The CAN-SPAM Act may apply to communications intended to drive users of the Facebook social network to "pages" that redirect the users to an advertiser's external Web site and also encourage them to send additional messages to other users, a district court ruled. The court refused to grant a motion to dismiss brought by an advertising and marketing company whose affiliates were alleged to have been responsible for unsolicited marketing communications directed to a user's wall, news feed, home page or inbox on the in-network message system. The court rejected the argument that the Act's definition of an "electronic mail message" includes only e-mail, finding that the plaintiffs had sufficiently pleaded that social network communications fall within the Act's definition because they are "sent to a unique electronic mail address," and because they required "some routing activity" on the part of the Facebook communications system.
Facebook Inc. v. MaxBounty Inc., No. 10-4712 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 28, 2011) Opinion