EDM and the LAW! FUN…
Melbourne Club Brown Alley has been given a cold bitch slap by the law. It’s annoying when Club promoters clog up your Facebook with invites to shit you’re not interested in; but when it’s on your phone, it’s next level! Thankfully, the Club has just been dealt a fine totaling $15,500 for contravening the Spam Act following an onslaught of SMS messages distributed to party-goers. Apologies in advance, I’m going to get nerd it up for a minute.
The Act serves as a means to prevent unsolicited commercial e-mails and electronic messages. Furthermore, it stipulates that any messages received contain both accurate information about the organisation who authorized the message delivery and an unsubscribe facility – something the Club failed to do.
Consequently, the Australian Communication and Media Authority – the regulatory body established to oversee telecommunications and media misconduct – found the Club liable for failure to cease or amend spam content following a multitude of complaints. The penalty may not seem that severe, given the hefty fine handed down to Grays Online for similar transgressions that totaled $165,000. However, the ACMA is often characterised as a “toothless tiger” and the penalties they issue are largely discretionary. The Spam Act requires the consideration of a number of factors – including the nature and extent of the contravention, the loss or damage suffered, the circumstances of the contravention and any previous misconduct.
The penalty may seem a little light, given the fact that the Club had received 5 warnings from the ACMA following 30 complaints from recipients and established over 50,000 breaches of the act. Surely this is indicative of a general disregard of the law, and more than anything a tendency to be a flipping pain in everyone’s collective ass! A mitigating factor that favoured the business is that users consented to receiving the information in the first place, and the scale of the business is not comparable to that of Grays Online, so could explain the severe discrepancy in penalties.
This is not unprecedented in the nightclub industry. In 2011 Sydney nightclub Urban Agent got whacked with a $4500 fine and ordered to re-train employees under the discretionary powers afforded to the ACMA, and would have played a role in their decision making process.
Both instances should hopefully prevent nightclubs from pestering their patrons with unsolicited material in the future – cause there is nothing more irritating than shit spam, especially on your phone. So message is… don’t give your number to club promoters bozo!