The California appellate court’s decision in Balsam v. Trancos requires marketers nationwide using commercial email advertisements to include in the from line of each email a domain name that is registered to the sender which can be determined by performing a WHOIS look-up, or the name of the sender or marketer on whose behalf the email was sent. Therefore, under this ruling, marketers – and the companies they hire including affiliate networks – can no longer send commercial email that contains both a generic from line and is sent from a proxy/privately registered domain name. Marketers nationwide must take immediate action to ensure compliance with this latest development in anti-spam law.
The California Anti-Spam Statute and CAN-SPAM
California Business and Professions Code § 17529.5(a)(2) prohibits commercial email which “contains or is accompanied by falsified, misrepresented, or forged header information.” B&P Code § 17529.5(a)(2) is substantially similar to § 7704(a)(1) of CAN-SPAM, prohibiting commercial email “that contains, or is accompanied by, header information that is materially false or materially misleading.” B&P Code § 17529.5(a)(2) applies to marketers and their affiliate marketers who either send commercial emails from California or send commercial emails to California consumers.
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