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Spam & Legislation
- CAN-SPAM (US)
- Anti-spam laws in Australia
- Anti-spam laws in Canada
- Anti-spam laws in New Zealand
- Anti-spam laws in the UK
- Email marketing and the EU
- Affiliate marketing and email
- LOPD (Spain)
Definition of Spam (Source:The Spamhaus Project)
The word "Spam" as applied to Email means Unsolicited Bulk Email ("UBE").
Unsolicited means that the Recipient has not granted verifiable permission for the message to be sent. Bulk means that the message is sent as part of a larger collection of messages, all having substantively identical content.
A message is Spam only if it is both Unsolicited and Bulk.
- Unsolicited Email is normal email (examples: first contact enquiries, job enquiries, sales enquiries)
- Bulk Email is normal email (examples: subscriber newsletters, customer communications, discussion lists)
Technical Definition of Spam
An electronic message is "spam" IF:
(1) the recipient's personal identity and context are irrelevant because the message is equally applicable to many other potential recipients;
(2) the recipient has not verifiably granted deliberate, explicit, and still-revocable permission for it to be sent.
Spam is an issue about consent, not content. Whether the UBE message is an advert, a scam, porn, a begging letter or an offer of a free lunch, the content is irrelevant - if the message was sent unsolicited and in bulk then the message is spam.
Spam is not a sub-set of UBE, it is not "UBE that is also a scam or that doesn't contain an unsubscribe link", all email sent unsolicited and in bulk is Spam.
This distinction is important because legislators spend inordinate amounts of time attempting to regulate the content of spam messages, and in doing so come up against free speech issues, without realizing that the spam issue is solely about the delivery method.
Latest page update: made by PCarosone
, May 2 2008, 8:50 PM EDT
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