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FTC Alleges Yesmail of violating Federal Law

A firm, Marketer Yesmail Inc., has concurred to pay a civil fine of $50,717 to resolve the Federal Trade Commission allegations. The FTC suspected Yesmail of dealing as @Once Corp., breaching civil law by persistently conveying spams to receivers for over ten days of being requested to discontinue the e-mails. The firm, which is the e-mail auxiliary of InfoUSA, the Omaha-based information company, extends e-mail advertising services, along with dispatching marketable e-mail and handing unsubscribe demands from receivers.

"It was actually a technical matter," stated Michael Hilts, Yesmail's president and general manager. "It wasn't a key matter and we don't consider it as an infringement, but the issue was very expensive to contest it. "He added that such trivial technical matters are permitted under the Act, "but the price of contesting would be above $50,000. It is regrettable, but I believe they were simply performing their duty."

The FTC's charges and directive, which were lodged in the Northern California's District Court, avers that Yesmail's junk e-mail screening package removed several "reply to" unsubscribe petitions from receivers as "junk e-mail." This led to Yesmail breaching the unsubscribed petitions by mailing innumerable advertising netmail messages to receivers.

The U.S. CAN-SPAM Act needs commercial netmailers to offer receivers an alternative method and fulfill such appeals within 10 workdays. The law also prohibits fake or deceptive headlines and expects the dispatcher to provide a legal existing postal address.

According to the suggested resolution, Yesmail is forever banned from breaking the CAN-SPAM Act, along with neglecting to carry a working return e-mail address or any other way of refusing subsequent e-mails. The agreement also obliges Yesmail to stop dispatching e-mail beyond 10 workdays after a receiver has requested it to halt. "With the civil fines amounting to $11,000 per infringement, it appears that Yesmail escaped with ease, inspite of e-mailing numerous netmails infringing the act," maintained, Joseph J. Lewczak, Davis & Gilbert LLP's associate in New York.

"However e-mail dealers should still consider this as a cautionary," he said. "The FTC has been declaring for the last couple of years that implementation of the CAN-SPAM Act will be top priority and apparently, it is."

Related article: FTC Reaches Million-Dollar Settlement For Spyware

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