      .
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  • Profile picture of the author Distaggio
    It still seems like a really large task for hosts. I mean blue host alone must have (hundreds of?) thousands of customers, and each probably have a high average number of domains. I have 10 or so alone for non-IM projects, so I can't imagine how many some you all must have!

    I really don't see how self policing could work effectively.
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  • It's sad that we have FTC
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    soon people... Relax...
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    • Profile picture of the author agc
      Originally Posted by HelpingYouBeAnExpert View Post

      It's sad that we have FTC
      Why? Because you prefer to defraud customers w/o interference? Or for some other reason?
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      • Profile picture of the author David Keith
        Originally Posted by HelpingYouBeAnExpert
        It's sad that we have FTC
        Originally Posted by agc View Post

        Why? Because you prefer to defraud customers w/o interference? Or for some other reason?
        I am actually quite offended by this narrow range of thinking. Just because someone doesn't want various government agencies overly involved in their business or personal life doesn't at all mean they are scammers.

        The vast majority of small business owners really don't want the government coming in and trying to tell them how to run their businesses. At the same time, an overwhelming majority of those folks are honest people providing honest products and services to other honest people.

        The government involves themselves in this sort of stuff because of a relatively small group of people. Just because the group of people you chose to surround yourself with has a high concentration of scammers in it, that doesn't at all mean the scammers and cheats are the majority. They are small in numbers sir to honest folks.
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        • Profile picture of the author agc
          Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

          I am actually quite offended by this narrow range of thinking. Just because someone doesn't want various government agencies overly involved in their business or personal life doesn't at all mean they are scammers.

          The vast majority of small business owners really don't want the government coming in and trying to tell them how to run their businesses. At the same time, an overwhelming majority of those folks are honest people providing honest products and services to other honest people.

          The government involves themselves in this sort of stuff because of a relatively small group of people. Just because the group of people you chose to surround yourself with has a high concentration of scammers in it, that doesn't at all mean the scammers and cheats are the majority. They are small in numbers sir to honest folks.
          If he'd bothered to give even the slightest context or reason WHY, then we wouldn't be left to guess. It was phrased as a question, after all, inviting him to clarify.

          But it's ok, I find some of your narrow minded thinking quite offensive as well. If it was up to you, we'd still have black people in separate schools, separate buses, separate restaurants, and separate businesses, all because nobody can tell you what you can't do with your private property.

          If it's not already obvious to you why the government has to intervene in extreme cases, then I'm sure I don't have time to explain it to you.

          Back to the original point though... if you can't stand for the government to tell you what you can and can't do with your business, I can only imagine how thrilled you'd be when some third party capriciously and arbitrarily does it instead.
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          One man's terrorist is another man's patriot

          Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground - Frederick Douglas

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          • Profile picture of the author David Keith
            Originally Posted by agc View Post

            But it's ok, I find some of your narrow minded thinking quite offensive as well. If it was up to you, we'd still have black people in separate schools, separate buses, separate restaurants, and separate businesses, all because nobody can tell you what you can't do with your private property.

            If it's not already obvious to you why the government has to intervene in extreme cases, then I'm sure I don't have time to explain it to you.
            wow, seriously. Sir, I currently employee 11 different people who live on 4 different continents. To the best of my knowledge, no 2 of my employees are the same race or nationality. I know there are several different religious beliefs represented among them as well.

            As far as customers. I have email lists that are over 400k. On those lists I am sure are people from just about every possible demographic you can possibly think of.

            I am not sure where you got your thinking that the government is required to make people do things that are in the best interest of humanity.

            I hire those workers because it works for both of us. Those customers remain on my lists because we have forged a mutually beneficial relationship...Not because the government told me I had to add people from Africa to my lists.
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            • Profile picture of the author agc
              Originally Posted by David Keith View Post

              wow, seriously. Sir, I currently employee 11 different people who live on 4 different continents. To the best of my knowledge, no 2 of my employees are the same race or nationality. I know there are several different religious beliefs represented among them as well.

              As far as customers. I have email lists that are over 400k. On those lists I am sure are people from just about every possible demographic you can possibly think of.

              I am not sure where you got your thinking that the government is required to make people do things that are in the best interest of humanity.

              I hire those workers because it works for both of us. Those customers remain on my lists because we have forged a mutually beneficial relationship...Not because the government told me I had to add people from Africa to my lists.
              Employ? How many w2's did you send out in January?
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              One man's terrorist is another man's patriot

              Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground - Frederick Douglas

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              • Profile picture of the author David Keith
                Originally Posted by agc View Post

                Employ? How many w2's did you send out in January?
                How long have you been in business? w2 are a USA only thing. Which means that when you employ people in other countries you file other paper work not named w2. But to answer your question...not that it is any of your business, 2. and 2 1099''s as well.

                If you wish to continue this discussion please skype me rather than hijacking a thread that is about the new ftc regulations. You can find my skype in my profile.
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    • Profile picture of the author summerdays
      Thanks for the very informative information David - much appreciated!



      Originally Posted by HelpingYouBeAnExpert View Post

      It's sad that we have FTC
      @ HelpingYouBeAnExpert - I also feel sad that we (sometimes) have (the need of an) FTC.

      Because if we were all honest with each other, and meant what we say and made sure that we rightly understood what was said, the FTC would have been out of business so to speak.

