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This article was published on September 10, 2014


California has passed a ‘Yelp Bill’ that protects the customer’s right to review businesses

California has passed a ‘Yelp Bill’ that protects the customer’s right to review businesses
Josh Ong
Story by

Josh Ong

Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him a Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].

A new law has taken effect in California that prevents businesses from forbidding and penalizing customers from writing reviews. Though officially called Assembly Bill 2365, it had come to be known as the “Yelp Bill.” Yelp published a celebratory blog post today about the new rules.

The core of the law bans businesses from enforcing “non-disparagement clauses” in their customer contracts, which have been used to prevent consumers from publicly sharing their experiences with a business.

Here’s an excerpt from the bill:

This bill would prohibit a contract or proposed contract for the sale or lease of consumer goods or services from including a provision waiving the consumer’s right to make any statement regarding the seller or lessor or its employees or agents, or concerning the goods or services. The bill would make it unlawful to threaten or to seek to enforce, a provision made unlawful under the bill, or to otherwise penalize a consumer for making any statement protected under the bill.

California businesses could face fines of up to $10,000 for violating the new law.

California Protects Free Speech Online with Passage of “Yelp Bill” [Yelp blog]