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Spam Bill 2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spam Act 2003

 

No. 129, 2003

 

 

 

 

 

An Act about spam, and for related purposes

   

   

   



Contents

Part 1—Introduction                                                                                                               1

1............ Short title............................................................................................ 1

2............ Commencement.................................................................................. 2

3............ Simplified outline................................................................................ 3

4............ Definitions.......................................................................................... 3

5............ Electronic messages............................................................................ 9

6............ Commercial electronic messages....................................................... 10

7............ Australian link.................................................................................. 11

8............ Authorising the sending of electronic messages................................ 12

9............ Sending of electronic messages—carriage service providers............. 13

10.......... Continuity of partnerships............................................................... 13

11.......... Extended meaning of use ................................................................... 13

12.......... Crown to be bound........................................................................... 13

13.......... Extension to external Territories....................................................... 13

14.......... Extra-territorial application.............................................................. 14

Part 2—Rules about sending commercial electronic messages                  15

15.......... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 15

16.......... Unsolicited commercial electronic messages must not be sent......... 15

17.......... Commercial electronic messages must include accurate sender information            17

18.......... Commercial electronic messages must contain a functional unsubscribe facility     18

Part 3—Rules about address-harvesting software and harvested-address lists      21

19.......... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 21

20.......... Address-harvesting software and harvested-address lists must not be supplied    21

21.......... Address-harvesting software and harvested-address lists must not be acquired     23

22.......... Address-harvesting software and harvested-address lists must not be used           24

Part 4—Civil penalties                                                                                                        25

23.......... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 25

24.......... Pecuniary penalties for contravention of civil penalty provisions... 25

25.......... Maximum penalties for contravention of civil penalty provisions.. 26

26.......... Civil action for recovery of pecuniary penalties.............................. 28

27.......... Criminal proceedings not to be brought for contravention of civil penalty provisions           29

28.......... Ancillary orders—compensation...................................................... 29

29.......... Ancillary orders—recovery of financial benefit............................... 30

30.......... Schedule 3 (infringement notices)..................................................... 30

Part 5—Injunctions                                                                                                                31

31.......... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 31

32.......... Injunctions........................................................................................ 31

33.......... Interim injunctions............................................................................ 32

34.......... Discharge etc. of injunctions............................................................. 32

35.......... Certain limits on granting injunctions not to apply.......................... 32

36.......... Other powers of the Federal Court unaffected................................. 33

Part 6—Enforceable undertakings                                                                               34

37.......... Simplified outline.............................................................................. 34

38.......... Acceptance of undertakings.............................................................. 34

39.......... Enforcement of undertakings............................................................ 34

40.......... Assessment of compensation for breach of undertaking.................. 35

Part 7—Miscellaneous                                                                                                        36

41.......... Formal warnings—breach of civil penalty provision....................... 36

42.......... Additional ACA functions............................................................... 36

43.......... Operation of State and Territory laws............................................. 36

44.......... Implied freedom of political communication.................................... 37

45.......... Giving effect to international conventions........................................ 37

46.......... Review of operation of Act.............................................................. 37

47.......... Regulations....................................................................................... 38

Schedule 1—Designated commercial electronic messages 39

1............ Object............................................................................................... 39

2............ Factual information........................................................................... 39

3............ Government bodies, political parties, religious organisations and charities             40

4............ Educational institutions.................................................................... 40

5............ Regulations....................................................................................... 41

Schedule 2—Consent                                                                                                 42

1............ Object............................................................................................... 42

2............ Basic definition................................................................................. 42

3............ Users of account authorised to consent on behalf of relevant electronic account-holder        42

4............ When consent may be inferred from publication of an electronic address               43

5............ Regulations about consent................................................................ 44

6............ When withdrawal of consent takes effect......................................... 44

Schedule 3—Infringement notices                                                               46

1............ Object............................................................................................... 46

2............ Definitions........................................................................................ 46

3............ When an infringement notice can be given........................................ 46

4............ Matters to be included in an infringement notice............................. 47

5............ Amount of penalty........................................................................... 48

6............ Withdrawal of an infringement notice............................................... 49

7............ What happens if the penalty is paid................................................ 50

8............ Effect of this Schedule on civil proceedings..................................... 50

9............ Appointment of authorised person.................................................. 51

10.......... Regulations....................................................................................... 51

 



 

 

Spam Act 2003

No. 129, 2003

 

 

 

An Act about spam, and for related purposes

[ Assented to 12 December 2003 ]

The Parliament of Australia enacts:



Schedule 1 Designated commercial electronic messages

Note:       See section 4.

   

   

1   Object

                   The object of this Schedule is to define the expression designated commercial electronic message .

