'Don't Spam Kids' Registry A Financial Disaster For Utah
from the nice-work dept
First, he points out that since the law clearly wouldn't stop any spam for children, the real purpose of the law was a secret email tax. The way the law is set up, firms need to pay a fee in order to compare their lists with the registry, and Utah in particular was apparently expecting $3 to $6 million in revenue. Instead, they've actually brought in $187,224. On top of that, the company that Utah has hired to run the registry, Unspam (who had also insisted it was impossible to leak the email address) gets to keep 80% of the revenue -- meaning Utah has received a grand total of $37,445 -- significantly less than expected, and not nearly enough to cover additional expenses created by the law. And it gets worse. The next part isn't entirely clear, but an expensive lawyer (who happens to be the son of Utah Senator Orrin Hatch) was hired by Unspam to defend the already questionable law in court -- but after the company felt it had spent too much, it appears to have handed the bill over to the state. So now Utah taxpayers are paying for this lawyer to defend their bad law -- and the lawyer makes many times what a state lawyer actually makes.
By the way, if the name Unspam sounds familiar to you, that's because it's the company that got a bunch of press last week for trying to sue a bunch of spammers for $1 billion. It was a case that got plenty of press, but seemed woefully short on details. Perhaps Unspam is simply looking to make up for lost time in getting Utah the money its CEO insisted the state would get if it passed the "don't spam kids" law and (of course) put his company in charge of running it. Oh, and it gets better. The recent ridiculous law to ban trademarked keyword advertising in Utah also just so happens to have come from this same CEO, who later defended the law on a blog, without mentioning his vested interest in it.