Tal Ron: Affiliates using same name may be unethical, but still legal

Tal Ron on affiliate marketing

In this interview with CalvinAyre.com’s Rebecca Liggero, lawyer Tal Ron discusses how close affiliates can get to replicating another brand without breaking the law.

Imitation, to quote Oscar Wilde, is the sincerest form of flattery. But in the iGaming industry, how close can affiliates get to replicating another brand or website without breaking the law?

Very close, apparently.

In fact, affiliates do cross the line sometimes, according to Tal Ron, a general member of International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL) who practices in Hi Tech, Mobile Applications law, Digital Media, iGaming and Financial Entertainment law.

“It’s not all the time it’s fraudulent,” Ron told CalvinAyre.com. “If people take, and we all know Calvin Ayre, if people take Molten Ayl or invent something and take someone who looks like Becky Liggero, not the same but similar and promote themselves as a leading portal for iGaming. [Even though they’re] not using the same name, that may be unethical but it can still be legal.”

When it comes to reviews, there were situations where fake, automatic reviews landed affiliate marketers in hot water.

“It’s interesting to see that Trip Advisor actually checks and monitors the reviews and the few case studies where they actually file lawsuits and go on legal proceedings against hotels and hospitality establishments using these types of fake reviews, not only the affiliate marketers,” Ron said.

Trip Advisor may be just one of the handful of companies that go after fraudulent marketers legally. Google and Facebook, on the other hand, don’t start formal legal proceedings against this type of people.

“Google may penalize you, Facebook may take your page and remove it or your profile and remove it, but at the end of the day, we see lots of people that do black hat marketing, that use like 50, 60, 100 fake profiles that continue to spam each other and promote each other and it works,” Ron said. “Google is not a government. Google is a big entity… but at the end of the day it’s not a government. Google is not a law. The same goes with Facebook. OK, it’s a big company. It’s a publicly-listed company. They have the terms and conditions, if you are infringing the terms and conditions and you violate the terms and conditions, it can be a problem between you and them but normally they do not file lawsuits against you.”