Canada’s Anti-Spam Law – Swept-Up is Us

Further down the ‘Interpretation’ section of CASL online here http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/E-1.6/page-1.html the very next thing that caught my eye were a new ‘trifecta’ of terms that further changed the way I viewed my undertakings online. In blue text, as direct, verbatim quotations…

“telecommunications facility”

“telecommunications facility” means any facility, apparatus or other thing that is used for telecommunications or for any operation directly connected with telecommunications.

 

“telecommunications service”

“telecommunications service” means a service, or a feature of a service, that is provided by means of telecommunications facilities, whether the telecommunications service provider owns, leases or has any other interest in or right respecting the telecommunications facilities and any related equipment used to provide the service.

 

“telecommunications service provider”

“telecommunications service provider” means a person who, independently or as part of a group or association, provides telecommunications services.

I am obliged to guess that this makes me a “telecommunications service provider” because I effectively operate a “telecommunications service” by virtue of my blogs (including my personal one here and the blog I (will be) running under one of my brands The Centre for Environomic Synergy), plus some ‘bulletin boards’ and now, most recently, a project I’ve undertaken as a volunteer, which includes it’s own board and even a wiki.

That’s right, according to (my non-lawyer) reading of CASL, if you operate a blog or a bulletin board in Canada; this law could be read to include you. (Why the government couldn’t have just clearly included ‘website operators’ in their legalistic descriptions and definitions, is beyond me.) This is particularly true if you have any ads running. The meagre revenues you might *theoretically* receive from your ads, are enough to qualify you as a commercial enterprise, a ‘telecommunications service provider’. To my understanding, it doesn’t even matter of the website has gone ‘cash positive’, if there is any possibility of revenue, or even a dollar sign next to an offer of some kind, the website is considered a commercial interest, and emails sent to promote it would be imbued with a commercial connotation worthy of scorn. To wit…

All I’ve really done as of this writing was to purchase a hosting plan at my favourite local ISP ‘HostPapa’ (a ‘green provider’). Then I ran a few scripts to install a few programs on my rented allotment of server space including WordPress for the blogs and phpBB3 for the bulletin boards, and recently MediaWiki for a wiki. Then, I did my research and my reading and my imagineering and all of those other ‘wonderfully entrepreneurial’ and otherwise interesting things I’ve done for these projects. Of course, I’ve also done a great deal of figuring and configuring – all of which I’m *not* supposed to be discouraged from doing, if we’re going by the spirit of that law’s flourishing name. Where I would seem (poised as of now) to cross the CASL line, after having spent a great deal of my time authoring and webmastering – where I (would seem to) run the risk of *accidentally* running afoul of things, despite my due diligence (documented herein); would seem to be upon the moment I (would hypothetically) send an email about it, to any other living person within Canada.

Pehaps you are reading this now, because of just such a message. If so, welcome! And THANKS!

Please don’t complain to the government about my email being a spam message, without first giving me a chance to remedy your losses and angst at having received my email, despite your *unstated* desire not to receive my emails. In any case, thanks for coming!

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