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Synopsis of CAN-SPAM ACT

CAN-SPAM is the short title and acronym for the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003, was passed by Congress, signed by the President and took effect on January 1, 2004.
In order to avoid penalties under the Act the following provisions must be adhered to:

  • Clear and conspicuous identification that the message is an advertisement or solicitation.
  • Accurate header information with originating email address, domain name or Internet Protocol address.
  • From line- that accurately identifies the sender of the email.
  • Inclusion of return address.
  • Every email must now contain a "clear and conspicuous" means for the recipient to opt out and stop further mailings.
  • A valid postal address of the sender.
  • If it is adult or sexually oriented matter, explicitly mention so in the subject line.
  • Optional- Might provide the recipients a list to choose from on specific types of commercial messages, the recipients might like or not like to receive.
  • Don't send commercial email to addresses that were harvested from the Internet without permission or that was compiled by automated means.

The Law allows

  • Allows, but does not require, the FTC to create a "Do-Not-SPAM" registry.
  • Allows the FTC and state attorneys general the ability to vigorously enforce the laws contained in the anti-SPAM legislation.
  • It allows enforcement of statutory damages of $2 million for violations, tripled to $6 million for intentional violations, and unlimited damages for fraud and abuse.
  • Allows the FTC, state attorneys general and Internet providers to sue companies who violate the law.

The Federal Trade Commission is responsible for the enforcement of the CAN-SPAM Act. It may bring suit against those who violate it. In addition, the Attorneys General of each State have some powers of enforcement with respect to violations of the law affecting their respective states.

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Synopsis of Can-Spam Act
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