Internet and e-mail policy and practice
including Notes on Internet E-mail


Click the comments link on any story to see comments or add your own.

Subscribe to this blog

RSS feed


26 Jun 2010

The .XXX fiasco is almost over ICANN

At Friday's meeting of the ICANN board in Brussels, they voted, probably for the last time, to approve the 2004 application for the .XXX domain.

Purely on the merits, there is of course no need for a top level domain for porn. This isn't about the merits, this is about whether ICANN follows its own rules. Despite overheated press reports, .XXX will not make porn any more available online than it already is (how could it?), there is no chance of all porn being forced into .XXX (that's a non-starter under US law), and .XXX will have no effect on the net other than perhaps being a place to put legal but socially marginal porn far away from any accidental visitors.

See more ...

  posted at: 01:53 :: permanent link to this entry :: 1 comments
Stable link is

06 Jun 2010

Does CAN SPAM cover affiliate spam? Email

Affiliate marketing is a popular way to advertise on the Net. A company signs up affiliates, or more often an intermediary that signs up the affiliates, and pays for each lead or each sale. Web affiliate marketing is fairly respectable (check out my Amazon affiliate store and the links on my airline ticket web site) but mail affiliates, particularly mail affiliates through intermediaries, are a cesspit. While there are doubtless mail affiliates that behave themselves, there are far too many of them that sign up and spam like crazy on the somewhat accurate theory that the more spam they send, the more responses they will get and the more leads they'll have to sell, with the only downside being that they might have a cheap hosting account cancelled.

The marketers and intermediaries invariably make the affiliates promise not to spam, but since they don't know what addresses the affiliates are mailing to, and see only the leads and (maybe) the occasional complaint from recipients of the ads, it's extremely difficult to monitor what the affiliates are doing. Moreover, it is very hard to build a substantial true opt-in mailing list, and if you have a good list, its value for your own business is too great to be worth annoying the people on it by sending third-party ads. Hence affiliates have to use lousy lists, such as purchased lists of dubious provenance, addresses mechanically scraped off web sites. It's an open secret in the business that the business is full of sleazeballs who will cheerfully do things like using a suppression list provided by marketer A as a prospect list for marketer B.

With this in mind, does a marketer bear responsibility under CAN SPAM for mail that affiliates send? The answer, both from the wording of CAN SPAM and from simple logic, should be of course it does, but the sad tale of ASIS vs. Azoogle suggests that judges think it doesn't, at least not in the Ninth Circuit.

See more ...

  posted at: 01:08 :: permanent link to this entry :: 0 comments
Stable link is


My other sites

Who is this guy?

Airline ticket info

Taughannock Networks

Other blogs

It turns out you don’t need a license to hunt for spam.
62 days ago

A keen grasp of the obvious
Italian Apple Cake
620 days ago

Related sites

Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail

Network Abuse Clearinghouse

My Mastodon feed

© 2005-2024 John R. Levine.
CAN SPAM address harvesting notice: the operator of this website will not give, sell, or otherwise transfer addresses maintained by this website to any other party for the purposes of initiating, or enabling others to initiate, electronic mail messages.