Yahoo! Publisher Network: for U.S. Eyes Only

How does a small publisher display Web pages, or, more specifically, ads, to a U.S. audience only? That’s the question raised by a BoingBoing reader, who sent in an amusing (but also disturbing) e-mail exchange with a Yahoo! Publisher Network representative.

The offending phrases in the Ts&Cs:

  • under “Your Representations, Warranties and Ongoing Obligations” — “you are a US-based business and you are operating Your Site and/or Your RSS Feed solely for viewing and use by users within the US”
  • under “Abuse of Services. You agree not to:” — “display all or part of the Ad Unit to any user located outside the US”

The situation was sparked by renewed attention to the Terms and Conditions for publisher participation in the Yahoo! Publisher Network, after the company updated them recently. We know the network’s still in beta, and all, and meant for a U.S. audience, but it’s just weird to expect small publishers (and the distribution system seems aimed at small publishers like bloggers) to have the capability to block display of ads to non-U.S. people.

We’ve got an inquiry out to the YSM folks about this and will update you when we hear back.

UPDATE: Sorry for the delay in the promised update. I did hear back from Yahoo! but the reponse wasn’t so meaty. Basically, they declined to comment on the blog post but a spokesperson said… “However, I would like to confirm that our publisher terms and conditions prohibit displaying ad listings to users outside of the U.S. This is because the beta is intended for publishers who support primarily a US audience. This is not a new change to our Terms and Conditions.” Ok, we get it. For U.S. eyes only.

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