Affiliate Marketing Legal Alert: Senator Unveils New Digital Marketing Bill

Internet Marketing Law
Sen. Schumer is proposing a new law that could affect affiliate marketers.

All affiliate marketers should take a moment to read Senator Chuck Schumer’s new Internet law proposal that seeks to raise fines on any entity that places calls to any number on the National Do Not Call Registry.

An aggressive piece of affiliate marketing law legislation, the bill seeks to raise fines and re-classify violations as felonies.

“Congress has enacted the laws to fight back against [robo advertising], but the companies are using new tricks, and now we must enact stiffer penalties to make sure the laws have teeth so the regulators can bring the rogue firms to heel,” Schumer explained to CBS news.

How The Proposed Act Could Affect Affiliate Marketers

Specifically, if the new bill is passed, anybody who places illegal robo-calls or digital messages will be fined $20,000 per call. Moreover, it would redefine DNCR violations as a felony, as opposed to a misdemeanor. And perhaps most alarmingly, Schumer’s proposal includes provisions for up to 10 years in jail for egregious violations. (The jails are already overcrowded. Is it really the smartest move to start throwing non-violent offenders into prison over something as non-threatening as unsolicited marketing?)

When being interviewed about his new bill proposal, Sen. Schumer opined that the punitive damages do little in the way of mitigating violations. Since the current codified DNCR fines are so low, he reasoned that businesses risk getting caught and rationalize the cost by figuring that the profit earned from breaking the law would outweigh any violation fines that could be levied.

Are Text Messages Subject To Do Not Call Rules?

Since the National Do Not Call Registry first popped onto the scene, there has been some confusion as to whether or not messages and texts to mobile devices were actionable under DNCR regulations. While there are a few exceptions, these days, the general rule of thumb is that any communication to any number – whether to a cell phone or land-line – is subject to do no call legislation.

Other Affiliate Marketing Laws & Regulations

In addition to Do Not Call legislation, every affiliate marketer, in order to stay on the right side of the law, should also familiarize themselves with the Dot Com Disclosures and FTC case law. Internet marketers who market children’s products must pay heed to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act; those who deal in finance services should familiarize themselves with the privacy provisions outlined in the Gramm Leech Bliley Act. And lastly, every affiliate marketer should make sure that they have the proper terms, privacy policies and disclaimers on their websites.

Get In Touch With An Affiliate Marketing Lawyer

The Kelly / Warner Law Firm was established to serve the needs of affiliate marketers and people who do business on the Web. Unlike other law firms, we know the digital world intimately. Not only are we AV-rated attorneys, but we’re also affiliate marketers. In fact, we’re such geeks that we even created our own legal app. If you work on the Web and are in need of an attorney who can address your legal needs quickly, efficiently and at the right price, give us a shout.

Click here to read more about Aaron Kelly – Internet lawyer and enthusiast.

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