Internet Continues To Break Down Local Protectionist Laws

from the license-for-what-now? dept

Over the past few years, it’s been clear that services provided over the internet have been putting a lot of pressure on local businesses who often hide behind local protectionist laws. Luckily, many have started to realize that such protectionist laws don’t do much good for consumers. Court rulings have tackled local protectionist laws on things like wine and contact lenses, but there are other issues starting to show up lately as well. For example, eBay has been going around fighting laws that could require local eBay users to get an auctioneer’s license. Now there’s another example, with an online home-buying site suing the state of New Hampshire over whether or not it needs to become a registered broker in the state. Of course, the state hasn’t acted against the site yet, so it may just be something of a publicity stunt. However, it does highlight some of the issues with many of these local licensing laws that are much more about keeping out competitors rather than consumer safety.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Internet Continues To Break Down Local Protectionist Laws”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
dorpus says:

Used contact lenses anyone?

In light of all the people going blind recently from fungal infections — are we sure that laws against reselling such devices is really just a “local protectionist law”?

What is to prevent unethical “real estate” sites based in Russia from selling beachfront property in Arizona? How about sites that sell toxic wine full of pollutants, sold as “20-year-old Bordeaux”? How about stolen property from country A being sold in country B, via 3rd-party country C that makes it impossible to prosecute?

John (user link) says:

Re: Used contact lenses anyone?

Why should anyone have any more faith in a licensed broker or a licensed dispenser of contact lenses?

Most people know of unethical behavior by licensed real estate brokers. I can think of two, first-hand examples.

As with any transaction, you need to know who you’re buying from.

Martha Stewart had been a licensed stock broker, but she went ahead with the trades.

Anonymous Coward says:

Unlicensed Surgeons anyone?

The reason you buy from a ‘licensed’ realestate broker is the same reason why you go to a ‘licensed’ doctor. Have any of you heard stories about fake plastic surgeons killing people by filling them with auto-grade synthetics to give them fuller breasts? How could you trust someone selling you contact lenses or real estate online if they weren’t certified? Besides what all you anarchists think, there are actual benifits to society for registering your business or getting a license, like, you know, making sure they have a degree or aren’t actually selling you someone else’s land and you didn’t even know it until you’ve sold your house and gave them the money to finish the deal? You can call those people stupid if you want, and I’m not saying they’re that intellegent, if they have any at all, but these people are committing crimes and this is one way to make sure they don’t, not just a scheme to get money (though that is always one benifit they get).

claire rand says:


nothing stops online companies being licensed & certified etc. if you choose to buy from ‘x’ with a local license to your country (which must be verifiable) a product that meets say ISO1234 (you get the idea) all well and good, if you choose to buy from ‘y’ with a site loaded with spelling mistakes, no certifications (or ones from iffy countries) thats your choice.

but if something isn’t certified in your country for the usage you put it to, there should *not* be the oppertunity to seek legal redress over this, you bought it, the responsibility is *yours* to make sure its suitable.

if its sold in a shop then its the shops job, since *they* imported it. import it yourself and thats on you.

and as for ‘services’ like music download sites, regulation is pointless anyway since they is no physical product to track, just bits & bytes.

if you choose to buy surgery online, and travel to another country for it, *without* a few basic checks, well you get what you pay for.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...