California Appeals Court Issues Important Ruling on Commercial E-mail


The California Court of Appeal has held that California’s

anti-spam statute (1) is not pre-empted by the federal

CAN-SPAM Act, and (2) that it imposes strict liability for

anyone who advertises in a commercial e-mail that violates

the California statute, whether or not such advertiser has

knowledge of the violation.

The plaintiff in Hypertouch, Inc. v. ValueClick, Inc., provides

e-mail service to about 100 customers inside and outside

California. Hypertouch filed suit against defendants

ValueClick, various ValueClick subsidiaries and PrimaryAds,

claiming that they violated Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §

17529.5(a) which provides:

It is unlawful for any person or entity to advertise in

a commercial e-mail advertisement either sent from

California or sent to a California electronic mail address

under any of the following circumstances...

Please see full alert below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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