California Anti-Spam Law Upheld

Share this content:
An appellate court in California has upheld the state's 1998 law regulating spam and ruled that senders of unsolicited commercial e-mail must identify it as an advertisement.

In a unanimous decision, the state Court of Appeals ruled that such messages not only must be clearly identified but also provide a way for e-mail recipients to opt out of further unwanted communications.

The California anti-spam law requires the sender of unsolicited commercial e-mail to start messages with a subject line that begins "ADV" to flag that it is an advertisement. It also requires that the message include a working return e-mail address or toll-free telephone number that recipients can contact to be taken off the mailing list.

The appellate court overturned a June 2000 decision by the San Francisco Superior Court that the state's law was unconstitutional because it interfered with interstate commerce. The Superior Court ruled, in effect, that the Internet is largely immune from state regulation.

The appellate court noted that it was not trying to regulate the Internet, just the content of messages sent to addresses in the state.

"Protecting a state's citizens from economic damage caused by deceptive spam constitutes a legitimate local purpose," the court said.

The decision was prompted by California resident Mark Ferguson, who sued two Palo Alto, CA-based businesses and Conru Interactive, alleging that they violated the law in sending him spam. The case was not allowed to proceed after the lower court in June 2000 declared the law unconstitutional. This new decision lets Ferguson's case proceed.


Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above