Balanagara ???

Subject: Balanagara ???
From: Eric Jeffrey <>
Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2011 10:45:05 -0500 (EST)
For those of you still awake.

Arwen makes good points.  Being an American, I also belong to a similar group 
called Birdchat.  Here, with the prior permission of the listowners, it is 
usually permitted to inform members of the existence of a project and direct 
them to a website for further information.  That seems by far the preferable 
solution, rather than hijacking a mailing list for uninvited commercial 

That said, I am still considering subscribing to the film, but I am not sure 
that my good friends at Balangara really want a $33 contribution if it means 
shipping the DVD to me here in the states.

Eric Jeffrey
Falls Church, VA

-----Original Message-----
From: Arwen B. Ximenes <>
To: greg <>; paul <>; pveerman 
<>; mark <>; Birding Aus 
Sent: Fri, Nov 18, 2011 10:36 am
Subject: Balanagara ???

i All,

 haven't had time to read all the responses on this topic, I've been wading 
hrough all my spam and unsubscribing left right and center :) 

ut seriously: 

) this project sounds fantastic for many reasons and I wish them the best of 
uck! I really think they deserve our support.

) But rather than going to bed which I should have done hours ago, I'm going to 
ip my toes into the debate and put in my two bobs' worth: I totally disagree 
ith the way this film has been marketed (indirectly via Birdingaus), and I hope 
his sort of thing won't be repeated by other companies, and fully support any 
easures to avoid this happening through B-aus in the future; it surprised me 
hat I was getting such chummy sounding emails from complete strangers and it 
eally irks me to be told "You are receiving this email because you are a friend 
nd associate of Balangara Films". That sort of falsehood really turns me off. 
've never met them and my only association with them is that they now have my 
mail address without my permission. 
hen I get a chance to look at it properly I'll decide whether to unsubscribe or 

) I would have been very happy to find out about this over the list (via the 
oderators/list owner) and to then have been given a chance to find out more by 
ubscribing to a list or going to a website. I would hope most people on this 
ist would be interested in the film itself. And let's face it, as has been 
aid, other advertising does occur on this list in one way or another - but it's 
ot like advertising the film "Rio" to gain profits. Correct me if I'm wrong, 
ut there are probably quite a few people who subscribe to this list who profit 
inancially from having their names known (guides, guest houses...) - I don't 
ave a problem with that sort of indirect advertising, in fact I'm grateful for 
t, but it's a blurry line.



rwen Blackwood Ximenes


 To: ; ; ; 

Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2011 23:59:36 +1100
 Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Balanagara ???
 Paul and all on BA
 Thanks Paul for the helpful insight. Had not intended to cause such a fuss
 and certainly had not intended to maligne Balangra Films. So, let's just let
 it rest now and hope Balangra Films goes about generating in a more
 appropriate manner some income for what now appears a good cause.
 Greg Little
 -----Original Message-----
  On Behalf Of Paul G Dodd
 Sent: Friday, 18 November 2011 10:49 PM
 To: 'Philip Veerman'; ; 
 Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Balanagara ???
 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: [Birding-Aus] 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: Re: [Birding-Aus] 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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