Note 1:       Designated commercial electronic messages must comply with section 17 (commercial electronic messages must include information about the individual or organisation who authorised the sending of the message).

Note 2:       Designated commercial electronic messages are exempt from section 16 (unsolicited commercial electronic messages must not be sent) and section 18 (commercial electronic messages must contain a functional unsubscribe facility).

2   Factual information

             (1)  For the purposes of this Act, an electronic message is a designated commercial electronic message if:

                     (a)  the message consists of no more than factual information (with or without directly-related comment) and any or all of the following additional information:

                              (i)  the name, logo and contact details of the individual or organisation who authorised the sending of the message;

                             (ii)  the name and contact details of the author;

                            (iii)  if the author is an employee—the name, logo and contact details of the author’s employer;

                            (iv)  if the author is a partner in a partnership—the name, logo and contact details of the partnership;

                             (v)  if the author is a director or officer of an organisation—the name, logo and contact details of the organisation;

                            (vi)  if the message is sponsored—the name, logo and contact details of the sponsor;

                           (vii)  information required to be included by section 17;

                           (viii)  information that would have been required to be included by section 18 if that section had applied to the message; and

                     (b)  assuming that none of that additional information had been included in the message, the message would not have been a commercial electronic message; and

                     (c)  the message complies with such other condition or conditions (if any) as are specified in the regulations.

3   Government bodies, political parties, religious organisations and charities

                   For the purposes of this Act, an electronic message is a designated commercial electronic message if:

                     (a)  the sending of the message is authorised by any of the following bodies:

                              (i)  a government body;

                             (ii)  a registered political party;

                            (iii)  a religious organisation;

                            (iv)  a charity or charitable institution; and

                     (b)  the message relates to goods or services; and

                     (c)  the body is the supplier, or prospective supplier, of the goods or services concerned.

4   Educational institutions

                   For the purposes of this Act, an electronic message is a designated commercial electronic message if:

                     (a)  the sending of the message is authorised by an educational institution; and

                     (b)  either or both of the following subparagraphs applies:

                              (i)  the relevant electronic account-holder is, or has been, enrolled as a student in that institution;

                             (ii)  a member or former member of the household of the relevant electronic account-holder is, or has been, enrolled as a student in that institution; and

                     (c)  the message relates to goods or services; and

                     (d)  the institution is the supplier, or prospective supplier, of the goods or services concerned.

5   Regulations

                   The regulations may provide that a specified kind of electronic message is a designated commercial electronic message for the purposes of this Act.



 

Schedule 2 Consent

Note:       See section 4.

   

   

1   Object

                   The object of this Schedule is to define the expression consent , when used in relation to the sending of an electronic message.

Note:          The concept of consent is relevant to section 16 (unsolicited commercial electronic messages must not be sent). Subsection 16(2) provides that a contravention of subsection 16(1) does not happen if the relevant electronic account-holder consented to the sending of the message.

2   Basic definition

                   For the purposes of this Act, consent means:

                     (a)  express consent; or

                     (b)  consent that can reasonably be inferred from:

                              (i)  the conduct; and

                             (ii)  the business and other relationships;

                            of the individual or organisation concerned.

3   Users of account authorised to consent on behalf of relevant electronic account-holder

             (1)  For the purposes of this Act, if a person other than the relevant electronic account-holder uses the relevant account to send an electronic message about:

                     (a)  consent; or

                     (b)  withdrawal of consent; or

                     (c)  refusal of consent;

that person is taken to have been authorised to send that message on behalf of the relevant electronic account-holder.

             (2)  Subclause (1) does not, by implication, limit the circumstances in which a person other than the relevant electronic account-holder may:

                     (a)  consent; or

                     (b)  withdraw consent; or

                     (c)  refuse consent;

on behalf of the relevant electronic account-holder.

4   When consent may be inferred from publication of an electronic address

             (1)  For the purposes of this Act, the consent of the relevant electronic account-holder may not be inferred from the mere fact that the relevant electronic address has been published.

