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How does new anti-spam law affect non-US marketers?

In the last issue, we talked about the new US anti-spam law CAN-SPAM Act 2003, which took effect on 1 January, 2004, what emails does it cover, what email activities are illegal.

In this issue, we will discuss the other relevant issues. Again, our in-house legal consultant provides a summary of the effects of the law below on an exclusion of any liabilities basis. You should consult your own lawyer if in doubt.

What if your affiliates or other people promote your business, products, or services in an email which violates the law?
You will also violate the law if:
1) you know or should have known that such is being promoted in a violating email;
2) you took no reasonable action to prevent the transmission or to detect the transmission and report it to the relevant authority.

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Effect on other laws
This Act supersedes all state law and regulation relating to sending emails.

The penalties
A fine of up to $250 per violating email sent up to a maximum of $2,000,000 (subject to an increase of up to 3 times of this amount for aggravated damages defined under the Act), imprisonment of up to 5 years and forfeiture of money made from the offense and equipment and software used to facilitate the commission of such offense.

Does the law affect non-US marketers?
The Act governs sending of commercial emails to people in the US. For those who reside outside US, they will be caught by this Act if they send emails to emails addresses in the US. However, the enforcement will need the co-operation of the countries from where the violating emails were initiated.

Will CAN-SPAM stop spams?
The law does not make sending unsolicted emails illegal. On the contrary, it makes it legal as long as the emails are being sent in compliance with the law. This means you will still receive all the spams you have been receiving and more, unless you tell them to stop, one by one!

How to comply with the new anti-spam law?
Base on what is illegal under the Act, our legal consultant has come up with a checklist of compliance rules for sending commercial emails, which we will reveal in the
“Internet Power Luncheon – 2004 Hot Internet Trends, Opportunities and Google Updates” to be held on 11 January, 2004. All legitimate marketers should adopt the checklist in order to comply with the law, whether in US or not, as the emails may be sent to recipients in the US, either by the marketers (whether in the US or not) or by their affiliates.
In this event, we will reveal
- World statistics for Internet users worldwide as at Nov 2003
- Online retail sales for 2003 & 2004
- Online ad spending 2003 & 2004
- Top 50 Internet websites
- Top selling products for 2003 and 2004
- Top 10 Internet Trends in 2004
- Hot target market for 2004
- Search engines updates
- Google AdWords & AdSense
- Benefit of having website survey
- Can-spam Act and effects on email marketing

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