|Received:||4/14/2004 11:42:21 PM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
A. Q 1: A Commercial Email should be considered any email requesting money for a product or service or otherwise attempting to make a profit from the recipient of the email. E.1 Q 2: If the same company sent the commercial email containing its ad as well as three other ads in it, the ONE company that sends the email is at fault, not the advertised companies in the ad. Cooperative advertising is the most effective form of advertising. Even though they are in the email, they most likely don't know that their ad is included in an illegal commercial advertisement. The person sending the commercial email is in violation of the act, not the companies being advertised. Those companies don't know the subscriber Opted Out. E.2 Q 3: If I tell someone about a product or service I really liked, this is not SPAM nor is it commercial advertising. It is word of mouth advertising and freedom of speech applies. A company can ask people to refer their friends to their site...otherwise no company out there would exist! That's why salesmen hand out business cards and brochures. There is absolutely no difference. If a person chooses to market a product, service, or company is totally up to them, even if the company encourages it. E.2 Q 4: And the company being advertised shouldn't get in any trouble if the tenth person down the line SPAMS out an ad advertising that company. They have no control over other peoples actions. They shouldn't be punished for others wrong doings. E.4 Q 2: As long as the email address used in an email is a valid email address (something you can easily verify by visiting the hosting company ie. firstname.lastname@example.org...you should be able to verify with msn that this is a real person or at least who created the account.) There are commercial (porn) companies that cloak their email address...make it look real but isn't real at all. These are in violation. F. Q 1: DO NOT REWARD people who report violations of CAN-SPAM Act. This will open up a can of worms on a global level. People will report people for spamming just to get the reward. And with all of the regulations and rules, even if the person reported didn't spam, one little mistake and they are toast. BAD IDEA! People who report REAL spam get their reward of having the violator shut down or fined.