I publish an irregular ezine called Snippets.
In that ezine, I have CAN-SPAM Nnotices.
And I publish an irregular bulletin: the HEFS Bulletin.
It also has a CAN-SPAM Notice.
And, from time to time I email groups of colleagues and friends. Some of those emails also have CAN-SPAM notices.
People have asked me why. Why do I have CAN-SPAM notices?
The notices are not required if the email is not "commercial". Surely my little ezines arenot "commercial". Surely my emails to colleagues and friends are not "commercial".
This article explains why I have these notices.
The Stupid CAN-SPAM Law
On 01.Jan.2004, a U. S. law known as known as CAN-SPAM became effective. They law really doesn't do much to stop spam. Actually it makes spam legal as long as you follow the rules.
I think it is such a stupid law I wrote an article titled "CAN-SPAM is Stupid".
The law does require "commercial electronic mail messages" to include three notices:
The law does not require these for "transactional" or "relationship" emails.
On 16.Dec.2004 the FTC issued (and on 12.Jan.2005, slightly modified)a Final Rule for CAN-SPAM (16 CFR Part 316, Project No. R411008), specifying what constitutes a "Commercial electronic Mail Message".
Based on the criteria, my ezine mailings are "transactional" or "relationship" emails and are not "commercial".
Based on the criteria, my ezine mailing should not require the notices.
And, based on the criteria, my emails to colleagues and friends should also not require the notices.
Why Include the Notices
So, why do I include the notices if my ezines (and other mailings) are not "commercial electronic mail messages"?
There are several reasons:
1. They give the email recipient additional, useful information. They let the recipient know that (a) I am compliant with CAN-SPAM, (b) there is a simple way to unsubscribe from the list or have me stop emailing and (c) there is a way to contact me.
2. There really isn't any reason not to give them. They only take a few lines in the email. It really isn't that big a deal.
3. They eliminate the argument about whether they are required or not. After all, if I put them there and they aren't needed that is tons better than not putting them when they are needed. Why not just put them there and quit arguing about whether they are required?
CAN-SPAM Information On My Site
CAN-SPAM Is Stupid: A personal rant about the U. S. federal law known as known as CAN-SPAM. While it is supposedly designed to help eliminate email spam, I think the law is stupid. The article also provides links to CAN-SPAM resources. ««»»
CAN-SPAM Information Across the Web
CAUCE (Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email) Position on CAN-SPAM Act of 2003: An explanation of the organization's opposition to the act. CAUCE notes that the legislation "fails the most fundamental test of any anti-spam law, in that it neglects to actually tell any marketers not to spam." ««»»
Don't Let a Spoofer Ruin Your Good Name: An interesting article about how you can register a trademark for your domain name and then use trademark law to sue spammers who spoof your name. It won't let you go after spammers who flood your mailbox, but for commercial interests it is an interesting (but apparently unproven) tactic. ««»»
FTC: The CAN-SPAM Act: Requirements for Commercial Emailers: A simple document outlining business requirement under the CAN-SPAM Act. ««»»
FTC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking re CAN-SPAM, 13.Aug.2004: The rulemaking introduces rules to further clarify what constitutes a commercial message. ««»»
FTC Final Rule on What Constitutes a "Commercial electronic Mail Message": The rulemaking begun 13.Aug.2004 was completed 16.Dec.2004. The rules, it turns out, are pretty simple. (The rules were slightly modified on 12.Jan.2005, by delaying the effective date of one provision.) ««»»
Spam is Born in the USA: First, 86% of all spam comes from the USA. Second, spammers have found a gaping hole in the CAN-SPAM law. Yes, they are letting you unsubscribe ... but they are making you do it through the U. S. Mail. ««»»
Spamhaus: United States set to Legalize Spamming on January 1, 2004: The article explains how the CAN-SPAM act ought to be called the You-Can-Spam-Act. ««»»
Spamhaus Position on CAN-SPAM Act of 2003: A detailed explanation of the organization's opposition to the act. Spamhaus called it , "a serious failure of the United States government to understand the Spam problem". ««»»
Spamhaus Register of Known Spam Operations (ROKSO): This database lists the top 200 or so known spammers who are estimated to be responsible for 90% of spam. ««»»
List Management Information
Best Practices of Email, Ezine and List Management: The organization known as MAPS (Mail Abuse Prevention System) once published a list it called "Basic Mailing List Management Principles for Preventing Abuse". I used this list as the starting point to create my own "Best Practices" which I follow in managing my lists. ««»»
List Email Headers: An explanation of the RFC standard headers which should be used on emails for lists and ezines. Also identifies the supplementary user-defined fields I use on my ezines, as well as RFC standard email addresses ezine publishers should implement. ««»»
History of Changes to Snippets: Describes the history of Snippets, with emphasis on the technical changes I've made since starting it, including moving to Gammadyne, adding double-opt-in and complying with CAN-SPAM. ««»»
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