New Canadian Anti Spam Legislation comes into effect on July 1st. Full documentation is available here:
Why you should care:
- Any Commercial Electronic Messages (CEM) sent after July 1st 2014 without authorization could be subject to significant fines
- Fines are HUGE! $1million for individuals, and $10 million for businesses.
- Before July 1st it is possible to send emails to clients to ask them to opt-in
- After July 1st, such a request could be considered a CEM.
From the government`s website http://fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/00258.html here are some excerpts to help:
What you must do:
Determine if your electronic messages are commercial in nature. The law applies to commercial electronic messages (CEMs) only. A CEM is defined as encouraging participation in a business transaction or activity, regardless of whether there is an expectation of profit.
For all electronic messages you have determined to be commercial:
- Get the consent of your recipients, and keep records. The legislation requires obtaining "express" or "implied" consent. Express consent means that a person has clearly agreed to receive a CEM before it is sent - you cannot request consent in a CEM. Consent may also be implied in certain situations, for instance if there is an existing business or non-business relationship. In all cases, ensure you understand the consent you have received from your recipients, and keep detailed records in case you are ever asked to prove that consent has been received.
- Identify yourself and anyone you represent in the message. Provide contact information including your business name, postal address and either a telephone number or e-mail address. This information must be accurate and valid for a minimum of 60 days after the message has been sent.
- Include a working mechanism that allows the recipient to unsubscribe from receiving additional messages. This must be at no cost to the recipient.
- Ensure that no part of the CEM is false or misleading, including the sender's identity, subject line, any Web links, or any other material part of the message's text or data.
What to watch out for...the new law prohibits:
- Sending a CEM without the recipient's express or implied consent. This includes messages to e-mail addresses, and text messages to a cell phone.
- Sending a CEM without fully identifying the sender.
- Making false or misleading electronic representations in the promotion of products, services or business interests.
- Sending a CEM without a clear way and means for the recipient to unsubscribe.
- The installation of computer programs on another person's computer system without the express consent of the owner of the computer system or their agent, such as an authorized employee.
- The collection of personal information by accessing a computer system in violation of the Criminal Code of Canada.
- Collection of electronic addresses by the use of computer programs, or the use of such addresses without permission, a practice known as "address harvesting".
What you could do, and what MyArtClub.Com is doing:
What you could do
Before July 1st 2014 you could email (using your own email systems, not those of MyArtClub.Com) to your existing client list and ask for them to consent to be on your mailing list. A lot companies with mailing lists are doing this now. Here is what your email could say:
Email Subject Line: YOUR CONSENT IS REQUESTED
WARNING: After July 1st you must not send out a solicitation such as the above, as it is a commercial message, and would be liable under the new legislation.
Sending you information about my art and artist activities is an honour to my art, and is my pleasure. However, due to new laws, I now need your help.
Canada's new Anti-Spam Legislation is effective as of July 1, 2014 requires that your positive consent is on file in order to that I may continue sending my updates to you. Details are available at http://fightspam.gc.ca/eic/site/030.nsf/eng/home
Please reply to the email and confirm you wish to OPT IN, or OPT OUT.
If you do not reply to this you will be opted out.
Thank you for your interest in my art.
Name of artist
Your Postal Address
Your Email address
P.S You are currently unsubscribed. No further emails will be sent to you unless you contact me.
This is why so many consent requests are coming in as we close in on July 1st.
You must manage your email addresses yourself, you must retain records of who has opted in, keep track of who has opted out. If and when you do send an email, you must follow the legislation requirements as described by the Government website referenced above
What MyArtClub.Com is doing
MyArtClub.com has changed its Terms and Conditions for artists and art groups and will require and record acknowledgement of the new terms with each emailing. MyArtClub.com will include an unsubscribe function and in addition will now provide the name, postal address on record, and email address.
What these MyArtClub new terms and conditions require:
Any artist or art group assumes full responsibility for meeting the new CASL government requirements including their mailing list being up to date, and that for all the email addresses being sent to that express or implied consent has been obtained.
Essentially the sender confirms they are aware and understand the new CASL legislation referenced above, and that if necessary they have consulted professional legal advice.
We have specifically added section 6 that no spamming is allowed, section 7 re security and in particular that your password is your responsibility, section 10 to indemnify MyArtClub.Com; section 12 that as a user your conduct complies with all laws, and section 13 re termination noting that these terms survive termination.
Future MyArtClub.Com plans:
In the coming months MyArtClub.Com intends to update our mailing system such that artists and art groups will find it easier to comply with the new laws. We are interested in your suggestions, as we move to meet this new challenge. Please write to us at webmaster@MyArtClub.com or leave a comment on this blog.