Friday, 23 March 2007

Email Marketer helps Spamhaus

This is Derek Harding. Derek is the CEO of an email marketing service provider. No, wait, don't hate him. His company, Innovyx, has signed an amicus brief to support Spamhaus's defence against e360Insight's lawsuit.

(If you've been living under a rock recently, you might not be aware that e360 objected to Spamhaus's assertion that it sent spam, despite numerous documented examples.)

Derek obviously comes at this from a different angle from us spam-haters, but it's nonetheless interesting and a useful addition to the debate. His opinion piece makes interesting reading as a level-header clarion call to legitimate email marketers to do the right thing. Here are some edited highlights:

Everyone knows spam is a problem ... the e-mail infrastructure is under serious attack and is struggling to cope. Meanwhile, many marketers view anything that restricts their ability to send whatever they desire as something to be fought. At best, blocklists and spam filtering systems are viewed as inconveniences to be evaded and worked around. At worst, they're seen as an illegal restraint on trade to be attacked in the courts. Best practices can be ignored when it's inconvenient, and the law is the minimum that you can get away with.
...
Spamhaus fills an important, even vital, role. They deserve our support ... What's in it for us is the survival of e-mail. Poor list hygiene, acceptance of bad practices, refusal to outlaw spam, and failure to support organizations like Spamhaus threaten to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. We must stop being part of the problem and become part of the solution. We must look past getting this specific e-mail delivered to the bigger picture of ensuring e-mail remains a viable medium.

Richi sez: good stuff. Spamhaus is not the enemy of legitimate email marketers who send to people after having obtained informed consent and who honour the withdrawal of said consent.

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