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CAN-SPAM and WHOIS email confusion

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by bananaman5000, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. bananaman5000

    bananaman5000 Regular Member

    Mar 5, 2010
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    I can't seem to get a straight answer about whether it is illegal or not to send CAN-SPAM compliant emails to addresses obtain through scraping whois records.

    The way I read the law says that it is legal, since the owner of the whois database makes no effort to conceal the addresses. See below.

    (i) the electronic mail address of the recipient was obtained using an automated means from an Internet website or proprietary online service operated by another person, and such website or online service included, at the time the address was obtained, a notice stating that the operator of such website or online service will not give, sell, or otherwise transfer addresses maintained by such website or online service to any other party for the purposes of initiating, or enabling others to initiate, electronic mail messages

    I read that to mean since the registrars made no guarantee about not giving away the information, then it is harvestable.

    However, the $16,000 penalty is keeping me from going ahead.

    Anyone have a better understanding?
  2. Elliot305

    Elliot305 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Jul 21, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Loophole/Exploit Specialist
    In The Sun
    Although I don't have a specific yes or no answer, I would say that a lawyer wouldn't have a problem suing you on behalf of these people you would be emailing based upon the loose interpretation of the law you cited. That's what they specialize in...loose interpretations that can be litigated in court or settled out of court. More likely would be the FTC for violations of the CAN-SPAM act (if indeed that would be a violation) but you would need to be sending tens of millions of emails before you even hit their radar. Personally I wouldn't worry about it.
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