Canadian Magazine Industry News
14 February 2013,     TORONTO
Magazines Canada responds to anti-spam regulations
Moving forward with Industry Canada's anti-spam legislation (CASL) will harm the country's magazine industry, hampering its ability to engage with and serve consumers, says Magazines Canada. "This will be bad for business and will generate consumer frustration in an economic environment that can only be described as fragile," reads a statement posted on Magazine Canada's website.

CASL's regulations are meant to deter spam mail and messaging, but Magazines Canada maintains that unclear language regarding messages that are sent "on behalf of" another person will unnecessarily restrict a publisher's ability to interact with consumers in ways consumers don't regard as spamming, such as third party donors buying magazine subscriptions as gifts.

"Can the donor send the initial email to a publisher to request to pay for a gift subscription? Once the donor has paid, what rights does the publisher have to actually send a commercial electronic message to the recipient of the subscription?" reads Magazines Canada's response.

Other points of contention include what the organization says is outdated language regarding digital communications: "Today, consumer sophistication and technological advances bear little resemblance to the year 2000, the date after which the discussions driving CASL began." According to Magazines Canda, CASL's intended "higher threshold for the collection and use of consent for the particular activities being regulated" are unnecessary, and the current standards of 'opt out' and 'unsubscribe' mechanisms are already accepted by Canadians while also allowing magazines to engage consumer interest.

With the aim to help delay the current draft regulations from IC and the CRTC, Magazines Canada has joined the Coalition of Business and Technology Asoociations (CBTA), comprising business organizations across a range of sectors, including the Canadian Bankers Association, Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, and the Retail Council of Canada.

Both CASL's and Magazines Canada's submissions to the CASL regulations are available for download on Magazines Canada's website. Visit Industry Canada for more on its anti-spam legislation.

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