Spam Settlement Restricts E-Mail Marketing in New York

Last month, New York’s Attorney General announced a settlement against, a bulk e-mail marketing company based in Colorado. Although much of the settlement focused on clearly deceptive spamming practices (e.g., using forged “sender” names and addresses to hide the source of the e-mail, using names of well-known companies without permission), it also prohibits false or misleading information in the subject line—so called “teaser” lines. As someone who receives lots of unsolicited email, trying to get me to open and read a particular message from someone I don’t know (or don’t think I know) is an increasing challenge to marketers. Using context or other snappy text in the subject line to get me to read these messages, when they cross over the line, may be considered false and misleading and a deceptive trade practice. Trying to induce me to read an e-mail by implying it is personal (i.e., from someone who knows me) or is part of the subject matter of messages I have sent to others, could be deceptive—especially if there is no readily apparent way of determining that it actually is unsolicited commercial e-mail.

The lawyers in Rimon’s Advertising & Marketing Group (yes, I am a member of that one too) are experts on counseling you and guiding you through the maze of laws and regulations so that you stay on the correct side of these lines. Not only are our litigators armed with first-hand experience in dealing with and defending these issues, but Rimon’s transactional and business lawyers are also widely regarded as among the most skilled and knowledgeable in the world. Whether counseling you about e-mail, web policies, “Spam Settlement Restricts E-mail Marketing in New York” privacy on the Internet, e-commerce, web-based sweepstakes, or simply helping protect one of your most valuable assets—your brand—Rimon has the capability and happy-to-help attitude you need. Try us, you’ll like us. Want to know more? Visit us at—or, better yet, check out our other resources at

Think brands, teasers and tag-lines are unimportant? Think again. Few people may remember who Al Dvorin was—but everyone remembers his tag line!

Privacy Policies to be Required by California on All Commercial Websites

California has done it again! The nation’s toughest anti-spam law, the first database security breach notification law, and now the first state to require commercial website owners and online service providers to adopt and communicate privacy policies, ensure policies satisfy certain minimum standards, and pay penalties if they fail to conform.

California’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 2003 becomes effective July 1, 2004, and applies to commercial website owners and online services that collect and maintain “personally identifiable information” from a “consumer” residing in California. This will likely apply to all businesses selling goods or services online in the United States. To comply, among other things, the privacy policy must identify the categories of information collected; third parties who have access; how a consumer may review and correct information; and how consumers will be notified of changes in the policy. The statute also requires website owners to “conspicuously post” a privacy policy on their websites. A website owner can satisfy the requirement by posting the policy on its home page or by providing a hyperlink from that page to the policy. The link must include the word “privacy” and meet certain case, type size, font, or contrasting colors or marking requirements that call attention to the link and the policy. Online service providers must use “reasonably accessible means” to make its policy available.

This act is a good reason for businesses to review existing privacy, website and online practices. Re-examine privacy promises and consider liability waivers. If you have not yet adopted a privacy policy, now is the time to do so!