SPAMing in Colorado - What you need to know!

Concerning the regulation of commercial electronic mail messages to the maximum extent permissible
 under federal law, and, in connection therewith, enacting the "Spam Reduction Act of 2008".

What you need to know:

Colorado Junk Email Law:
The "Colorado Junk E-mail Law" establishes certain restrictions on the transmission of unsolicited commercial electronic mail messages which promote the sale or lease of goods, services or property to Colorado residents. It provides enforcement procedures, monetary remedies, and other protections for e-mail service providers and recipients of unsolicited commercial e-mails. See C.R.S. 6-2.5-101-105 . Among other things, this law:
  • Requires disclosure of the actual point of origin e-mail address of the sender of any unsolicited commercial e-mails.
  • Prohibits falsifying e-mail transmission information or using a third party's Internet address without permission.
  • Requires any unsolicited commercial e-mail to begin with the characters "ADV" to designate it as an advertisement, unless the sender is a tax exempt non-profit entity; a political or polling organization; an organization that communicates with its members, employees, or contractors via e-mail; or the sender has a prior business relationship with the recipient.
  • Requires unsolicited commercial e-mail senders to allow recipients a mechanism to easily remove themselves from the sender's e-mail address list.
  • Prohibits the sending of unsolicited commercial e-mails to any persons who have requested that their names be removed from a mailing list.
Federal Law – CAN-SPAM Act of 2003
In 2003 Congress passed the “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act” (“CAN-SPAM Act”). The Act is designed to deal with unsolicited or “junk e-mail messages delivering either a commercial offer or pornographic images. CAN-SPAM Act prohibits transmission of any e-mail that contains false or misleading header (or “from” line) information and prohibits false or misleading “subject” line information. The Act also requires a functioning return e-mail address or similar mechanism for allowing the addressee to “opt out” of receiving any further messages from the sender. Senders must comply with any opt out requests within 10 business days. The Federal Trade Commission has primary authority to enforce CAN-SPAM Act, although state attorneys general and Internet Service providers also may enforce its provisions. More information on reducing junk e-mail and spam can be found at

Miscellaneous Provisions
The new law authorizes courts to conduct legal proceedings so that trade secrets are protected and computer systems remain secure. County courts and small claims courts are allowed to enter injunctive relief in cases filed under the law. E-mail service providers that adopt measures to prevent the transmission of unsolicited commercial electronic mail messages prohibited by the law shall be immune from civil liability for their actions. In addition, e-mail service providers are not liable for the mere transmission of bulk, unsolicited commercial electronic mail messages over the provider's computer network.

Source: Colorado Attorney General :


House Bill 08-1178 (April 2008):

H.B. 08-1178 Electronic mail - unsolicited messages (spam) - deceptive trade practices - false address information - disregard of do-not-email directive - penalties - exemptions. Replaces the existing "Colorado Junk Email Law" with provisions that are intended to be consistent with, and as stringent as may be adopted by any state under, the federal "CAN-SPAM Act of 2003" (CAN-SPAM Act).
Defines a violation of the CAN-SPAM Act as a deceptive trade practice. Specifies that deceptive practices include knowingly concealing or falsifying point-of-origin information, using another person's return address without permission, or disregarding a do-not-email directive from a recipient of a previous message.

Invokes the attorney general's enforcement authority and other available remedies under the "Colorado Consumer Protection Act" and carries forward the remedies from prior Colorado law. Exempts internet service providers from liability for the mere transmission of e-mail messages.

Allows an internet service provider whose equipment or facilities were used in the transmission of email in violation of this act to sue for actual damages plus statutory damages of $1,000 per message, up to a total of $10 million. Creates a new misdemeanor criminal offense, punishing an initial violation as a class 2 misdemeanor and a second or subsequent violation as a class 1 misdemeanor.

APPROVED by Governor April 23, 2008
EFFECTIVE August 5, 2008

Source: Office of Legislative Legal Services

Administration Note: This information is provides "as-is" and was collected form various state goverment websites on October 20th, 2010 and is not intended to be "the final word" in these matters. If you think that you may be in violation - consult an attorney.


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