Canada's Spam Act May Impact Adult Companies

Aug 18, 2011 6:00 AM PST

TORONTO — Adult webmasters who have affiliates or customers in Canada may feel the sting of a new Canadian anti-spam and online fraud act.

The law, expected to take effect in the fall, has serious implications for any business that sends commercial electronic messages that include email, texts, instant messages or social media messages to customers or suppliers in Canada.

The key part of the act is that businesses could face severe penalties if they send electronic messages without getting the consent of the recipient first.

“Unless the recipient has given consent, or opted-in, to receive the communication, and the message complies with very specific formalities, businesses are going to find it much more difficult to send electronic messages with commercial content,” said Barbara McIsaac, an Ottowa attorney who specializes in privacy and access to information law.

“Businesses, including directors and officers, are facing much greater risk.”

The law also affects businesses that route data through Canadian servers, whether or not that information is intended for Canadian consumers.’s Mark Prince told XBIZ he believes it’s good to see a movement against spam and those who engage in this activity, but he’s concerned about the burden of proof that will fall upon smaller hosting companies or service providers should their servers be infiltrated with malware that sends spam.

“Just being accused would cost a small business owner tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees,” Prince said.

“The clear focus in my opinion should be to chase down the businesses that sell the products via spam and the service providers who accept payments from spamming services.”

Under the new law, businesses could face penalties of up to $1 million for individuals and $10 million for organizations.

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