Spam Laws

Presidential Campaigns Turn to Email SPAM: “Yes, They Can”.

November 3rd 2008

In the last days of the longest and most expensive presidential campaign ever, both sides are using email aggressively.  And why not? Email is cheap, campaigns are desperate, and they are exempt from CAN-SPAM regulations. That’s right. Political and religious speech are explicitly made exempt within CAN-SPAM’s regulations.  When this law was framed, the exemption [...]

Dave Wieneke on the Benefits of Email Personalization

November 2nd 2008

When is email definitely not spam? When it’s relevant and people really want it. Email service provider ExactTarget quotes me in their corporate blog today on the benefits of creating highly personalized email communications. Along with the “use benefits” I quantified for them, I’d also offer that personalizing communications often shifts the editorial voice to [...]

Slydial: Sneaky Voicemail for the Seinfeld Generation

July 24th 2008

Slydial is a free voice message service that directly connects you to someone else’s mobile voicemail. Their phone never rings, and you get to leave a message without actually speaking with them. (Wait for the legal angle; it’s coming.) Their wonderfully written weasely website spells it right out. There are people you must phone: bosses, significant others, [...]

Two More High Profile SPAM Rulings

July 21st 2008

2008 has had a string of huge spam convictions. Sanford Wallace and crew gathered $230 million in fines, while “Spam King” Robert Soloway faces extended jail time. Now Adam Vitale will receive 30 months in prison and $183,000 due in restitution to AOL for a week of spamming back in 2005. Yes, the wheels of justice grind slowly, [...]

Reminder: New CAN-SPAM Rules Start Today

July 7th 2008

Back in May, the FTC issued a modest set of clarified definitions and additional new CAN-SPAM rules.  Today, July 7th, 2008, those additional rules go in to effect. If you’re a conscientious email marketer and already on the right side on the full body of federal CAN-SPAM rules, then there’s likely little more you’ll need to do. [...]

Why Marketers Need to Go Beyond CAN-SPAM’s Modest Requirements

June 23rd 2008

Once you’ve read the federal CAN-SPAM legislation, you’ll see it does little to stop the sending of unsolicited messages. One might in fact call it the “Yes, you CAN spam” act. Yet even if you can spam, there are good reasons not to. Recently, James B. Zagel of the U.S. District Court in Northern Illinois rulled [...]

FTC Issues Updated CAN-SPAM Rules

May 28th 2008

The Federal Trade Commission has issued new provisions under the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. These are additional definitions and adjustments to rules, and do not significantly extend these anti-spam regulations for most marketers. The new provisions address the following main themes:

Largest Ever SPAM Damages Assigned in MySpace Case

May 22nd 2008

A U.S. District Judge in Los Angeles has ruled that “spam king” Sanford Wallace and his accomplice Walter Rines are liable to pay MySpace $230 million in damages. This is significant both for the verdict’s size, and because the spam happened entirely within MySpace rather than through traditional ISP based email.

New Colorado SPAM Law Extends Federal Law with Care

May 6th 2008

Colorado has passed new anti-spam legislation, which establishes violations of federal CAN-SPAM law as also being fraud under state law. It then extends the law to those who knowingly falsify routing of point-of-origin information, while establishing protections for plaintiffs, and a statutory penalty of $1,000 per email with a ceiling of $10 million. You can find [...]

“Spam King” Pleads Guilty in Federal Court

March 16th 2008

Large scale spammer Robert Soloway, age 28, whose criminal trial was scheduled to start in a week, is facing a possible 26-year jail sentence after pleading guilty in Seattle on Friday to charges of fraud and tax evasion. Soloway is set to be sentenced on June 20, 2008. The indictment included an array of charges: