That's CNet's title. How's that for over-the-top? There are non-partisan - even non-political - blogs out there, you know...
Anyhow - Declan McCullagh interviews Bradley Smith, of the Federal Elections Commission.
Nutshell: hyperlinks to a campaign site have value, so they may be regulated soon. Internet-only publications don't fit under the "press exemption" to the campaign finance reform law.
In just a few months, he warns, bloggers and news organizations could risk the wrath of the federal government if they improperly link to a campaign's Web site. Even forwarding a political candidate's press release to a mailing list, depending on the details, could be punished by fines
Certainly a lot of bloggers are very much out front. Do we give bloggers the press exemption? If we don't give bloggers the press exemption, we have the question of, do we extend this to online-only journals like CNET?
Never mind that this is the United States, where "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..."
In the spirit of technical support, I think I may have a workaround: Offer a print-subscription to your blog.
Each month, you print out your monthly archives and mail them to your subscribers. Charge enough for it to cover your printing and postage expenses, just in case anyone actually subscribes. Put a prominent link to "subscribe!" on your blog. Presto - you're a "periodical publication" and therefore exempt* from the law
Seems like that would cover it. If the law uses "periodical" in the normal sense of the word... I wonder what the legal definition of "publication" is...
(*Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, this isn't legal advice. I don't know if it'll work this way. Clearly my reading of the First Amendment is flawed, given that we're even having this discussion. So, if I were you, I wouldn't trust me, here. If you try this to shield yourself, I wish you great success, but I cannot help you. It is thoroughly annoying that I feel like I have to say that to protect myself... I'm just some guy speculating, here ... wondering how far this crazy crap is going to go in my country before some elected official stumbles upon American political documents from the late 1700's and finds in them his purpose.)