Monthly Archives: March 2013

Content Marketing And The Great Commercial Blur

By: Brian J. Meli

Back in the quaint old days of the the 1970’s and early 80’s, when the Internet was still a college science project and social networking was something you did around a water cooler, the US Supreme Court decided a series of First Amendment cases that established the modern-day boundaries between inviolate non-commerical speech (personal, religious, political speech) and less revered, but still important commercial speech.

iStock_000020102137_ExtraSmallThe result was a distinction between communication that’s subject to government restriction on the basis that it’s false or misleading (commercial), and speech that’s beyond the reach of regulation no matter how untrue or inaccurate it may be (non-commerical). It’s a distinction—and a precedent—that still stands today, nearly 40 years and numerous technological revolutions later. But the longevity of the distinction has less to do with the clarity of the decisions that formed it, and more to do with the Supreme Court resisting reexamination of an issue that, now more than ever, demands drawing boundaries between concepts that can be almost impossible to distinguish, let alone define. Continue reading

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Spam (Can Cost) A Lot!

Spam e-mail folder

By: Brian J. Meli

The practice of sending unsolicited emails en masse to prospective customers goes almost all the way back to the dawn of the digital age.  But federal regulations governing the practice have only been around for about a decade.  The CAN-SPAM Act, or The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act, in unacronoymed form, was passed in 2003 in an effort to harmonize a patchwork of inconsistent state laws and bring order to an increasingly chaotic practice. Continue reading

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