Note: The source and revision history for all IO Cooperative policies is also available.
“Spam” is difficult to define. For the purposes of this document, “spam” is unsolicited bulk e-mail. Sending a personal but unsolicited note to fifteen of your friends and relatives is not likely to be considering spamming, whereas sending an advert for performance enhancement medication to 100,000 total strangers is definitely spamming. There are many situations between those two extremes in which reasonable people might disagree as to whether or not a message is spam. Generally speaking, if the recipient considers a message to be spam, we are likely to agree.
For a more complete definition, please see this Wikipedia article.
We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to outbound spam. If, in our judgement, one of our customers is found to have used IO Cooperative services to send spam or knowingly provide spam support services, we will immediately disconnect that customer without any refund. In particularly egregious cases, especially in the case of repeat offenders, we may also pursue legal action and seek payment for financial damages.
However, we are aware of the “joe-job” phenomenon (malicious attempts to use spam to frame someone). We are also aware that customers occasionally sign up for e-mail lists, forget that they have done so, and then wrongfully report list traffic as spam. Furthermore, we will work with a customer whose web site inadvertently contained code that allowed spammers to abuse it.
We will exercise due diligence in the course of investigating the situation before taking corrective action.
All mailing lists hosted by IO Cooperative members must contain only confirmed opt-in subscribers. The list maintainer must be prepared to show evidence of e-mail list subscription upon request. Such evidence should include the originating IP address and an accurate timestamp indicating its time zone. Other evidence, such as a paper sign-up sheet on which list subscribers hand-wrote their email addresses, may also be acceptable.
Opt-out lists are not welcome here.