Spam—unsolicited, unwanted commercial communication, especially in bulk
form—is increasingly included in the areas of concern and regulation of
governments worldwide. Unfortunately, this recognized and exponentially
growing menace has not yet met its regulatory match. Piecemeal controls, lack
of international cooperation, and the absence of an overall policy on
combating patently intrusive and unwanted messages in all channels of
communication hamper the struggle. The present volume contains eleven national
reports, together with a general report, on this major problem that is
presently burdening and distorting communications through the Internet. Most
of the reports were presented at the XVIIth Congress of the International
Academy of Comparative Law held at Utrecht, the Netherlands on July 19, 2006.
The authors have had the opportunity to revise and update their texts before
they were submitted here for publication. The national reports are from
Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain, South Africa,
Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Starting from some
common assumptions—including respect for freedom of expression; emphasis on
“unsolicited,” “bulk”, “automated” messages to strangers; and non-interference
with the normal use of the Internet—the contributors set out to tackle spammer
elusiveness and the difficulties of cross-border coordination that plague this
field. Among the broadly conceived legal responses they consider are the
making spam illegal;
empowering the user to avoid and repel spam;
laws governing confidentiality of personal data;
application of “unfair competition” laws;
and conscripting the service providers to block spam in its tracks through a
variety of controls
The reports provide documentation and analysis of the various ways in
which these approaches have been used, or can be used, in legislation and case
law in a variety of national and international fora. Workers in all fields of
communications, from technologists to legal practitioners and academics to
administrative policymakers, will benefit enormously from these syntheses and
General Report. Chapter 1. Denmark. Chapter 2. France.
Chapter 3. Germany. Chapter 4. Greece. Chapter 5. Italy.
Chapter 6. Poland. Chapter 7. South Africa. Chapter 8.
Spain. Chapter 9. Switzerland. Chapter 10. United Kingdom.
Chapter 11. United States of America.