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THE DMA SUPPORTS HOUSE PASSAGE OF NATIONAL ANTI- SPAM LAW
NEW YORK, November 22, 2003 – The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) today expressed its support to James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), W.J. "Billy" Tauzin (R-LA),John Dingell (D-MI), Richard Burr (R-NC), Tom Delay (R-TX), and the United States House of Representatives for the passage of the CAN-SPAM Act. The bill effectively creates a national standard for e-mail that clearly distinguishes legitimate commercial e-mail from unlawful spam, and imposes tough criminal penalties, including jail time, on spammers.
The DMA is concerned, however, about the inclusion of provisions that could potentially lead to the creation of a do-not-e-mail registry and/or a labeling requirement. These approaches will do nothing to reduce spam in consumers’ in-boxes while impeding the growth of legitimate e-mail communications.
"A national anti-spam law is an important victory in the battle against spam because, with tough national enforcement measures, it cracks down with criminal penalties on some of the worst practices," said H. Robert Wientzen, president and CEO, The DMA. "We hope that the president will act quickly to sign this crucial consumer protection measure into law, and help restore and enable an e-mail environment of greater transparency."
"But no one should hold the illusion that any law can defeat the spam epidemic by itself," said Wientzen. "In addition to technological solutions, it is critical that the spam problem is meaningfully addressed by law enforcement. We finally have a national anti-spam law; now it’s time for federal and state governments to get serious about devoting money and resources to go after the bad guys."
"Provisions in the bill for a do-not-e-mail list or labeling are not the silver bullet to stopping spam, and Congress should be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater," said Wientzen. "Spammers hide in the shadows of cyberspace – concealing their identities, sometimes committing fraud, and never respecting the wishes of consumers. Our members, and other legitimate marketers across the country, respect consumers’ preferences and adhere to the pillars of responsible e-mail."
"Spammers, who already spend much of their ‘workdays’ devising methods to evade the latest spam filtering technologies, show no signs that they would suddenly comply with a no-spam list or include labels in their e-mails for easy deletion," said Wientzen. "At the end of the day, a do-not-e-mail list and labels would only serve to punish law-abiding small- and mid-sized companies, who are trying to break into the marketplace, while doing absolutely nothing to stop the most egregious perpetuators of spam."
The DMA is the leading trade association for businesses interested in interactive and database marketing, with nearly 4,700 member companies from the United States and 53 other nations. Founded in 1917, its members include direct marketers from every business segment as well as the nonprofit and electronic marketing sectors. Included are catalogers, Internet retailers and service providers, financial services providers, book and magazine publishers, book and music clubs, retail stores, industrial manufacturers and a host of other vertical segments, including the service industries that support them. According to a DMA-commissioned economic-impact study, direct and interactive marketing sales in the United States are projected to have surpassed $1.7 trillion in 2003, including $133 billion in catalog sales and $41 billion in sales generated by the Internet. The DMA’s Web site iswww.the-dma.org, and its consumer Web site is www.shopthenet.org.