On December 4, 2013, the Honourable James Moore, Minister of
Industry announced that Canada's new anti-spam law (CASL) will
come into force on July 1, 2014.
Concurrent with this announcement, Industry Canada published its
finalized Electronic Commerce Protection Regulations
(ECPR) with respect to CASL. These regulations were released in
response to concerns that its initial set of regulations imposed
unnecessary and overly burdensome requirements with respect to the
dissemination of commercial electronic messages (CEMs).
After further consultation, Industry Canada introduced a degree
of increased flexibility in the ECPR by including, among other
things, changes related to familial relationships, excluded CEMs,
and the definitions of specified computer programs. In
effect, the ECPR now:
defines "family relationship" to mean individuals
who: (i) are related to one another through a marriage, common-law
partnership, or as parent and child; and (ii) have had voluntary,
direct, two-way communication;
excludes CEMs, for example:
sent to personnel within an organization if the CEM concerns
the activities of the organization;
sent to personnel from one organization to another if the
organizations have a relationship and the CEM concerns the
activities of the organization to which the CEM is sent;
sent to a limited-access secure and confidential account to
which messages can only be sent by the person who provides the
account to the person who receives the message;
sent to satisfy a legal or juridical obligation, or enforce a
right arising under a law of Canada, of a province or
municipality of Canada or of a foreign state;
that will be accessed in a foreign state (listed in the
schedule to the ECPR) and the CEM conforms to the law of the
sent by or on behalf of a registered charity;
sent by or on behalf of a political party or organization;
broadens the circumstances in which installation of a specified
computer program is exempt from consent.
As CASL will be in force on July 1, 2014, the full impact and
application of the CASL, and its corresponding regulations,
currently remain uncertain. It is expected that this
legislation will invariably: (i) have a broad application
(notwithstanding the somewhat increased flexibility introduced by
the ECPR) and (ii) impose relatively onerous requirements on
businesses that rely on CEMs.
In anticipation of this new law, businesses should be aware of
the forgoing requirements, and should begin (or continue) the
process of ensuring that their internal policies and procedures
comply with same.
To this end, it will also be important for businesses which
operate in the U.S. and send CEMs to Canadians to note that the
CASL requirements will be in addition to those prescribed in the
U.S. Can-Spam Act. As a result, it will be important
for such entities to also adapt to, and comply with, these laws as
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Software license agreements generally require the customer to pay fees for the software license and related services, which fees are usually based upon the duration of the license and the manner in which the customer is allowed to use the software, together with applicable taxes and withholdings.
In less than nine months, on July 1, 2017, persons affected by a contravention of Canada's anti-spam legislation will be able to invoke a private right of action to sue for compensation and potentially substantial statutory damages.
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