On May 12, 2008 the Federal Trade Commission issued its long awaited final set of rules under the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (the “Act”). The rule:

  • Modifies the term “sender” with respect to multi-advertiser e-mails;
  • Clarifies the opt-out request process;
  • Defines the term “person”; and
  • Clarifies the meaning of “valid physical postal address” of the sender.
  • The accompanying report:
  • Explains the FTC’s interpretation of the Act’s application to affiliate marketing programs and tell-a-friend campaigns.

The rule will take effect on July 7, 2008.

In a recent decision, the Northern District of California held that e-mail harvesting without permission may give rise to a cause of action under the California Penal Code and based on common law misappropriation. More striking, however, was the court’s ruling that the federal CAN-SPAM Act, 15 U.S.C. § 7701 et seq., preempts two California anti-spam statutes. Facebook, Inc. v. ConnectU LLC, — F.Supp.2d —, 2007 WL 1514783 (N.D. Cal. 2007).