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Product reviews: you’re free to speak your mind

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Here’s some good news for everyone who likes to write — and read — product reviews. A new federal law says businesses can't use contracts that prevent you from writing a truthful comment, or penalize you if you do. If a business, including an online business, uses contract terms or conditions that limit your right to comment, it’s breaking the law, and the FTC can investigate.

People benefit from reading what others have to say about their experiences with products and services. Before the Consumer Review Fairness Act passed, a company might sue customers who wrote honest but negative reviews, or claim they had to pay much more than the advertised price for the product. Now, Congress has made that illegal.

Reading customer reviews and comparing products online are great ways to get information before you buy.

If you have a problem with a company after you write a product review, please report it to the FTC.

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Money & Credit


Good to hear free speech regarding product reviews is being supported. I infer this also applies to services, although I don't see it mentioned specifically.
What I would like to see in addition, assuming the FTC is interested in honest reviews by real customer / clients, is a law, regulation, shining a light on companies that pay for favorable reviews to be posted by people / writers who do not actually use the product or service.

There is already a law in place that when someone is being paid by the company to write the review or is receiving a benefit for the review, they must mention that in some way within the review itself. If this law is broken, the company is prosecuted. It has happened in the past! Several video game companies had to pay fines for this sort of behavior.

I agree with Johnny! It is great that you have taken away restrictions on posting reviews. And, establishing guidelines restricting a company self-posting or paying for good reviews will significantly strengthen the value of online reviews. If you set up the guidelines/laws, then consumers that discover self-promoting reviews can notify you of violations.

From what I read on the Original bill Passed, covers Products and/or Services.. IE; Bad landlords, Lawyers,Business practices,Online Companies, ETC.. BUT, Do Not Lie or Exaggerate, then your Not protected..

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I prooved company took 3,200 still this company stated nothing we can do. Why? I sure hope we donnot pay this company with our tax dollars!!!!!!!! the top Atorney General???????????

A bad company that is a fraud Revive youth Cream this company did not wait the stated time before billing customers!

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Hope that this also applies to copyright law on youtube, many users were "false-claimed" (as in, their video content removed) by copyright holders.

This "DRM" (Digital Rights Management) system technology enforcement that was supposed to prevent users from uploading copyrighted content of others (without permission), but due to how that works, youtube didn't have a fair use detector in place, therefore regardless if the content is fair use or not. Youtube only depends on if the user had permission or not.

In law, you do not need permission if your content is considered fair use. It hurts me even more that other companies outside the U.S can do the same thing, even if youtube's headquarter is in the U.S.

Also, copyright holders can not only just block your video, they can block it in certain countries (like region lock), mute your video, and make monetization off it (similar to wage garnishment).

This is one reason why some people move to another video sharing site that doesn't have such a system that allows users to remove other's for no valid reason.

I wonder if you can file a complaint to the FTC if your video got hit with false-takedown notice...

I purchased an item that was not as advertised. When I wanted to return it, I had to return it to CHINA and fill out some International forms...the CATCH is that to send it back to China was more expensive than the original purchase price of this item...Companies should state where the product is coming from!!! I still have the unwanted item because of the price of sending it back to CHINA!!

On youTube it's usually small clips of a show.And on the bottom it states the studio that put it out.I see no issue with this and to me it's a form of advertisement

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As to the false take-down for complaints to the FTC. I have never heard of that and I do not believe that the FTC indulges in that sort of suppression of speech. If any individual were to act in that capacity it would be a criminal violation, but as a whole, I do not believe that the FTC acts in that capacity or takes that position. In fact, if a false take-down of a comment were to happen based on speech opinion it would harm the FTC's reputation and forums such as this could not exist.

Our government has given over to corporate America so much and the affect has been that now corporate America thinks we should not have the right to complain about sorry service or sorry products. In fact, paying the cost they ask is all we should have. I am so glad that people still have the right to tell it like it is about bad products and bad business practices by companies who want to make customer service non existent. Without consumer laws, they won't need their expensive lawyer lead customer service units One of the worst I have ever seen is Nissan's bunch of legal barracudas in Franklin TN. Nissan should have laws designated just for their brand of abuse.

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