|Received:||3/22/2004 8:51:05 AM|
|Organization:||APR Systems, Inc.|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
<Comments re Sections A. and B.>..........Regulatory definitions of "CEMM", "TORM", and "primary purpose" should be adopted as a channel for interpretive communication to affected parties. .......... The definition of TORM should clearly include any message sent pursuant to the ESIGN Act or a state UETA to inform consumers of e-delivery options, obtain consent for e-delivery, or deliver the "written" documents that are the subject of the consent. Messages sent for these purposes contain contracts, required federal and state disclosures, and important service information and agreements. Regardless of the inclusion of content that may be considered promotional, these types of messages must never be treated as CEMM.].................... <Comments re Section F.>..........[F1] C-S has very little effect on spammers, but creates a significant burden on legitimate businesses. Since spammers are known to ignore the law, no one should be so naive as to believe a "National Do Not Email Registry" will have any impact on the worst offenders. Why punish "litterers" with a costly new regulation until "felons" can be brought to justice? [F2] The use of "ADV" or other subject line labeling will facilitate a "scorched earth" approach to spam-blocking--software products will be designed to kill everything bearing the label. A "yes/no" grading system will not serve the best interests of either recipients or senders because "infomercial" types of mixed purpose messages could not be labeled in such a way as to alert the recipient to the useful content accompanying the promotion. Since email client software developers will enhance their products with convenient support for whatever system may be adopted, great care must be taken to avoid tossing out the baby with the bath water. Instead of a labeling system that only facilitates "Y/N" sorting, please consider a graduated system such as the movie rating system. In the same manner that "PG" and "PG-13" alert consumers to degrees of undesirable content, email message labels can also indicate degrees of desirability. As a default, senders would be required to display a label such as "ADV1". In cases where a mixed-purpose message contained some non-commercial content (word of a new scientific discovery, for example), "ADV2" could be assigned. If the message's content was primarily non-commercial (a newsletter, for example), "ADV3" could be assigned. Further rulemaking will be necessary to produce a workable system. .................... <Comments re Section G.>..........Spammers are "small businesses", so it is unlikely that the FTC will be able to craft a "C-S Lite" set of rules to reduce the burden on legitimate small businesses.