TITLE 6
Commercial Law – General Regulatory Provisions

CHAPTER 6-47
Internet Access and Advertising by Facsimile

SECTION 6-47-2


§ 6-47-2 Unsolicited electronic mail.

(a) No person or entity may initiate the transmission of a commercial electronic mail message from a computer located in Rhode Island or to an electronic mail address that the sender knows, or has reason to know, is held by a Rhode Island resident unless that person or entity establishes a toll-free telephone number or valid sender operated return e-mail address that the recipient of the unsolicited documents may call or e-mail to notify the sender not to e-mail any further unsolicited documents.

(b) All unsolicited commercial electronic messages subject to this section shall include a statement informing the recipient of the toll-free telephone number that the recipient may call, or a valid return address to which the recipient may write or e-mail, as the case may be, notifying the sender not to e-mail the recipient any further unsolicited commercial electronic mail messages to the e-mail address or addresses specified by the recipient.

(c) Upon notification by a recipient of his or her request not to receive any further unsolicited commercial electronic mail messages, no person or entity subject to subsection (a) shall e-mail, or cause to be e-mailed, any unsolicited documents to that recipient.

(d) No person or entity may initiate the transmission of a commercial electronic mail message from a computer located in Rhode Island or to an electronic mail address that the sender knows, or has reason to know, is held by a Rhode Island resident, that fraudulently uses a third-party's internet domain name without permission of the third party, or otherwise fraudulently misrepresents any information in identifying the point of origin or the transmission path of a commercial electronic mail message.

(e) As used in this section, "commercial electronic messages" means any e-mailed document or documents consisting of commercial advertising material, the principal purpose of which is to promote the for-profit sale or lease of goods or services to the recipient and that meet both of the following requirements:

(1) The documents are addressed to a recipient with whom the initiator does not have an existing business or personal relationship.

(2) The documents are not sent at the request of, or with the express consent of, the recipient.

(f) As used in this section, "e-mail" or "caused to be e-mailed" does not include or refer to the transmission of any documents by a telecommunications utility or internet service provider to the extent that the telecommunications utility or internet service provider merely carries that transmission over its network.

(g) For purposes of this section, a person or entity has reason to know that the intended recipient of a commercial electronic mail message is a Rhode Island resident if the recipient has requested of the sender not to receive any further unsolicited commercial electronic messages.

(h) Any person or entity who or that violates the provisions of this chapter shall be liable for damages to the recipient of an unsolicited commercial electronic mail message in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100) for each such violation. In addition, the recipient may recover reasonable attorney's fees and costs.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1999, ch. 479, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 528, § 34.)