Exception—conspicuous publication

             (2)  However, if:

                     (a)  a particular electronic address enables the public, or a section of the public, to send electronic messages to:

                              (i)  a particular employee; or

                             (ii)  a particular director or officer of an organisation; or

                            (iii)  a particular partner in a partnership; or

                            (iv)  a particular holder of a statutory or other office; or

                             (v)  a particular self-employed individual; or

                            (vi)  an individual from time to time holding, occupying or performing the duties of, a particular office or position within the operations of an organisation; or

                           (vii)  an individual, or a group of individuals, from time to time performing a particular function, or fulfilling a particular role, within the operations of an organisation; and

                     (b)  the electronic address has been conspicuously published; and

                     (c)  it would be reasonable to assume that the publication occurred with the agreement of:

                              (i)  if subparagraph (a)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv) or (v) applies—the employee, director, officer, partner, office-holder or self-employed individual concerned; or

                             (ii)  if subparagraph (a)(vi) or (vii) applies—the organisation concerned; and

                     (d)  the publication is not accompanied by:

                              (i)  a statement to the effect that the relevant electronic account-holder does not want to receive unsolicited commercial electronic messages at that electronic address; or

                             (ii)  a statement to similar effect;

the relevant electronic account-holder is taken, for the purposes of this Act, to have consented to the sending of commercial electronic messages to that address, so long as the messages are relevant to:

                     (e)  if subparagraph (a)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv) or (v) applies—the work-related business, functions or duties of the employee, director, officer, partner, office-holder or self-employed individual concerned; or

                      (f)  if subparagraph (a)(vi) applies—the office or position concerned; or

                     (g)  if subparagraph (a)(vii) applies—the function or role concerned.

5   Regulations about consent

             (1)  The regulations may provide that, for the purposes of this Act, the consent of a relevant electronic account-holder may not be inferred in the circumstances specified in the regulations.

             (2)  The regulations may provide that, for the purposes of this Act, the consent of a relevant electronic account-holder may be inferred in the circumstances specified in the regulations.

6   When withdrawal of consent takes effect

             (1)  For the purposes of this Act, if:

                     (a)  one or more electronic messages have been sent to the relevant electronic account-holder’s electronic address; and

                     (b)  the relevant electronic account-holder has consented to the sending of those commercial electronic messages to that electronic address; and

                     (c)  an individual or organisation authorised the sending of those commercial electronic messages to that electronic address; and

                     (d)  the relevant electronic account-holder, or a user of the relevant account, sends the individual or organisation:

                              (i)  a message to the effect that the account-holder does not want to receive any further commercial electronic messages at that electronic address from or authorised by that individual or organisation; or

                             (ii)  a message to similar effect;

the withdrawal of consent takes effect at the end of the period of 5 business days beginning on:

                     (e)  if the message referred to in paragraph (d) is an electronic message—the day on which the message was sent; or

                      (f)  if the message referred to in paragraph (d) was sent by post—the day on which service of the message was effected (see section 29 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 ); or

                     (g)  in any other case—the day on which the message was delivered.

             (2)  For the purposes of subclause (1), a business day is a day that is not a Saturday, a Sunday or a public holiday in:

                     (a)  if the message referred to in paragraph (1)(d) is an electronic message—the place to which the message was sent; or

                     (b)  if the message referred to in paragraph (1)(d) was sent by post—the place to which the message was sent; or

                     (c)  in any other case—the place where the message was delivered.



 

Schedule 3 Infringement notices

Note:       See section 30.

   

   

1   Object

                   The object of this Schedule is to set up a system of infringement notices for contraventions of civil penalty provisions as an alternative to the institution of proceedings in the Federal Court.

2   Definitions

                   In this Schedule:

authorised person means:

                     (a)  the Chairman of the ACA; or

                     (b)  a member of the staff of the ACA appointed under clause 9.

civil contravention means a contravention of a civil penalty provision.

infringement notice means an infringement notice under clause 3.

3   When an infringement notice can be given

             (1)  If an authorised person has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has, on a particular day, committed one or more contraventions of a particular civil penalty provision, the authorised person may give to the person an infringement notice relating to those contraventions.

             (2)  An infringement notice must be given within 12 months after the day on which the civil contraventions are alleged to have taken place.

             (3)  This clause does not authorise the giving of 2 or more infringement notices to a person in relation to contraventions of a particular civil penalty provision that allegedly occurred on the same day.

4   Matters to be included in an infringement notice

             (1)  An infringement notice must:

                     (a)  set out the name of the person to whom the notice is given; and

                     (b)  set out the name of the authorised person who gave the notice; and

                     (c)  either:

                              (i)  set out brief details of each of the alleged civil contraventions; or

                             (ii)  be accompanied by one or more data processing devices that contain, in electronic form, brief details of each of the alleged civil contraventions; and

                     (d)  contain a statement to the effect that the matter or matters will not be dealt with by the Federal Court if the penalty specified in the notice is paid to the ACA, on behalf of the Commonwealth, within:

                              (i)  28 days after the notice is given; or

                             (ii)  if the ACA allows a longer period—that longer period; and

                     (e)  give an explanation of how payment of the penalty is to be made; and

                      (f)  set out such other matters (if any) as are specified by the regulations.

Note:          For the amount of penalty, see clause 5.

