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MISSOURI REVISED STATUTES
TITLE 26. TRADE AND COMMERCE
CHAPTER 407. MERCHANDISING PRACTICES

ELECTRONIC MAIL PRACTICES
(Enacted in 2000)
Amended by House Bill 228 (2003)
(approved July 11, 2003; effective August 28, 2003)


§ 407.1120.  Definitions

    As used in sections 407.1120 to 407.1132, the following terms mean:

    (1) "Assist the transmission", actions taken by a person to provide substantial assistance or support which enables any person to formulate, compose, send, originate, initiate or transmit a commercial electronic mail message;

    (2) "Commercial electronic mail message", an electronic mail message sent for the purpose of promoting real property, goods or services for sale or lease. Commercial electronic mail message does not include:

    (a) An electronic mail message to which an interactive computer service provider has attached an advertisement in exchange for free use of an electronic mail account, when the user has agreed to such an arrangement;

    (b) An electronic mail message between persons with a prior business relationship; or

    (c) An electronic mail message between persons with a personal relationship;

    (3) "Electronic mail address", a destination, commonly expressed as a string of characters, to which electronic mail may be sent or delivered;

    (4) "Initiate the transmission", the action by the original sender of an electronic mail message, but not the action by any intervening interactive computer service that may handle or retransmit the message, unless such intervening interactive computer service assists in the transmission of an electronic mail message when it knows, or consciously avoids knowing, that the person initiating the transmission is engaged, or intends to engage, in any act or practice that violates sections 407.1120 to 407.1132;

    (5) "Interactive computer service", any information service, system or access software provider that provides or enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server, including specifically a service or system that provides access to the Internet and such systems operated or services offered by libraries or educational institutions;

    (6) "Internet domain name", a globally unique, hierarchical reference to an Internet host or service, assigned through centralized Internet naming authorities, comprising a series of character strings separated by periods, with the right-most string specifying the top of the hierarchy.


§ 407.1123.  Unsolicited electronic mail without either return e-mail address or toll-free number prohibited

    1. No person or entity conducting business in this state shall electronically mail (e-mail) or cause to be e-mailed, documents consisting of advertising material for the lease, sale, rental, gift offer or other disposition of any realty, goods, services or extensions of credit without a toll-free telephone number or valid sender operated return e-mail address that the recipient of the unsolicited documents may call or e-mail to notify the sender not to e-mail any further unsolicited documents.

    2. It is an unlawful merchandising practice pursuant to section 407.020 to assist in the transmission of an unsolicited commercial electronic mail message when the person providing the assistance knows, or consciously avoids knowing, that the initiator of the commercial electronic mail message is engaged, or intends to engage, in any act or practice that violates sections 407.1120 to 407.1132.

    3. As used in this section, the phrase "assist or initiate the transmission" does not include or refer to the transmission of any commercial electronic mail message by a telecommunications utility or Internet service provider to the extent that the telecommunications utility or Internet service provider merely carries such transmission over its network.


§ 407.1126.  Penalties

    It is an unlawful merchandising practice pursuant to section 407.020 to violate the provisions of sections 407.1120 to 407.1132.


§ 407.1129.  Damages

    1. Damages to the recipient of a commercial electronic mail message sent in violation of sections 407.1120 to 407.1132 are five hundred dollars, or actual damages, whichever is greater.

    2. Damages to an interactive computer service resulting from a violation of sections 407.1120 to 407.1132 are one thousand dollars, or actual damages, whichever is greater.


§ 407.1132.  Interactive computer service may block certain electronic mail without liability--federal law to control if enacted

    1. An interactive computer service may, upon its own initiative, block the receipt or transmission through its service of any commercial electronic mail that it reasonably believes is, or will be, sent in violation of sections 407.1120 to 407.1132.

    2. No interactive computer service may be held liable for any action voluntarily taken in good faith to block the receipt or transmission through its service of any commercial electronic mail which it reasonably believes is, or will be, sent in violation of sections 407.1120 to 407.1132.

    3. Sections 407.1120 to 407.1132 shall be of no force and effect on and after the date that federal law is enacted that prohibits or otherwise regulates the transmission of unsolicited commercial electronic mail messages.


