|Received:||3/29/2004 11:13:17 AM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
B,1.: Newsletter and eZines should be considered as Transactional and/or Relationship Messages. Generally if someone subscribes to an eZine it is for the information which that eZine provides. Since the subscription process for most of these eZines is a double opt-in process, when the subscriber goes through that process they agree to receive that eZine. After viewing the eZine if they decide it is not what they were looking for, then they should unsubscribe, and the unsubscribe information should be present at the end of that publication. In most instances, where a double opt-in is used, if someone unsubscribes, that process is almost immediate and/or within 72 hours. With the service I use if someone unsubscribes they are removed immediately. B,3.:If an eMail contains an ad for a specific product, without other verbiage, then it is deifinetly a commercial email. These are the things I consider to be a commercial email: Pornography, Drugs of any type, Mortgage Loans, FFA and the like. If the email contains a valid offer, such as a product or program to join, that has the possibility of creating income, then that to me is a legitimate commercial email. Again if the sender has an unsubscribe process it should be at the end of that email, and in working order, without question. My experience has been that with the Pronography, Drug, Mortgage Loans etc., they do not have a valid senders address attached, and if you use their unsubscribe link, you get more of it than to be unsubscribed from it. It is imperative that these type emails have a legitimate senders address and a working unsubscribe link. Most of the ISP's on the internet have spam software available, which is ineffective in that it does not provide what it is supposed to. These type emails still get through. They are sent with a bogus senders address, the content of the message should be what is considered instead of the senders address, and they cannot be blocked or bounced to the sender. Example: the message comes from Joe Blow (which is a ficticious address), so since it's a persons name it gets through, but the body of the message is pronography etc.and there is no legitimate way to unsubscribe from it. D,1.: See my comments in B,3.. How do you enforce this if you can't get to the sender? It should be law that if you send emails commercial or not, that you use a legitimate address to do that with, whether it be a persons name, nick name, or a business name. E, 1-1: Yes.... E, 1-2.: If the original sender follows the rules and provides an unsubscribe link, and the company which is advertised does not, and makes a mailing independent of the originator, how can you hold the originator liable. Each should be considered separately. E, 2: My feeling is that these companies that require you to give a friends address and/or forward the offer to anothers address, to join their program, should be eliminated. If you as an individual choose to forward something to someone after you recieve it because you feel they would benefit from that information, then that is a personal communication between you and the party recieving it, and not a commercial email. E, 3.: If the offer is from a legitimate bussiness then they should have no problem with posting their physical address on the offer and/or their website. E, 4.: If the "from" address is a legitimate persons name, nick name, and/or business name that is sufficient. The problem is that most of the garbage that gets through the spam blockers are not. As I said earlier, how do you enforce that if you can't get to the sender through their address. F.: I believe that such a registry, in addition to being ineffective, would be overly burdensome to online micro-businesses. The constant list-scrubbing requirements of the registry would be beyond the technological capabilities that most online micro-businesses possess or could hire. General: Some form of recourse or remuneration when ISPs prevent legit delivery.