             (2)  For the purposes of paragraph (1)(c), the brief details must include the following information in relation to each alleged civil contravention:

                     (a)  the date of the alleged contravention;

                     (b)  the civil penalty provision that was allegedly contravened.

             (3)  Subparagraph (1)(c)(ii) does not authorise the inclusion of information in a data processing device unless, at the time the infringement notice was given, it was reasonable to expect that the information would be readily accessible so as to be useable for subsequent reference.

             (4)  This clause does not limit the operation of the Electronic Transactions Act 1999 .

5   Amount of penalty

Infringement notice given to a body corporate

             (1)  The penalty to be specified in an infringement notice given to a body corporate must be a pecuniary penalty equal to the number of penalty units worked out using the table:

 

Number of penalty units

Item

In this case...

the number of penalty units is...

1

the notice relates to a single alleged contravention of subsection 16(1), (6) or (9)

20

2

the notice relates to more than 1, but fewer than 50, alleged contraventions of subsection 16(1), (6) or (9)

the number obtained by multiplying 20 by the number of alleged contraventions

3

the notice relates to 50 or more alleged contraventions of subsection 16(1), (6) or (9)

1,000

4

the notice relates to a single alleged contravention of a civil penalty provision other than subsection 16(1), (6) or (9)

10

5

the notice relates to more than 1, but fewer than 50, alleged contraventions of a civil penalty provision other than subsection 16(1), (6) or (9)

the number obtained by multiplying 10 by the number of alleged contraventions

6

the notice relates to 50 or more alleged contraventions of a civil penalty provision other than subsection 16(1), (6) or (9)

500

Infringement notice given to a person other than a body corporate

             (2)  The penalty to be specified in an infringement notice given to a person other than a body corporate must be a pecuniary penalty equal to the number of penalty units worked out using the table:

 

Number of penalty units

Item

In this case...

the number of penalty units is...

1

the notice relates to a single alleged contravention of subsection 16(1), (6) or (9)

4

2

the notice relates to more than 1, but fewer than 50, alleged contraventions of subsection 16(1), (6) or (9)

the number obtained by multiplying 4 by the number of alleged contraventions

3

the notice relates to 50 or more alleged contraventions of subsection 16(1), (6) or (9)

200

4

the notice relates to a single alleged contravention of a civil penalty provision other than subsection 16(1), (6) or (9)

2

5

the notice relates to more than 1, but fewer than 50, alleged contraventions of a civil penalty provision other than subsection 16(1), (6) or (9)

the number obtained by multiplying 2 by the number of alleged contraventions

6

the notice relates to 50 or more alleged contraventions of a civil penalty provision other than subsection 16(1), (6) or (9)

100

6   Withdrawal of an infringement notice

             (1)  This clause applies if an infringement notice is given to a person.

             (2)  An authorised person may, by written notice (the withdrawal notice ) given to the person, withdraw the infringement notice.

             (3)  To be effective, the withdrawal notice must be given to the person within 28 days after the infringement notice was given.

Refund of penalty if infringement notice withdrawn

             (4)  If:

                     (a)  the penalty specified in the infringement notice is paid; and

                     (b)  the infringement notice is withdrawn after the penalty is paid;

the Commonwealth is liable to refund the penalty.

7   What happens if the penalty is paid

             (1)  This clause applies if:

                     (a)  an infringement notice relating to one or more alleged civil contraventions is given to a person; and

                     (b)  the penalty is paid in accordance with the infringement notice; and

                     (c)  the infringement notice is not withdrawn.

             (2)  Any liability of the person for the alleged civil contraventions is discharged.

             (3)  Proceedings under Part 4 may not be brought against the person for the alleged civil contraventions.

8   Effect of this Schedule on civil proceedings

                   This Schedule does not:

                     (a)  require an infringement notice to be given in relation to an alleged civil contravention; or

                     (b)  affect the liability of a person to have proceedings under Part 4 brought against the person for an alleged civil contravention if:

                              (i)  the person does not comply with an infringement notice relating to the contravention; or

                             (ii)  an infringement notice relating to the contravention is not given to the person; or

                            (iii)  an infringement notice relating to the contravention is given to the person and subsequently withdrawn; or

                     (c)  limit the Federal Court’s discretion to determine the amount of a penalty to be imposed on a person who is found in proceedings under Part 4 to have committed a civil contravention.

9   Appointment of authorised person

                   The ACA may, by writing, appoint a member of the staff of the ACA as an authorised person for the purposes of this Schedule.

10   Regulations

                   The regulations may make further provision in relation to infringement notices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

[ Minister’s second reading speech made in—

House of Representatives on 18 September 2003

Senate on 13 October 2003 ]

(150/03)