Subject: Balangara
From: Mike Honeyman <>
Date: Sat, 19 Nov 2011 19:44:32 +1100
I never knew we were so well represented with experts on the Spam Act.

From the government's "Spam Act: A practical guide for business", I have determined the following (it's been too wet to go birding, and I have had to stay local as support crew for my money grabbing leech on society - Sophie - to take part in a charity walk as subterfuge to extort sponsorship with unsolicited demands for money off her Facebook friends. The shame. Otherwise I could have done something more worthy. Like flying to Broome....)

Inferred Consent:
"when an addressee has conspicuously published their electronic address. In such a case the Spam Act permits commercial electronic messages to be sent to the addressee, if the message relates to the addressee’s published employment function or role. If a plumber advertises their email address, it is okay to send them offers of work or of plumbing supplies, but not to send an offer unrelated to their work, such as cheap pharmaceuticals. If the published address is accompanied by a statement saying that it should not be used for such messages, such as the words “no spam”, then it cannot be used to infer consent to a message being sent;

Now, it might be a bit of a long shot determining 'role' as 'birder', but I think there is sufficient scope for a clever lawyer to make a successful argument. Especially when a couple of the most vocal people on this thread have some sort of formal role in our birding organisations.

Having an 'existing relationship' appears to be useful and the following are suggested as appropriate forms of existing relationship:
"- subscribers to a service;
- registered users of online services;"

As to obtaining peoples email addresses:
"Lists generated manually (for example by reviewing websites) are not prohibited. However, if addressees have included a statement adjacent to their electronic address indicating the addressee does not wish to receive commercial messages, this must be respected."

Russell has said that the Biding-Aus database is not accessible and that the email addresses must have been manually collected. And I for one don't have anything alongside my name indicating I do not wish to receive commercial messages. Our email addresses are available from the Birding-Aus website, archives, and the emails Mark will have received from us via the Birding-Aus list that we are co-subscribers to. So if Balangara manually picked our names, based on a review of the Birding-Aus website, that would appear to be ok.

There are a number of other prescriptions of the act - clearly identifying who you are, where you got the email address from and providing a means to unsubscribe - that Balangara appear to have complied with. There may be others they have not, I've only skimmed it not checked it line by line (I'm not that sad, yet!)

I still believe that while the approach might be a bit rough around the edges and not fully compliant with the Act, that it is due to naivety not malice on Mark's part. I'd rather we didn't judge him based on the mean spirited assumptions of some forum members.



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