Canada’s Anti-Spam Law – An eBiz Model

RE: CASL’s sub-paragraph ‘b’ of sub-section ‘3’ regarding the purpose of CASL being to promote efficiency and adaptability…. by regulating commercial conduct that… “imposes additional costs on businesses and consumers”.

This is a particularly dubious sub-paragraph of CASL since it is impossible to quantify the costs of receiving a single SPAM email. It is barely calculable, how much SPAM might cost in-aggregate; never mind apportioning cost calculations to a single SPAM message. This would be tantamount to splitting a hair so fine, so many times, that what is left can barely be called anything at all. It would be like asking ‘How wet does a single drop of rain make your lawn?’

Yet, I must point out again, that as a gift of login credentials, my initial enrollment emails for ‘various websites’ would impose no additional costs and make no demands for payment or other inducement for payment, whether promotional, advertising or by mere implication. Further still, the offer could include a discount on advertising on the site itself, thereby increasing the value of the ‘email-encapsulated’ gift of login credentials.

RE: CASL’s sub-paragraph ‘c’ of sub-section ‘3’ regarding the purpose of CASL being to promote efficiency and adaptability…. by regulating commercial conduct that… “compromises privacy and the security of confidential information”.

On this count, I would like to point-out the following:

  1. Websites that are run in compliance with general good practices and ideally, a set of clearly written and posted ‘Rules’ or ‘Guidelines’ to expressly include a privacy policy which is adhered to; can be considered de facto more defensible from a CASL standpoint – in terms of being able to promote said website via email.
  2. As an integral part of the ‘Rules and Guidelines’ which govern the operation of and participation in a website; we do all agree to be bound by the terms and conditions set-out in the included ‘Creative Commons, Attribution, Noncommercial, NoDerivatives, ShareAlike Licence’; which itself includes specific intellectual property rights and obligations that accrue to website participants who generate user content.

RE: CASL’s sub-paragraph ‘d’ of sub-section ‘3’ regarding the purpose of CASL being to promote efficiency and adaptability…. by regulating commercial conduct that… “undermines the confidence of Canadians in the use of electronic means of communication to carry out their commercial activities in Canada and abroad”.

Once again, a passage in CASL that is so terribly subjective, it leaves me almost without a substantive remark; for lack of a defined target. Yet, I can still manage to point-out that the central purpose of my (heretofore pending) enrollment emails, where I plan to enclose login credentials as gifts, is very much to *bolster* (not undermine) the confidence of Canadians (and others) in the use of electronic means of communications for business purposes. In fact, by using this very same phpBB3 or WordPress installation, which you are reading right now; you will be making very efficient and adaptable use of these electronic means of carrying out commercial activities – means that are suitable for use in Canada and abroad.

I would go on to argue that by using phpBB3 or WordPress as set-up here, users would have access to a superior electronic means of communications – much better than email communications; precisely because it generates an ‘artefact’ that others – third parties – can access later-on. Better still, new people can be ‘brought into things’ simply because they’ve typed terms into a search engine.

Neither emails nor face-to-face, verbal communication can do that. phpBB3 and WordPress users enjoy this facility with every post and comment they publish online.

As I consider how many wonderful and otherwise interesting people I’ve met at symposia, seminars, trade shows and networking events; and remember all of the fascinating conversations I’ve had with them – I can’t help but feel disappointed, mostly in myself, that comparatively little business has been conducted as a direct result. In large part, this is because (most) verbal communications are so fleeting; and typically, only a very few people can be present to hear it.

By comparison, when we discuss things via the written words we post to these discussion threads and blog posts; our words can persist long, long after we’ve typed and published them. More powerfully still, is the fact that internet search engines index the majority of the discussion threads and posts/web pages and threads all of my websites, which means that heretofore uninvolved third-parties can be bought to our words, owing to their ability to find indexed search results. This is what makes phpBB3 and WordPress superior to email communications, for a broad range of applications, both commercial and non-commercial alike.

Moreover, I intend that we will all make simultaneous use of these websites for both commercial and non-commercial purposes, certainly to include matters related to “law enforcement, public safety, the protection of Canada, the conduct of international affairs or the defence of Canada”. Yes, that’s right – ALL of these issues, and many, many more, will be germane at the websites I will work on.

NB: At this point, although I have much, much more to add to this discussion thread re: CASL; I will put this aside for a short while, so that I can focus on other things. Stay tuned for more – lots more.

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