Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Australia's Spam Legislation

Mark R. Bender, Monash University, Department of Business Law and Taxation, has published "Australia's Spam Legislation: A Modern-Day King Canute?" Here is the abstract.

This paper considers a number of aspects of Australia's recently introduced unsolicited commercial email (UCE or spam) legislation, the Spam Act 2003 (Cth). The magnitude and nature of the harm caused by the spam problem is outlined, as are the key provisions of legislation enacted in an attempt to reduce spam. Observations are made as to some of the perceived shortcomings of the Act, and of lawmakers approaches in general in trying to legislate against spam. The fundamentals of Australia's legislative approach are contrasted with those of the corresponding US legislation and some key distinctions drawn, notably the 'Opt-In'/'Opt-Out' dichotomy, Australia having used the former as a basis, while the US used the latter. Some alternative approaches and suggested enhancements to the Australian Act are also considered, including proposals by Bill Gates and Lawrence Lessig. Finally there is a summary of and some limited comment on the first case bought under the Australian legislation.

Download the entire paper from SSRN here.

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