Balanagara ???

To: "'Philip Veerman'" <>, <>, <>
Subject: Balanagara ???
From: "Paul G Dodd" <>
Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2011 22:48:43 +1100

It makes no difference whether the cause is good or not. It makes no
difference whether the project has merit or not. It makes no difference if
the film is worthwhile or not.

Sending unsolicited email in Australia is illegal. It is as simple as that.
It contravenes the Spam Act 2003 - and everyone should be aware that this
law is incredibly strict, and the fines are potentially huge - up to
$1.1million PER DAY for businesses. There are also heavy fines for
individuals breaching this Act also.

Whilst Balangara Films clearly meant well, what they have done contravenes
the Spam Act and ANY recipient of this email could be justified in reporting
them to the ACMA.

A good proportion of my business life involves working with businesses and
ensuring that when they participate in bulk email campaigns they do so
within the law and not outside it. That means that businesses MUST have a
pre-existing business relationship with the recipients of their emails - and
this does not include both being members of the same mailing list
(birding-aus). Alternatively, businesses must only send email to customers
that opt-in to receive email (which is how birding-aus works). All
recipients, regardless of the rule by which they became recipients must be
able to opt-out of receiving these emails - and there are equally heavy
fines for disregarding opt-out requests.

I can't find the exact figures, but Spam accounts for an incredibly high
proportion of email sent in the world and a huge amount of money is wasted
each year in attempting to prevent Spam, and in dealing with the
consequences of Spam. It is not a trivial matter.

Putting the legalities aside for the moment, I am sure that none of us like
receiving unsolicited email - and I must say that I particularly don't like
receiving unsolicited email asking me for money.

The correct approach here would have been to write to the list owner
(Russell) and ask him if it was OK to publish some information about the
project and the film and to ask the list subscribers to opt-in to
Balangara's mailing list if they were interested in finding out more. Once
people had opted-in, Balangara could have sent out their email to the

And I'm sorry Mark, but to give the sending of unsolicited mail a
clever-sounding name like "crowd funding" is simply hiding behind those
words - unsolicited email in any form whatsoever is Spam. I am not opposed
to the idea of raising money for a worthwhile project by collecting small
amounts from many people (which really is what "crowd funding" is), but it
must be done legally.

My advice to Russell, the birding-aus list owner, will be to add some terms
and conditions to the web site that specifically disallow
the collection of email addresses from birding-aus for the purpose of
sending unsolicited emails directly to the members of birding-aus and
bypassing the birding-aus moderation system.

Paul Dodd
Docklands, Victoria

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Philip Veerman
Sent: Friday, 18 November 2011 5:46 PM
To: 'Graeme Stevens'; ; 
Subject: Balanagara ???

Hello All,

About this: It is clear from David Stowe that the unsubscribing from their
email list does not unsubscribe from birding-aus. So please let go of that
one. That is just something in the way they have named their list. 

I am not in any way associated with Balanagara (other than having
corresponded minimally about Lyrebird behaviour) but congratulate them on
their intent to make a film of the Lyrebird. To me, this promotional message
seems like a well targeted, nicely presented, generous and innovative
marketing and promotions of what hopefully will be a nice production on a
subject that I hope many of us would be interested in. It appears that
obtaining email addresses via birding aus (if that is what has happened and
I don't know how) is of concern and not the right thing to do, but given its
relevance to my interests, it is something I am more happy about than
bothered about. 

I for one am disappointed and rather embarrassed by the negativity this
promotion has received. I expect the guidelines for birding-aus include that
it is not for primarily commercial purposes - though this is borderline such
a use. I do not see this as any worse (or even different) from people
advertising the dates, arrangements and costs of the next pelagic bird trips
or seeking sponsorship for bird twitching contest or telling us in an
encouraging way about the latest Hoopoe or Grey-headed Lapwing, in a way
that encourages us to spend vastly more money, if we wish to see it. And I
don't object to those messages either. 

I am more concerned about what the film will say / show. If I ever get to
see the film I would happily review it as wonderful if it is, or if it is
crap or gives false information I would offer that opinion too. The message
so far is simply bringing to notice a new project and product and ask likely
people to maybe sponsor it. I would like to think that many of our community
who can do so, will sponsor it. It should promote bird knowledge and maybe
conservation, using a species that is by any standard a very special bird
that can add a lot to public awareness of birds. 


-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Graeme Stevens
Sent: Friday, 18 November 2011 4:59 PM
To: ; ; 
Subject: Fwd: Balanagara ???

Can but agree - quite annoying- and particularly offensive that when you try
to unsubscribe you are "unsubscribed" from birding-aus.Very poor form if
genuinely seeking support.Graeme  > Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2011 15:14:30 +1100
> From: 
> To: ; 
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Fwd:  Balanagara ???
> I am forwarding this mail and the thread to Balangara - perhaps they 
> can explain how they came to spam us all?


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