Australia's Spam Legislation: A Modern-Day King Canute?
Monash University - Department of Business Law & Taxation
Monash U. Department of Business Law & Taxation Research Paper No. 3
This paper considers a number of aspects of Australia's recently introduced unsolicited commercial email (UCE or spam) legislation, the Spam Act 2003 (Cth). The magnitude and nature of the harm caused by the spam problem is outlined, as are the key provisions of the legislation enacted in an attempt to reduce spam. Observations are made as to some of the perceived shortcomings of the Act, and of lawmakers' approaches in general in trying to legislate against spam. The fundamentals of Australia's legislative approach are contrasted with those of the corresponding US legislation and some key distinctions drawn, notably the Opt-In/Opt-Out dichotomy, Australia having used the former approach, while the US used the latter. Some alternative approaches and suggested enhancements to the Australian legislation are also considered, including proposals by Bill Gates and Lawrence Lessig. Finally there is a summary of and some limited comment on the first case brought under the Australian legislation.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Keywords: Spam, Unsolicited Commercial Email, Internet Law
Date posted: July 17, 2006