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[epub] Re: New MI and UT email compliance laws, July 1st enacted - update!
Hi gang.

I'm still investigating these laws but, at least as far as Michigan is concerned, I think everybody can stand down.

I'm still waiting for a return call from the MI Attorney General but, basically, this isn't a case of the state of MI looking for a back-door email tax cash cow or a bunch of bureaucrats who hate small businesses. This is a case of a bunch of fairly naive but well-meaning people in state government who are hoping that there will be a few law-abiding smut peddlers out there who will play by the rules.

I've learned (so far unconfirmed) that:

-- unless you sell the obviously prohibited stuff (sex, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, etc.), you don't have to worry about list-scrubbing duties

-- publishers who have rotating ads on their site will not be held liable for the ads or other content on the sites of their advertisers (although I wouldn't sell ads to Viagra peddlers if I were you)

-- the state Attorney General is not going to even launch an investigation unless they get a complaint of a violation from a parent whose child's email addy was listed in the registry, and that parent has to provide PROOF of a violation (there will be no 'girlfriend with a grudge' scenarios)

-- they take semantics to new levels here, saying that products like cell phone service, credit cards, contests and automobiles are not among "products that cannot be purchased by minors" - because you don't BUY a contract (as in cell service), you SIGN a contract and, as it was pointed out to me, a minor CAN buy a car, they just can't drive it off the lot ...

As I said, I still have to confirm the above with the AG office in Michigan (and I haven't even started hounding the people in Utah yet) but I wanted to update everybody. A lot of us (including me) had our hair catch fire when we first heard about this stuff and, at least in the case of one of these states, it's looking like it's not as bad as it sounded at first.


Dawn Rivers Baker Editor/Publisher

The MicroEnterprise Journal
Where the nation's business meets microbusiness.
P.O. Box 41
Sidney, NY 13838

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