What is spam?
Spam is defined as unsolicited bulk e-mail (UBE), which means: mail that is sent in "large quantities" (bulk) and "unsolicited". Bulk e-mail is only 'solicited' if the recipient has previously given explicit and provable permission to send the e-mail.
E-mail that is sent unsolicited and in bulk, is defined as spam. E-mail that is sent unsolicited and not in bulk, is regular and accepted (think about personal contact). E-mail that is sent in bulk, but is solicited, is also regular and accepted: these are mailing lists and newsletters that the recipient signed up for. Keep in mind though that 'unsolicited' is not the same as unwanted. To determine whether an e-mail contains spam the content is not taken in account. "It's about consent, not about content" is the saying.
Both conditions (bulk and unsolicited) need to be met to determine the message as 'spam'. Even solicited e-mail can become unsolicited and an important pant of a responsible bulk e-mail policy is to make sure that the recipient can retract the given permission at any given time.
What is the right way to send a mailing by e-mail (mailinglist)?
A bulk mail may only be sent to recepients that have explicitly and provable asked for this.
This principle is called confirmed opt-in.
Every other method of bulk mail (opt-out/opt-in) within our network is not permitted and thus labeled as spam. Owners of e-mail addresses have to give explicit and provable permission for receiving an e-mail from a mailinglist. If this permission is not given, the to be received mailinglist e-mails are technically spam.
How does an owner of an e-mail address give explicit permission to receive mails from a mailinglist? This is verified by using confirmed opt-in. When the owner of an e-mail address signs up for a newsletter the owner receives a request for confirmation. When the owner of this e-mail address confirms the sign-up, he gives explicit permission to receive e-mails from the mailing list.
How do we handle complaints about spam?
Our network requires the confirmed opt-in option. If we receive complaints about spam in our network, the spammer will receive at most one warning, that has to be followed up on directly. At repeated offense, the service will be shut down. If the spammer is a "known offender", the service is shut down without warning. We decide whether a spam complaint is justified or not. Because it is mandatory to work with confirmed opt-in, we can ask you for the confirmation from the complaining party. If this confirmation cannot be given, we will handle the case as spam.
The reason we give only one warning to a spammer before the services are terminated, is because we can end up in so-called blacklists, which results in our clients being unable to send any e-mail to certain providers. Because of this blacklist our services would be severely compromised, so we watch carefully for this. We are of the opinion that a spammer is not allowed to jeopardise our network and our good name.