California Spam Law Might Not Get Very Far

from the so-many-hurdles- dept

I’ve already said that it looks like California’s anti-spam bill goes too far, and Declan McCullough’s latest article suggests that others feel the same way – though, for a variety of different reasons. All put together, though, there are plenty of reasons to believe this super “tough” anti-spam bill won’t last very long, if at all. Lots of folks are expected to challenge the law. Some are saying it’s a violation of First Amendment rights, which I think is a ridiculous argument. As has been pointed out plenty of times before the First Amendment doesn’t give people permission to invade your home and speak to you. However, there are other legal problems with the bill, and the overly broad nature of the bill combined with its ambiguous definitions means that it might not pass a legal review. In the meantime, some are so concerned that they’re hoping to push through a national anti-spam law that will supersede any such “tough” state bill. Mostly, this position is supported by the Direct Marketing Association – of whom, I’m no fan. Right now this looks like a bad situation from many sides. The law is way too strict and way too unclear – but most of the people protesting it are doing so in order to allow them the ability to keep sending messages people don’t want. Clearly, there needs to be a better solution. I would think the bill would make a lot more sense if they simply added the word “bulk” to what it bans, and made the definitions of “unsolicited”, “bulk” and “commercial” much more clear. Of course, defining anything will raise objections from all sides – which is probably why it wasn’t done in the first place.

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