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Marketing Buzz 12/03

The golden state bans unsolicited e-mail.

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This story appears in the December 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Spam Slam

This holiday season, e-mail marketers should take their list and check it twice. Starting January 1, 2004, California has banned unsolicited commercial e-mail messages sent from the state or to any of its residents. As the country's most aggressive anti-spam measure, the law allows state residents to sue spammers for $1,000 per violation, up to $1 million.

"We now have a state law that makes compliance difficult," says J. Trevor Hughes, executive director of the Network Advertising Initiative, a trade group of e-mail marketing providers and tech companies. Hughes says 35 states have anti-spam legislations, most addressing phony return addresses and deceptive subject lines.

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