      As a child I had the priviledge of hearing how a big deal was clinched by a handshake... The other guy said he'll do this that and the other... My Dad said "so you mean this and this and not that"..., and back and forth they discussed in detail what they'll do and what not and then they shook hands on it. How they discussed the deal is exactly how it took place and each performed according to their (verbal only) agreement. No witnesses (except me). No papers signed either. It was not necessary, since their word (and their good name) was worth far more!

      That picture has stayed with me... Thus when I read your comment I could immediately share your sentiment.

      Have a pleasant day!
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  • Profile picture of the author ashloren
    Yeah, I personally despise outrageous income claims...especially during a slump in the economy. Misleading information and promises of riches simply prey on people who are desperate and struggling to make ends meet.

    I don't see why people couldn't just stick to stating facts rather than making claims regarding income.

    Example: "How I made X amount of money doing _____in X amount of time"
    rather than
    "Learn how to make X amount of money by _____ in only X amount of time."
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  • Profile picture of the author healthseocontent
    Thanks for you for sharing this with us.
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    Do you have a natural health, vegan, etc. related site? I'm ready to write copy, content, and e-books for you!

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  • Profile picture of the author Michael D Forbes
    Originally Posted by Chris Kent View Post

    Time to have a new WSO rule banning any dollar amount figure in the subject line or elsewhere.

    ...dollar figures are totally irrelevant.
    "Learn how to make $4 per sale on Fiverr"

    "New software pays $68 commission per sale"

    "How I earned $122 yesterday with AdSense"

    "I paid $17 and all I got was this lousy T-shirt"

    Granted, these are all pretty lousy headlines, but would you care to share why they should be banned, and how they are irrelevant?
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    • Profile picture of the author George Wright
      Good ones Michael,

      What about these,

      "Donald Trump made millions with this method. Can You?" (Hint: It's not real estate.)

      "Attention Article Writers: Find out how I make 50 cents a word for every word I write." (That's $500 for every 1,000 words folks.)

      "I was Flat broke yesterday and today people are literally begging me to take their money." I'll show how I make $1,000 anytime I want to."

      "Let me show you how I made $1,000 for one hour's work."

      As you say Michael, those may not be the greatest headlines, however they are all true with proof.



      Originally Posted by Michael D Forbes View Post

      "Learn how to make $4 per sale on Fiverr"

      "New software pays $68 commission per sale"

      "How I earned $122 yesterday with AdSense"

      "I paid $17 and all I got was this lousy T-shirt"

      Granted, these are all pretty lousy headlines, but would you care to share why they should be banned, and how they are irrelevant?
      Signature
      "The first chapter sells the book; the last chapter sells the next book." Mickey Spillane
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Klinkert
    wow this thread started out as very informative and turned into a full on 'war', haha - great read, but I feel people's views are complex and can't be explained in a few paragraphs.

    Terry as for your comment, the problem is these 'protectors' fail to protect the avg person from the worst schemes, like pump and dump penny stocks, that with a bit of research are obvious scams, yet then the same 'protectors' bureaucratically investigate and harass the wrong parties. - I am for much smaller government (Ron Paul fan - sorry I know I said above about not expressing political views) but if you have to have them, at least have a team of competent people who really do catch the Madoff's a bit sooner - maybe after the first few tip offs?

    Thanks David for sharing the OP, massively interesting
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    I Blog about How To Make Money Online - It is my own experiences over the last 8 years, building some 7 figure businesses

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  • Profile picture of the author gojiberryman
    This information is very educational David. I really appreciate the post.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    David - thanks for your report.

    What bothers me about this whole ball of wax is the propensity of gov agencies to act - and decide on new laws to suit the actions later. I don't trust a whit of it. I do think it's high time for our truth in advertising laws to get some enforcement. I'm not sure I understand why they need to make further laws - or if that is what they are doing or if they are just planning on deciphering existent laws in a way that agency can enact policies to enforce them.
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    Sal
    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
    Beyond the Path

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  • Profile picture of the author paul_1
    This is a real game changer...
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  • Profile picture of the author MobApps
    Hey David,

    Thanks for the heads up on that.
    There was some good information in your post.

    I'm personally not against business opportunities & making income claims as long as they are true and accurate.

    The problem for me comes in when people are being scammed.
    It's one thing to put a little hype into your sales page as long as it's true but it's another thing entirely when it simply is a lie.

    And again I am not against income claims no matter how extreme they may sound as long as they are true and (let's take it one step further) can be proven.

    But ultimately even though I am not against income claims that are true & accurate, I personally think it is better for us all in general if we focus on the Features & Benefits of the product itself and not how much money a few advanced marketers made. In a lot of cases even though the marketer did in fact make the income claimed and what is shown in the visual proof, it was not actually made from the product or system or method that they are trying to sell you.

    So this in itself is intentionally misleading the prospect and therefore the reality of it is it is a lie and even could be considered fraud.

    Let your product stand on it's own merits and you will be a lot better off in the long run and so will your prospects & customers. Then you can put up your pic and show them who you are because your not afraid of being seen and you won't have to make up a fake name & hide behind your computer.

    Just sayin...
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  • Profile picture of the author ImHot
    Very interesting, thanks!
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    Epic Direct is the WORST CPA network. They have screwed their affiliates by not paying out commissions that are as much as 6 months due! Join the Facebook page and support the affiliate community:
    Epic Direct Advertising Not Paying Publishers

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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
    Eeeeaaaasy, folks. Let's stick to the law, not politics, 'kay?
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    Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

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