Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Black Hat, White Hat, Laws That Effect You

This is really important information for anyone involved in any type of internet marketing for any business. As business professionals, it is vital to our lively-hood to keep up to date on current and future laws and regulations regarding Internet Marketing and the ever changing methods that are used to market online.

I say it all the time, technology is wonderful, when it works right. There are marketers that use what we call "black hat" marketing methods. Now, not all of these marketing methods are illegal, but there are those who abuse tools, and cross the line when it comes to using available tech tools. As with many things in life, when abuse and deception occur,  authorities step in and set rules.
As Internet Marketers, we need to keep up to date on current laws and government regulations. Even government trade laws come into effect with marketing online.

Let's look at a few questions you may have:

Did you know there are countries that U.S. and International businesses are not legally allowed to sell products or services to?

Here is a list straight from the US Department of Treasury:
Sanctions Programs and Country Information
OFAC administers a number of different sanctions programs. The sanctions can be either comprehensive or selective, using the blocking of assets and trade restrictions to accomplish foreign policy and national security goals
OFAC Sanctions Programs:
Program Last Updated:

Yemen-Related Sanctions05/16/2012
It is a good idea to book mark this site for future reference. The punishment for trading with sanctioned countries can be up to 30 years in prison.

Do you know that you can be fined or even jailed for breaking some CAN-Spam rules?

Beginning in 2013, Canada will be imposing new email marketing laws. Violation of these laws could net a 10 million dollar fine.  Bill C-28, Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (or "CASL", formerly known as the Electronic Commerce Protection Act and the Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act) was finalized on December 15, 2010 and is expected to become law by early 2013. Read more here and adjust your email marketing to comply.

Did you know that fines or worse can happen for committing plagiarism? (using other's work or photos without permission, or citing your source)

This is a really simple rule that a lot of internet marketers, black hat and white hat, break all the time. Just as with writing a paper or an article, it is vital that you cite your source. Give credit where credit is due. Do not claim that another persons photo, graphic, or post is yours when you share. The rules that govern the world wide web use the same rules that apply offline.  Like in the sanction section above, I did copy that information, but I did not alter any links or text and I gave a link back to the original post. If you use another business photo or graphic, a credit must be given, and a link back is just the right thing to do.

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