written by Blain Newport on Monday, October 5, 2009
It doesn't go into effect until December 1st, but I wanted to be ahead of the requirement. Apparently the Federal Trade Commission has decided that bloggers will be subject to journalistic disclosure rules regarding conflicts of interest. The bottom line seems to be that they'll have to disclose any gifts (swag, free games, trips) they get from publishers when they review games by those publishers or face fines up to $11,000 per infraction.
With respect to gaming, this is pretty ridiculous. Our "legitimate" outlets aren't much more than blogs anyway. We've got a few gaming programs appended to TV "for men". :P We've got a couple magazines nobody reads. And then we've got a few news sites, which aren't much more than blogs.
I suspect this is just the government trying to catch up with scammers selling fake medical supplements or worthless real estate, you know legitimate crimes. If this law is ever used against a game blogger or publisher, I'll be very surprised.
But just for completeness, I have never received anything from anyone ever in exchange for coverage by my blog almost no one reads. :)