Is using a pen name in violation of the spam act?

13 replies
  • OFF TOPIC
  • |
I bought some articles a while back and one of them was about using
a pen name . I was reading about the spam act and it talks about
Header misrepresentation (Who You Are)
Does anybody know anything about this?
  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    You are supposed to identify yourself in a MEANINGFUL way. Did you know, for example, that it is ILLEGAL to start a business named something like "FANCY BOOKS" in LA county? And many other places, for that matter. You could get fined and who knows what! Unless your name is in the name of the company, it is ILLEGAL!!!!!! *****UNLESS***** you get a DBA or it is a corporation, LLC, etc... name. You see, under the law, corporations ARE people, and the others are registered in a similar way. A DBA gives you that registration, even if it gives no other benefit.

    So I would say that you CAN'T use a pen name, unless it is really well known.

    Steve
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6655599].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    I would imagine if you aren't sending unwelcome mail to people, they aren't going to care what you call yourself. I never just assume anyone is using their real name on the net - but if they are sending me promotional mail, no matter what they call themselves, if I'm not opted in, they are risking being reported.

    As far as legal, I'm thinking Steve might be correct about making sure that the name is a legally adopted name.
    Signature

    Sal
    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
    Beyond the Path

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6655650].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Halcyon
    Header misrepresentation and pen names are two separate beasts. Spammers employ a variety of cloaks to mask the origin of their emails and who sent them. That's header misrepresentation and that's different than using a pen name in your business dealings.

    Using a pen name is not illegal, using a pen name to scam people is. Then again scamming people is illegal anyway and the pen name would be a secondary charge. Sending your emails under a pen name is not misrepresentation if that's how your readers know you.

    Look at it this way.
    If your readers know you as George Orwell then sending something with the name Eric Blair will be confusing.

    If they know you as Lemony Snicket then ending something with the name Daniel Handler won't be opened.

    What's important is intent. An author using a pen name is common and legal. A scammer trying to cloak who he is and where the emails are coming from is not.
    Signature

    [

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6655746].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author James F
      For instance Eben Pagan is David De Angelo
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6655844].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      I'm not a lawyer, but I think it's a pretty safe bet that using a pen-name in email communications isn't in itself a violation of the Can-Spam Act, because if it were, you wouldn't have all those companies like Aweber, GetResponse and other long-established, legally very compliant companies permitting and facilitating it, would you?

      Originally Posted by Halcyon View Post

      If your readers know you as George Orwell then sending something with the name Eric Blair will be confusing.
      Particularly good example, there, of a well-known and successful blogger: Orwell Diaries 1938-1942 | George Orwell's domestic and political diary entries, posted 70 years to the day after they were written
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6656843].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Just to make it clear, even I said it was ok if it was well known. But if you sent out spam, and it looked evasive, I am sure that WOULD be a complaint. MOST don't seem to care about this anyway. It was lip service. But some states are VERY serious about it. And heysal is right, you are likely to run into this only if you spam.

    Steve
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6657161].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
    Banned
    If it's illegal, then I'm f***ed.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6657248].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author James F
    If it's illegal, then I'm f***ed.
    So are a lot of other people
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6657511].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
      Banned
      Originally Posted by James F View Post

      If it's illegal, then I'm f***ed.
      So are a lot of other people
      I probably should have added the /sarcasm bit to the end of that post, huh?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6657561].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author James F
    If you put a name disclosure in the legal stuff at the bottom
    of the email would that cover it?
    Then there would not be any appearance of deception.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6657528].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author SQUARE NC
    Banned
    Well, I hope not.. for obvious reasons
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6666042].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author burtonridr2
    I miss the wildwest internet.... Not because of the lawlessness, just that it was a realm of true freedom of expression and speech without every detail being logged to your name to potentially be scrutinized.
    Signature
    TIRED of the high cost of medical?

    We can help you SAVE up to 80% on Dental, Prescription, Chiropractic, and Vision for as low as $19.95/mo, Doctor Savings Club
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6672411].message }}

Trending Topics