|Received:||8/28/2004 2:23:24 PM|
|State:||Not in the US|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Definitions, Implementation, and Reporting Requirements Under the CAN-SPAM Act (NPRM)|
Comments:The EFF is in error on this question. I receive numerous spams in which the bulk of the content is not commercial in nature - it is in fact incomprehensible. A typical spam may contain no marketing editorial at all - just a link. The only link in the spam. This is in fact a problem arising from the definition of spam in terms of marketing; spam should not be defined in terms of marketing, because not all spammers are marketers. I receive political spam, which is related to marketing spam; religious spam, which is only loosely related; and phishing spam, which isn't marketing at all, but is easily recognised as spam. The correct definition of spam email is "unsolicited bulk email". You need to substitute in some legalistic definition of what "bulk" means - you and I know what it means, but it has to be circumscribed in such a way that legitimate mailing lists can't be hit by it (spam lists are very similar to legit mailing lists). Basically the rule should be that you can send email to a few individuals without first obtaining their permission. But if you want to send the same email to more than a few hundred people, then you must obtain their permission, in an incontrovertible form, and be prepared to produce at zero cost evidence that they gave that permission. And their giving of permission must be revocable at zero cost, using a mechanism that is as convenient as the mechanism they initially used to grant the permission. So, for example, if they signed up via a link in an email, there should also be a link in the same email for unsubscribing. If they signed up from a website, there should be a link to the unsubscribe page adjecent to the subscribe link, in a similar typeface. And failure to honour unsubscribe requests should result in imprisonment. Guys, you absolutely have to do something about this - Americans are the biggest spammers in the world; they are pissing all the rest of us off: not just by invading random countries without UN sanction; not just by imposing absurd intellectual property legislation on 3rd-parties; but also by stuffing their unwanted marketing into our inboxes. American IP-addresses are as much candidates for blocklisting as Chinese ones, as far as I'm concerned. Legitimate US internet users may one day have to use offshore proxies that I trust, if they expect to connect to me, or me to connect to them. -- Jack.