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Canada's Magazine for Financing & Leasing Executives

January 23 , 2014

Bennett Jones unveils Canadian Anti-Spam information site

TORONTO--In response to the long-awaited regulations pertaining to the Canadian government's anti-spam legislation, Bill C-28, Bennett Jones LLP has created a one-of-a-kind informational site designed to help businesses and individuals plan a comprehensive compliance strategy.

According to the Government of Canada website the intent of the new law is to deter the most damaging and deceptive forms of spam from occurring in Canada. Covering far more than unsolicited emails, the legislation, which will come into effect on July 1, 2014, also goes after all forms of spyware, malware and phishing.

The Bennett Jones Anti-Spam Learning Centre opens with a "what you need to know" infographic primer video that covers everything from simple definitions, to what is covered under the Act, to some tips that may help ensure compliance.

This user-friendly site informs the viewer of the need to act while taking away the mystery surrounding this piece of legislation. The Anti-spam Basics section gives the user background information to orient them before they move to the more in-depth sections covering what a business needs to do to prepare.

"This was the obvious response to the question of how best to help our clients conform to this new law," says Martin Kratz, a Partner and Head of the Bennett Jones Intellectual Property practice group. "With maximum penalties in the millions it is not something to be taken lightly," he adds.

With so many grey areas and vague implications within the legislation, this new site hopes to bring clarity to what can seem a daunting task. The word "consent" and what that entails will pique most viewers' interest. On a number of occasions the site reminds users that consent can be "expressly given or implied". It is the latter form of consent that may have businesses resting a little easier.

"If a customer has already requested to be on a mailing list, a business may potentially infer consent moving forward", said Lisa Abe-Oldenburg, a Partner with Bennett Jones' Information Technology practice group. "The grey areas still remain as to what will constitute a commercial electronic message and how broad is the definition for implied consent."

Considered the harshest legislation of its type within the G-8, it is still to be discovered to what extent the government will prosecute offenders. The intent of the law is to protect businesses, so it will be interesting to see if the government prosecutes to the letter of the law or its stated intent.

Bennett Jones is one of Canada's premier business law firms and home to more than 380 lawyers and business advisors across eight offices. With exceptional experience in complex cross-border and international transactions, Bennett Jones is well equipped to advise foreign businesses and investors with Canadian ventures, and to connect Canadian businesses and investors with opportunities around the world.



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