In the past several years, the Internet has exploded with commercial activity. The breaking down of barriers between businesses and consumers has been facilitated by the rapid development of new technology, removal of ‘middlemen’, and tax rates favorable to online entrepreneurship.
We at DreamHost are proud to support responsible commerce on the Internet – this is represented in our service offerings and unparalleled support. However, it has become apparent that the same environment that has helped this trend take off has also contributed to numerous cases of fraud and abuse of network resources.
In particular, “spam” has proven to be a major problem for many of our customers and the Internet at large. Spam is a common slang term referring to the sending of unsolicited email, instant messaging, or other communication to a large group of people at once. Variations on this practice include off topic (and usually promotional) messages on bulletin boards, guestbooks, Usenet newsgroups, or chat rooms.
Spam is strictly against our Terms of Service, and will result in the immediate disablement without refund of any customers who are found to have used spam in conjunction with their DreamHost account.
The following policy dictates in specific terms what is considered acceptable use of bulk email/messaging by DreamHost:
- Records are kept of the date, time, IP address, and form location where the subscribing user signed up from.
- Lists procured from outside parties must have been consistently handled in a manner comparable to DreamHost policies.
- Users cannot populate lists with addresses obtained for a substantially different purpose than was originally disclosed to the user.
- All subscriptions must be re-confirmed in the manner described in Subscriptions (Section 1) before being sent bulk email messages.
Mailing list subscriber information must include the date and time that the subscription was confirmed, as well as the IP address of the subscriber at the time of the confirmation. The user must be able to present this information at DreamHost’s request.
Lists cannot be procured from outside parties unless the email sender has procured a list from an organization that sells or otherwise shares email distribution lists, and all of the following conditions are met:
Users must not modify the headers of any message in such a way that purposefully obfuscates the origin of the message.
Undeliverable addresses must be removed from all future mailings after no more than 5 bounces.
Users are responsible for the practices of any affiliate program members they solicit the help of, as if they were hiring an outside advertising agency.
Users using either outside advertising companies or 3rd party mailing programs must abide by the same policies and practices as those using DreamHost’s own bulk mailing list tools.
All mailings must provide clear and simple to follow instructions for opting-out of future mailings, and all reasonable attempts must be made to facilitate the removal of a mailing list subscriber at their request.
The user is advised and acknowledges that DreamHost’s electronic mail service equipment is located in California. In no event shall the user use DreamHost’s equipment in violation of California’s anti-spam laws including California Business & Professions Code sections 17538.4 and 17538.45.
It is strictly prohibited in conjunction with your DreamHost account to sell software designed specifically to facilitate the practice of spamming.
Predominately promotional messages must not be posted to bulletin boards, discussion forums, guestbooks, Usenet newsgroups, or any other similar service unless the operator of that service explicitly allows such messages. In the case of Usenet newsgroups, such messages must be specifically allowed in that group’s charter.
DreamHost reserves the right to disable any account at any time should it feel there is a reasonable suspicion that it is being used in conjunction with the practice of spamming.
Customers must substantially address all spam related inquiries by DreamHost personnel within 72 hours. Failure to respond within a reasonable period of time may result in the disablement of the user’s account.
By following these guidelines and respecting the privacy of your visitors, you can gain much from the responsible practice of commerce online. Of course, should you have any questions regarding the proper way to use bulk email with your web site, please contact us for more information.