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Old 01-11-2003, 10:31 PM   #16
firstmark
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Most of their offers I do not consider spam.
They gather contact info from people's sites and send an email to webmasters about their programs.
Seems like some form of targeting to me.
Now if they sent the same pitch to webmasters and nonwebmasters alike it would be untargeted spam.
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Old 01-12-2003, 02:20 PM   #17
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Great points jkcity and firstmark.

Anti-Spam legislation does help though. Spammers cost to do business have increased a great deal and mostly because of anti-spam efforts. So it all helps. Not to mention, with an anti-SPAM law it's clearly written and defined what is and is not SPAM. We don't need any more lines from those making rules like "I can't tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it" (A US Supreme Court Justice's view of the word "obscenity".)
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Old 01-12-2003, 03:52 PM   #18
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Darnell I doubt any written law that man can devise can define what commercial spam is. Is asking for a link spam, is sending an email out in an unsolicited fashion to someone that has bought from you before spam, is visiting someone's site and emailing them about it and telling them how your commercial site is similar spam?

The one thing that anti spam efforts have done thus far is increase costs of webhosting by increasing lawyer fees, and increasing the cost of doing buisness for everyone online because many mail servers are blocked because someone in their IP range is being blacklisted by one of the Antispam groups like SPEWS. Spews is in use by popular ISP's and one spammer in a wide IP range or hosting facility can give everyone at that facility dificulty in being able to have their email actually received by ISP's like AOL who subscribe to such lists. This causes emails to have to be sent again or importnat things not being able to be received. This costs big time money that no one can calculate.

Of course "SPAM" is a problem but we have no problem today compared to what we could have.
There is very little stopping there from being 1 million Spam mails a day sent to everyone in the country. This would effectively rende their email addresses useless. Its not this bad yet but it could be.


You can't let the recipient define spam because many people sign up for things and forget. Also many people with websites ask people to email about anything and if you comply and email them your commercial offer is that Spam as you are doing what they requested? Many ISP's are overzealous in their anti spam efforts on many fronts. Industry groups like SPEWS and their blacklisting powers are doing more to stop spam today than any government legislation ever can.
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Old 01-12-2003, 04:05 PM   #19
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If SPAM legislation is to be effective commercial oriented things that have the potential to "rob people of their time" on all fronts would be eliminated.
In short there would be no link trading as
somene will always find your pitch commercial and view it as spam, so there could be no link trading. There would be no emails to websites about anything at any level as a request for help could be considered as unsoliciated spam by some. Set the penalities high enough to thwart real SPAM and all legitamate email puposes will also suffer. You could destroy the internet with effective "Antispam" legislation and encourage monetary punishments for spam which would strike fear in all that send email to anyone about anything. Of course your hard core untargeted spammers would just pay a little more for webhosting overseas no big cost increase really as the real cost in spam email is probably the list itself not the sending mechanisms. This could be combated though by requiring American ISP's to block potential spam haven countries overseas from being able to reach Americans.

Also included in the definition of SPAm most people include pyramid schemes and general untargeted please visit this site or that emails.
Some of these emails are between friends but if SPAM is defined generally this too might be something people are liable for financially. So there would be far less emailing of favorite sites among friends and others, no word of mouth or viral marketing.
The implications are big. But legislation of such magnitute will probably never even be considered so SPAM will be with us always.
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Old 01-12-2003, 09:03 PM   #20
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Excellent points so far from both sides of the argument.

One element that needs to be reiterated here is that spam isn't just defined as unsolicited commercial email by most, but rather unsolicited bulk commercial email. Adding this extra qualifier immediately abolishes the worst-case scenario envisioned by firstmark in which individual commercial emails between associates, friends or others interested in becoming so could be construed as spam.

As I see it, the best first steps for legislators to take would be in restricting the trade in email addresses. We all know of firms (some of them with relatively big names in online marketing) who make a business out of selling email addresses without having explicit permission to do so. Cracking down on the sale and resale of email lists and those '50,000,000 valid email addresses!' CDs to persons or other entities based in the country in question would go a long way towards reducing spam. There will, of course, always be a black market trade for these addresses while spamming remains profitable, but with these disks and lists removed from the mainstream market (where some small businesses, in their naivety, think that this is a legitimate way to distribute their junk mail affordably), the volume of mail will reduce and the border defining spam from permission-based email and individual unsolicited contact - which is not only a cost, but a necessity of doing business (to both sides of the equation) - will increase in clarity.
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Old 01-12-2003, 11:45 PM   #21
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What would qualify as bulk commercial spam then? If an individual sends 100 emails to others telling them about their new online dating profile on a dating site would that be spam if it included info about how the dating site works? That would be a commercial pitch if that is not commercial spam why not? Would 10 emails of this sort be or 1 or 1 million? At what level does bulk commercial spam come to be defined? Would all tell a friend programs be deemed spam because the site that is referred earns money from visits via advertising? Smart commercial spam impersonates personal elements. One of the best spam mails i have received stated in the subject line it was in response to online chat I had with someone. Then it had a commercial pitch for something.

