One BILLION dollars and other spam news

How big of a problem is spam? It may account for as much as 93 percent of all email volume. It certainly seems as if we get 93 spams for every legitimate email here at AndrewRaff.com World HQ. Fortunately, a federal court and a regulatory agency are in action, fighting the rising tide of spam.
The AP reports: Judge Awards $1 Billion in Spam Lawsuit: “A federal judge has awarded a Clinton [Iowa] Internet service provider over $1 billion in a lawsuit against companies that used the service provider’s equipment to send spam” District Judge Charles R. Wolle filed the default judgments against three companies under the Federal RICO Act and the Iowa Ongoing Criminal Conduct Act.
FTC issued final rules defining what consitutes the “primary purpose” of a commercial email message. Federal Register Notice. Press Release

Some of the criteria for determining whether a message is primarily a commercial message include:

  • For e-mail messages that contain only the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service (“commercial content”), the primary purpose of the message will be deemed to be commercial;
  • For e-mail messages that contain both commercial content and “transactional or relationship” content, the primary purpose of the message will be deemed to be commercial if either:
    1. a recipient reasonably interpreting the subject line of the e-mail would likely conclude that the message contains commercial content; or
    2. the e-mail’s “transactional or relationship” content does not appear in whole or substantial part at the beginning of the body of the message;
  • For e-mail messages that contain both commercial content and content that is neither “commercial” nor “transactional or relationship,” the primary purpose of the message will be deemed to be commercial if either:
    1. a recipient reasonably interpreting the subject line of the message would likely conclude that the message contains commercial content; or
    2. a recipient reasonably interpreting the body of the message would likely conclude that the primary purpose of the message is commercial.

    Factors relevant to this interpretation include the placement of commercial content in whole or in substantial part at the beginning of the body of the message; the proportion of the message dedicated to commercial content; and how color, graphics, type size, and style are used to highlight commercial content; and

  • For e-mail messages that contain only “transactional or relationship” content, the message will be deemed to have a “transactional or relationship” primary purpose