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What Is Spam?

Spam is unsolicited "junk" e-mail sent to large numbers of people to promote products or services. Sexually explicit unsolicited e-mail is called "porn spam." Spam can also refer to inappropriate promotional or commercial postings to discussion groups or bulletin boards.

Are there Federal Anti-Spam Laws?

Since the advent of e-mail and the internet, Congress has made several attempts to regulate the use of spam, and most recently passed the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. The CAN-SPAM Act has a number of provisions that differ from those commonly found in state anti-spam laws, including the following:

Are there State Anti-Spam Laws?

A total of 36 states have passed laws regulating unsolicited electronic mail or "spam". State laws range from narrow provisions directed at sexually-oriented e-mail to comprehensive acts imposing a wide variety of restrictions. The following are common provision of anti-spam laws:

Should I Contact an Intellectual Property Attorney if I Receive Spam or Use Spam for My Business?

If you receive Spam and want to learn about any possible legal action there may be against the company facilitating this activity, you may wish to seek the advice of an intellectual property attorney. If your company uses Spam, you may want to contact an intellectual property attorney to find out if your company is subject to either criminal or civil penalties in your jurisdiction.

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Last Modified: 10-26-2011 04:42 PM PDT

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