|Received:||4/16/2004 3:08:57 AM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
Re: CAN-SPAM Act Rulemaking, Project No. R411008 To the Commissioners, Hello. First, I would like to commend the government's desire to help with the flood of unsolicited commercial email - especially those from porn sites. That said, however, I believe the full scope of the proposed FTC proposed rulings could do far more harm than good - for quite a few individuals on the internet who either do or hope to make a living from the internet, vis-a-vis marketing. I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, my health is such (and the size of my congregation is such) that I am not currently able to work at my "real" job more than 10 hours per week. Hence, I only make about $100/week at my parish. I got on the internet in the hope of making more money by marketing both my own and others' products, as an affiliate marketer. As a seller of my own products, it is also my hope to offer an affiliate program of my own to help other aspiring marketers / money earners. The use of "suppression lists" would be a monumentally difficult task to overcome for any marketer with a decent sized list to tend to. Not only would it be very time consuming; it would also be very foolish. It would be the same as if a person who went into a "brick and mortar" department store to buy a tie or an appliance, but had to be asked by the store manager / owner to place blinders on, so as not to see the other products the store had to offer. Not only would the business person (store owners / stock holders) suffer; the customer would be deprived of other buying opportunities for other products he/she might want had they known they were there. Additionally, the economy would suffer from the lack of purchases made; the government would suffer from lost revenues through taxes on business profits; and ultimately, society as a whole would suffer from less money being in circulation. As an affiliate marketer, I would no longer be able to make any money from the sale of products / services of the individuals I represent. I would no longer be able to be made aware of new products / services by that merchant, that would enhance my own earning abilities. As a developing entrepreneur with hopes of having my own site to help other affiliate marketers to make more money for their particular situations, these "over-reaching" rulings would effectively shut me down and render my site moot before it even gets out of the gate. A properly administered online newsletter / ezine, delivered only to those who opted in to receiving it (and always allowing the recipient the ability to opt out whenever they wish) is used for several reasons - not just to "sell" something... building relationships/friendships,... teaching/instructing the recipient about something of interest to the recipient,... making known the existence of various products and services the recipient may be interested in to make their online and offline life better in some way,...etc. A "suppression list" and anything else on top of what legitimate marketers already have to comply with would only do more harm than good for all the reasons stated and for the marketers and their bona fide affiliates as well. I believe I once read somewhere that the government shall not pass any laws that would infringe on a person's right to the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I believe that such would be the case, if these far-reaching proposals take effect. I strongly urge the Commissioners to re-think this stand before doing more harm than good.