The Definition of Email Spam

Email spam is Unsolicited Bulk Email (UBE).

Unsolicited means that you lack affirmative consent from the recipient. If you found an address on a web page, on a mailing list, or on Usenet, you don't have consent. If you got an address in gift, sale or trade, you don't have consent. If someone gave you an address for a particular purpose (for example, a commercial transaction, information about your products, or after-sales support) you only have consent to use it for that particular purpose. Use for any other purpose requires a new consent.

Bulk means that you sent a substantively similar message to more than 200 addresses a day. A message that differs from recipient to recipient only by details (e.g. the recipient's name, account number, blocks of random words, characters, numbers, or non-rendered text) is the same message. A message that uses different wording to express the same idea is the same message. If you send the same message to 200 different people day after day, it's spam.

Russell Nelson
Last modified: Sat Dec 21 16:51:18 EST 2002