At my day job, a potential customer inquired:
Where are your Terms of Service located, we comply with Can-Spam (S.877) but want to know what if anything your TOS says before we host with you.
I figured they were basically asking if it was OK to spam but I figured I'd play it straight and reply with a link to our Accepted Uses and terms of service and to let them know that if they had any questions if their activities would violate our TOS to please let me know since we like to hash these things out before accepting a new client.
Their reply was illuminating:
We too, are, as you say, “very anti-spam” but we consider spam to be spam as definded by the law not spam as defined by ISP ignorence. To clarify, spam is something that is sent with a false header, or something that is selling a scam, or something that is sent without the physical address of the company that sent it, or something that doesn't say “advertisement” or something which one can not opt out of.
The question I asked you was what you consider spam, in other words do you know the law and allow your customers to send legal advertisements or do you consider any mail not from your friends or clients as spam.
In any event we found a server company with an ISP who knew which side was up and signed on with them.
I'm glad they found an ISP who will let them spam. I'll be sure to follow up to see which one so I can block them from sending me their opt-out spam.
I wish people would realize that because an action is legal doesn't make it desirable. As many people noted when CAN-SPAM was just a bill (… sitting on Capitol Hill ;-), the problem with it was that it legitimized what most people consider spam: opt-out email.