§ 407.1135.  Definitions

    As used in sections 407.1135 to 407.1147, the following words and phrases mean:

    (1) "Commercial electronic mail", an electronic mail message sent for the purpose of encouraging the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods, or services;

    (2) "Electronic mail address", a destination, commonly expressed as a sequence of characters, to which commercial electronic mail may be sent or delivered;

    (3) "Established business relationship", an existing relationship formed by a voluntary communication between a person or entity and the recipient with or without an exchange of consideration, on the basis of an inquiry, application, purchase, or use by the recipient regarding products or services offered by such person or entity;

    (4) "Initiate the transmission", the action by the original sender of an unsolicited commercial electronic mail solicitation that results in receipt by a subscriber of that solicitation, including commercial electronic mail received by a subscriber which was sent by a third party at the request of or direction of the original sender;

    (5) "Subscriber", any person, corporation, partnership, or other entity who has subscribed to an interactive computer service and has been designated with one or more electronic mail addresses;

    (6) "Unsolicited commercial electronic mail", a commercial electronic mail message sent without the consent of the recipient, by a person with whom the recipient does not have an established business relationship, other than:

    (a) A commercial electronic mail message responding to an inquiry from a subscriber who has requested further information and provided a commercial electronic mail address;

    (b) A commercial electronic mail message initiated by a person licensed by the state of Missouri to carry out a trade, occupation, or profession who is setting or attempting to set an appointment for actions related to that licensed trade, occupation, or profession;

    (c) A commercial electronic mail message sent to a subscriber that was in an established business relationship with the sender, including a parent or subsidiary business organization of the sender that shares the same brand name, within the previous twenty-four months unless the recipient requests to be removed from the entity's electronic mail list in accordance with section 407.1123;

    (d) A commercial electronic mail communication sent to a subscriber from an original sender which is a bank, farm credit service, or credit union shall not be considered unsolicited commercial electronic mail for purposes of section 407.1135 to 407.1147;

    (e) A commercial electronic mail message that is sent to a subscriber from an original sender who has a personal relationship with the subscriber; or

    (f) A commercial electronic mail message from the original sender that is indirectly received by a subscriber when another subscriber voluntarily forwards that communication without the knowledge of the original sender and without any consideration provided by the original sender to the subscriber forwarding the communication.


§ 407.1141.  Prohibited acts -- rulemaking authority, attorney general

    1. It shall be a violation of this section for any person or entity who initiates the transmission of any commercial electronic mail message to any subscriber in this state to provide a false identity or false or misleading information in the subject line.

    2. It shall be a violation of this section for any person that sends an unsolicited commercial electronic mail message to fail to use the exact characters "ADV:" as the first four characters in the subject line of the unsolicited commercial electronic mail message.

    3. It shall be a violation of this section for any person that sends an unsolicited commercial electronic mail message that contains obscene material as defined in section 573.010, RSMo, or references a web site that contains obscene material to fail to use the exact characters "ADV:ADLT" as the first eight characters in the subject line of the unsolicited commercial electronic mail message that contains obscene material.

    4. It shall be a violation of this section to initiate the transmission of any unsolicited commercial electronic mail to a subscriber in this state who has notified a sender not to initiate the transmission of any further unsolicited commercial electronic mail. For purposes of this subsection, a subscriber is deemed to have notified a sender not to initiate the transmission of any further unsolicited commercial electronic mail if the subscriber:

    (1) Replies to a sender at the valid sender-operated return electronic mail address or the sender's toll-free telephone number with directions not to initiate the transmission of any further unsolicited commercial electronic mail as provided in section 407.1123; or

    (2) Otherwise gives actual notice to a sender not to initiate the transmission of further unsolicited commercial electronic mail; or

    (3) Notifies the attorney general if a sender fails to provide a toll-free telephone number or valid sender-operated return electronic mail address as required by section 407.1123.

    5. The attorney general shall promulgate rules and regulations as he or she deems necessary and appropriate to fully implement the provisions of sections 407.1135 to 407.1141.


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