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You Have 34 Days To Avoid a $10,000,000 Fine
by Robert Basler on 05/27/14 06:22:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice.

Originally from onemanmmo.com.

If you want to contact press (or anybody) that you don't have an existing relationship with about your game, you have until July 1. Canada's new anti-spam law will come into effect on that date and the implications for anyone with a commercial message are huge.

For software developers, CASL is an even bigger deal because CASL doesn't just apply to spam email, it applies to Tweets and even software patches.

The law also doesn't just apply to Canadians, the law, and its huge fines, apply to anyone who has customers or who contacts people within Canada.

Don't think you're safe if you're just a lone developer, not a business. You get a break to be sure, but the fine for individuals is still $1,000,000.

For me, the problem today is how to let press know about my game The Imperial Realm::Miranda and its upcoming reveal trailer under the new law. I'm thinking that press release services are going to see a bit of a boom from the new law. Certainly developers will need to be a lot more careful about the content of addressed messages on Twitter. I'm not clear if news website contact forms are still legal or not. In any case, the press is going to have to work a bit harder to find out about all the new hotness.

My first effort at CASL compliance was implementing a mailing list for anyone interested in The Imperial Realm::Miranda. I didn't have an existing list of email addresses, so I didn't need to make sure the collection of those email addresses was CASL compliant (or contact them to verify they still wanted to receive messages.) The email system needed the following features to be CASL compliant:

  • Emails submitted by web form must be followed by up an email verification process.
  • It must be explicit who is sending the verification message and why.
  • The form must log IP address and date/time of the opt-in in case compliance needs to be proven at a later date.
  • The recipient of the email verification must be able to accept or deny the subscription.
  • The recipient must be able to unsubscribe at any time.

I added to this list my own requirements:

  • Email addresses must be stored securely (RSA encrypted.)
  • The system must prevent people from sending automated emails more than once to any given email address.

If you would like me to let you know when there is news about my MMORTS The Imperial Realm::Miranda, you can sign up for my mailing list here.

For official information on CASL, you might want to check out the CASL website.

Oh and by the way, that $10,000,000 fine I mentioned is per message.


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Comments


Robert Basler
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It turns out we can still email press, provided we follow some rules:

I am a legitimate business owner who uses bulk email to reach my customers. How will I be affected by these new anti-spam measures?

Legitimate businesses that use email to market their products to Canadians should not be negatively impacted by this legislation. The consent regime is based on existing marketplace best practices and uses a consumer opt-in approach, which stipulates that businesses must get express consent or implied consent prior to sending commercial electronic messages. Apart from express consent, consent to receive commercial messages is implied:

- where an existing business relationship exists with a customer or client, or
- the electronic messages are relevant to the recipient's business, role, function or duties, and the electronic address has been conspicuously published or disclosed, without a statement that the person does not wish to receive unsolicited commercial electronic messages.

https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/ecic-ceac.nsf/eng/gv00569.html


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