CAN-SPAM Act governs essentially how to get business email out to a customer. It does not apply to non-business emails. You can’t get in trouble, for example, for sending multiple emails to your boss or your mother. That’s not what it governs. It does govern email communications between a business and its customers or its potential customers. It does not prohibit emails from businesses to people, but it does govern some things you have to do in order to be compliant.
So, for example, there are some things you can’t do. You can’t have a false header. You can’t have a header that implies that the email’s coming from somebody else when it’s really coming from you; or a false or misleading email address that indicates that it’s coming from somebody else and it’s really coming from you.
The second thing you have to have — and this is the most important — is an unsubscribe feature at the bottom of the email. Customers need to have the ability to push “unsubscribe”, so that in the event that they don’t want to get your email anymore, they have the ability to essentially opt out of your list.
The third thing that it can’t contain is any false address information or other false identifying information.
Paul D. McGrady, Jr., is a shareholder with Greenberg Traurig, LLP in the Chicago office. Mr. McGrady concentrates his practice in the intersection between intellectual property and information technology, with special emphasis on domain name disputes, online copyright disputes, online identity theft, and Internet fraud prevention and recovery. He is a veteran of nearly 200 successful proceedings under the Uniform Domain Dispute Resolution Procedure (“UDRP”), as well as formal and informal dispute mechanisms in other jurisdictions, including China, the United Kingdom, Poland, Canada, the Czech Republic, and Romania, among others. He also served as the Director of Operations for a start-up domain name registrar, for which he was able to obtain accreditation by ICANN. He is an active member of both INTA and the Intellectual Property Constituency of ICANN.
To learn more, join McGrady for a complimentary LexisNexis® Webinar: The Do’s and Don’ts of Starting an Online Business, on June 14, 2011, at 2:00 pm Eastern Time. To learn more about the webinar or register click here.