Most things in life are commercial at some level. This is true of email too. Crack down hard on Commercial spam with legislation and it will create battles in court again and again. Lawsuits will emerge asking these sorts of questions. Meanwhile the actual "bulk spam" will still be sent regardless of one country's regulations. If legislation gets tough lawyer talk about the amount of spam content vs quality content in emails will help determine commercial nature in court. This will only cost everyone that uses the internet money indirectly.

Czar and the 50 million email addresse lists can just be marketed from another country. Legislation is not going to thwart that trade much at all.
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Old 01-13-2003, 11:34 AM   #22
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As far as anti-SPAM legislation goes, all I have to say is that it's working in Washington State USA a lot better than places without anything. I rest my case.
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Old 01-13-2003, 01:37 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by darnell
As far as anti-SPAM legislation goes, all I have to say is that it's working in Washington State USA a lot better than places without anything. I rest my case.
Where is the proof it is working? I don't doubt it I just need some proof, alot of spam I get these days come with a disclaimer saying it wa snot intended for people in washington blah blah, and they tried to screen them out, It would almost be inmpossible to screen washington people out fromt here mass mailings unless some one used a state tld email address.
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Old 01-13-2003, 01:54 PM   #24
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The laws of Washington state only apply to the people of Washington state.
So unless spammers are located in Washington state or their Webhosts the law does not apply to them.
Even if the laws of Washington state work for Washington state is a real solution to spam going to be found in each state and city having their own separate anti spam laws?
Seems like the real spammers will spam from other countries and everyone else will just have more expensive ISP bills via email lawyer trials over jurisdiction and what not.

Microsoft is located in Washington so tell me are the Washington laws of this state affecting hotmail sent spam mail much? I don't think so.
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Old 01-13-2003, 06:57 PM   #25
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It's working. Some other US states are trying to do it. People in WA state are winning money from spammers.

Here's a link to search google news for stories: http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&lr...aw&sa=N&tab=wn

It's working and so well known that new articles are made about it all the time.

I see the stories all the time. Some WA state residents have won thousands and keep winning.

Anti-SPAM laws work.
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Old 01-13-2003, 11:27 PM   #26
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If Washington's anti spam laws are so effective how come one of the largest senders of indirect Spam in the world, MSN Hotmail is owned by Microsoft a company incorporated in Washington?
You think Washington can claim their spam laws are helping things all I see is the the world's largest free email account service provider exists in your state and is sending spam throughout the world through many of its members.
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Old 01-13-2003, 11:29 PM   #27
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So to get around Washington's tough anti spam laws all one has to do is sign up for an account with one of your state's businesses Microsoft's Hotmail to get around the law.
Thats what seems to be the case.
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Old 01-14-2003, 10:56 AM   #28
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How much money are SPAM victims getting in states without Anti-SPAM laws? ZERO.

How much money are SPAM victims getting in Washington state when they take their issue to court? THOUSANDS.

Again, I rest my case.
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Old 01-14-2003, 02:43 PM   #29
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How many smart spammers are going to host in Washington state because of this or base their business in Washington State except for Hotmail which seems to have achieved immunity from Washington's big bad anti spam laws? Not many. Now how much money are lawsuits against legitmate email which is called Spam going to cost everyone in Washington State including hosting companies and ISP's? Rememeber anyone can sue another on these sorts of matters regardless of the legitmacy of the claim and it costs either way.
I bet its more than you get from the spammers.
If you were hosting an opt in email list would you wish to host it in Washington state where a few complaints of Spam from someone who forgot whta they signed up for out of hundreds of thousnads who did not could cost you thousands. I know I wouldn't so Washington's webhosting industry will suffer, leading to perhaps more expensive bandwidth down the road, leading to more expensive ISP bills. I am not seeing how state legislation in Washington is helping anyone at all as far as consumers.

The industry itself is doing far more than any state's laws can at the present.
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Old 01-14-2003, 08:25 PM   #30
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firstmark - You are entitled to your opinion. I disagree with you. Can't say I've heard of any companies running from WA state and personally I would not mind running a service under those laws. I think it helps the consumer a great deal and benefits them greatly. As for added cost, if it leads to better service I feel it's a great thing.

Efforts within the industry a good thing also and should only help the industry in avoiding issues with this type of legislation.

So far the people of WA state love it and people in other states want it. So it eventually will happen elsewhere.
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