A commercial electronic mail message is any electronic mail message with the primary purpose of commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service, including content on an internet web site operated for a commercial purpose, but does not include a transactional or relationship message.
A computer includes, but is not limited to all input, output, processing, storage, computer program, or communication facilities that are connected or related, in a computer system or network to an electronic device of that nature.
A recipient is person who receives a commercial electronic mail message at any of the following addresses: A receiving address furnished by an electronic mail service provider that bills for furnishing and maintaining that receiving address to a mailing address within the state. A receiving address ordinarily accessed from a computer located within the state or by a person living in Ohio. Any other receiving address with respect to which this law can be imposed consistent with the U.S. Constitution.
An electronic mail service provider is any person or internet service provider that is an intermediary in sending and receiving electronic mail and that provides electronic mail accounts or online user accounts to the public, from which emails may be sent.
What is the internet protocol address or IP address – The string of numbers by which locations on the internet are identified by routers or other computers connected to the internet.
What are the Elements of Illegally Transmitting Multiple Commercial Electronic Mail Messages?
Knowingly use a computer to relay or retransmit multiple commercial electronic mail messages; with intent to deceive or mislead recipients or any electronic mail service provider, as to the origin of the messages.
Knowingly and materially falsify header information in multiple commercial electronic mail messages and purposely initiate the transmission of those messages
Knowingly register using information that materially falsifies the identity of the actual registrant for five or more electronic mail accounts or online user accounts, or two or more domain names and purposely send multiple commercial electronic mail messages from one or any combination of those accounts or domain names.
Knowingly falsely represent the right to use 5 or more Internet protocol addresses and purposely transmit multiple commercial emails from those addresses.
Potential Sentencing and Fines
Illegally Transmitting Multiple Commercial Electronic Mail Messages
If the offender has no prior convictions related to illegally transmitting multiple commercial electronic mail messages or unauthorized access of a computer, a conviction for illegally transmitting multiple commercial email messages is a 5th degree felony with 6 – 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500, unless the violation occurred under any of the circumstances described below.
A conviction for illegally transmitting multiple commercial email messages is a 4th degree felony with 6 – 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 under the following circumstances:
The offender materially falsifies the identity of the actual registrant and knowingly registers for 20 or more email accounts or online user accounts or 10 or more domain names, purposely initiating the transmission of multiple commercial email addresses from the accounts or domain names.
The volume of commercial email messages exceeds 250 during any 24-hour period, 2,500 during any 30-day period, or 25,000 during any one-year period.
During any one-year period, the total loss to the victim or victims of the violation is $1,000 or more, or during any one-year period, the total value of the property or services obtained by any offender as a result of the violation is $1,000 or more.
The offender committed the violation with three or more other persons, and the offender was the organizer or leader.
The offender knowingly assisted through the provision or selection of email addresses to which the commercial email addresses were sent, knowing that the email addresses of the recipients were obtained using an automated means from a website or proprietary online service operated by another person and the website or online service provided a notice stating that it would not transfer addresses maintained by the website or online service to any other party for the purposes of initiating the transmission of emails.
The offender knowingly assisted in the violation through the provision or selection of email addresses of the recipients obtained using an automated means that generates possible email addresses by combining names, letters, or numbers into numerous permutations.
If the offender has prior related convictions, or if the offender committed this crime in furtherance of a felony, the violation is a 3rd degree felony with 9 – 36 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
In addition to criminal convictions and penalties, offenders may face seizure and forfeiture of contraband and civil lawsuits.
Are You Looking for a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Cincinnati, OH?
If you are facing criminal charges, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Cincinnati office directly at 513-929-9333 to schedule your free consultation.