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Proposed EU Directive on Electronic Commerce

  • From: (Beebit)
  • Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 23:37:12 GMT
  • Organization: European Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email
  • Reply-to:

If you have not done so already, please have a look at
which contains text and commentary on a proposed EU Directive.  Of
particular interest to this forum is:-

Article 7
Unsolicited commercial communication

Member States shall lay down in their legislation that unsolicited
commercial communication by electronic mail must be clearly and
unequivocally identifiable as such as soon as it is received by the


This Article deals with spamming practices, i.e. the sending of
unsolicited e-mail to consumers or discussion groups. The need to protect
the consumer demands solutions over and above those which already exist in
Article 10(2) of Directive 97/7/EC 23 and Article 12(2) of European
Parliament and Council Directive 97/66/EC concerning the processing of
personal data and the protection of privacy in the telecommunications

This Article requires unsolicited communications to have a specific message
on the envelope so that the recipient can instantly identify it as a
commercial communication without having to open it.


In its "raw" form, the proposed Directive would do nothing to address the
problem of "cost shifting" which causes most of the opposition to
Unsolicited Broadcast Email.  It is being suggested in discussions within
the German Multimedia Association that the "labeling" requirement would
facilitate server-side filtering.

Server-side filtering would eliminate storage costs as the offending
material would never make it to the POP3 mailbox, and of course eliminate
the direct costs (connect time and telecommunications charges) paid by the
subscriber.  Set against this would be costs of implementing and
maintaining the filters and possible degradation of network performance as
the external pipes are still full of traffic which no one wants.

I would be very interested in seeing the reactions of ISP operators to this
provision of the proposed Directive.

George W. Mills, pro-tempore Chair
European Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email
Spammer - Schwarzfahrer der Infobahn (Bezahlen muessen Andere)
        - Fare dodger on the Infobahn (Others must pay)
Help put an end to the free ride for yUCErs,

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