John R. Levine, PhD, Christina S. Loza, JD, and Brett J. Trout, JD
The Internet has created a variety of new ways of doing business. The ease with which one can use email and the Web has prompted many businesses to start operating online. Email has become a desirable tool of direct marketers for several reasons:
- Sending email to thousands of people at one time can be as easy as clicking a mouse.
- The direct marketer sending bulk email incurs minimal cost to reach many individual and business email boxes. These costs are relatively low compared to standard postage costs for the same quantity of mail.
- The delivery time can be as little as a few seconds, compared to several days or weeks for bulk mail sent through the postal system.
Nevertheless, this attractive direct marketing tool has annoyed many Internet users who are bombarded day after day with dozens of unsolicited commercial email messages, also known as “spam.” Further, spam is evolving and taking new forms, including email messages with PDF documents attached and “audio spam”—email messages containing sound recordings. The bulk email may offer products and services that interest the consumer, but it may also contain many items advertising products of no interest to the receiver or even items the receiver may consider offensive, such as solicitation for “male enhancement” drugs, as well as carrying “malware,” software that covertly installs itself on the recipient’s computer. This behavior has resulted in the creation of unsolicited email laws to protect internet users.
Internet Law Essentials: U.S. Unsolicited and Bulk Email, written by John R. Levine, PhD, Christina S. Loza, JD, and Brett J. Trout, JD, provides a comprehensive analysis of U.S. Anti-Spam regulations. The guide also includes useful checklists to help simplify the compliance process.