William Rapanos, a Toronto area resident, was fined $15,000 by the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) on Thursday March 9th.
The CRTC states that,
“In the case of Mr. Rapanos, the proposed fine is equivalent to $1,500 per violation and is well below the maximum allowable penalty of $1,000,000 per violation.”
Since the CASL has taken effect in July 2014, many well known corporations have been fined. But this is the first time an individual small business owner gets nailed.
In the case of Mr. Rapanos, it was in fact a very expensive “mistake” on his part, costing him $258.62 per email sent. The emails in question had been sent in 2014, right after the law had taken effect, when people were still only trying to decipher the new (at the time) CASL. I’m not condoning what was done, nor am I passing judgement on Mr. Rapanos’ actions. I’m simply stating that anyone who relies on email marketing has the responsibility to get educated on what the CASL actually requires from them.
I’m fully aware that this scenario could be very alarming for most small Canadian business owners, who most likely don’t have $15,000 laying around in their sock drawer. This case might even discourage some from doing any form of email marketing altogether, which in turn might mean a decreased income for some.
Business owners should stand tall and continue to use email marketing as it remains the most cost-effective, and beneficial way for small businesses to increase sales. They simply need to get educated on the matter, and use a tool designed to comply with the CASL.
A tool such as Cyberimpact can help you avoid any headaches when it comes to the CASL.
Without question, Rapanos did break the cardinal rules of the Canadian Anti-Spam Law by sending the emails in question.
To find out what he did wrong, and learn how to avoid finding yourself in a similar situation, read this article.