Date: Oct 02, 2003
The bill prohibits
sending unsolicited commercial e-mail advertisements to any California e-mail address,
initiating any unsolicited commercial e-mail advertisement from California,
harvesting e-mail addresses or using automated means to send e-mails.
It defines unsolicited commercial e-mail advertisements to include messages sent to a recipient who
has not provided "direct consent to receive advertisements from the advertiser," or
does not have a preexisting or current business relationship with the advertiser.
The bill applies to advertisers, defined as "a person or entity that advertises through the use of commercial e-mail advertisements."
A "commercial e-mail advertisement" is defined as any electronic mail message initiated for the purpose of advertising or promoting the lease, sale, rental, etc. of any property, goods, or services, or extension of credit. Note that non-profits, to the extent they "advertise" through the use of a "commercial e-mail advertisement," are covered by the law.
"Direct consent' means that the recipient has expressly consented to receive the message, either in response to a clear and conspicuous request for consent or at her own initiative. A review of the legislative history suggests that it is intended to be applied very restrictively, with opt-in consent to receive messages from specific designated advertisers required (although one could envision opt-out mechanisms that comply with the requirements of conspicuousness and specificity).