Big Thanks to ARS TECHNICA for reporting on this. Hopefully it will go a long way in protecting peoples right to free speech when it comes to customer /consumer reviews. With any luck it will also lower the number of BS lawsuits, and SLAPP counter-suits. Then again, I don’t think the companies that try to squelch free speech are all to bright to begin with, so they may continue to file. Time will tell.
Congress has passed a law protecting the right of US consumers to post negative online reviews without fear of retaliation from companies.
The bipartisan Consumer Review Fairness Act was passed by unanimous consent in the US Senate, a Senate Commerce Committee announcement said. The bill, introduced in 2014, was already approved by the House of Representatives and now awaits President Obama’s signature.
The Consumer Review Fairness Act voids any provision in a form contract that prohibits or restricts customers from posting reviews about the goods, services, or conduct of the company providing the product or service. It also voids provisions that impose penalties or fees on customers for posting online reviews as well as those that require customers to give up the intellectual property rights related to such reviews. The legislation empowers the Federal Trade Commission to enforce the new law and impose penalties when necessary.