Blogging and Legal Stuff

I was in the process of making a holiday gift guide, and had come up with most of the things I wanted to include. No affiliate links, just things that I either think would be a good gift for a female/vegan/techie/whatever. I was Googling how people grab the product images that they use for lists like these, and the consensus pretty much seems to be “I take them from the manufacturer’s website, and it’s okay because I’m promoting their product.” I’m not sure I’m totally cool with that so I started looking at the press/terms on some of the websites I was thinking about featuring. I’m sure every website has a bunch of legal jargon written to cover their butts, but this one stood out to me and seemed weird:

We also grant you a limited, revocable, and nonexclusive license to create a hyperlink to the home page of the Site for personal, non-commercial use only. A website that links to the Site (i) may link to, but not replicate, any and/or all of our Content; (ii) may not imply that we are endorsing such website or its services or products; (iii) may not misrepresent its relationship with us; (iv) may not contain content that could be construed as distasteful, obscene, offensive controversial or illegal or inappropriate for any ages; (v) may not portray us or our products or services, in a false, misleading, derogatory, or otherwise offensive or objectionable manner, or associate us with undesirable products, services, or opinions; and (vi) may not link to any page of the Site other than the home page. We may, in our sole discretion, request that you remove any link to the Site, and upon receipt of such request, you shall immediately remove such link and cease any linking unless separately and expressly authorized in writing by us to resume linking.”

Obviously I’m breaking the part about replicating content on their site…oh well.

I guess I don’t really have a point, but it rubs me the wrong way to read that you can’t link to any page other than the homepage and that they can ask you to remove a link and that you SHALL do it. It seems like it’s stepping on freedom of speech that you can’t insert a hyperlink to a specific product page. Not like I feel that I need to defend my right to link to a specific shampoo, but what’s the big deal?

I had started my post and linked to two skincare products and a hair styling product, but I guess I won’t recommend and link at all.

(I did have someone contact me from a college once and ask that I remove a link to their student blog about ramen noodles. They cited that my site expressed opinions that they found offensive. I obliged.)

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