THE CALIFORNIA ANTI-SPAM LAW

IVAN HOFFMAN, B.A., J.D.


        This revised article is posted as of December 17, 2003.

        Previously, the California legislature passed and the Governor signed a bill designed to curb unsolicited commercial email advertising.  The bill was to have taken effect as of January 1, 2004.  California has an anti-spam law in effect at this time up to December 31, 2003 but the new state law was to replace the current law and make changes in some significant ways.

        HOWEVER, there is a new federal law dealing with “spam” which is also to take effect January 1, 2004.  Significantly, the federal law is to replace and preempt state and other laws, regulations and rules that expressly regulate commercial email, except as indicated in the federal law.  The federal law in this regard reads in part as follows:

(b) STATE LAW-
(1) IN GENERAL- This Act supersedes any statute, regulation, or rule of a State or political subdivision of a State that expressly regulates the use of electronic mail to send commercial messages, except to the extent that any such statute, regulation, or rule prohibits falsity or deception in any portion of a commercial electronic mail message or information attached thereto.
        Other state laws, however, are not affected by this statute.
(2) STATE LAW NOT SPECIFIC TO ELECTRONIC MAIL- This Act shall not be construed to preempt the applicability of—
(A) State laws that are not specific to electronic mail, including State trespass, contract, or tort law; or
(B) other State laws to the extent that those laws relate to acts of fraud or computer crime.
        Thus I have removed the substantive parts of the within article dealing with the California law, both the current law and the proposed new law.  You can find a new article that I have written dealing with the federal law at http://www.ivanhoffman.com/federalspam.html.

        The reader is strongly cautioned that, in addition to the federal law, there may be other laws, regulations and rules in California and in your state that may still apply and the reader should always consult with an attorney experienced in these matters before proceeding in any manner.

Copyright © 2003 Ivan Hoffman.  All Rights Reserved.

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This article is not intended as legal advice and is not legal advice.  This article is intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information.  This article is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed.  The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you.  This article is based on United States law.  You should consult with an attorney familiar with the issues and the laws of your country.  This article does not create any attorney client relationship.

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No portion of this article may be copied, retransmitted, reposted, duplicated or otherwise used without the express written approval of the author.


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