Photo: notoriousxl (flickr).
When Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (“CASL”) came into effect on July 1, 2014, Canadians were dancing in the streets. Parliamentarians would have us believe that this was entirely due to the exhilaration of promised freedom from advertising for discount Viagra and Cialis; you, I and the family dog know that it obviously had more to do with the previously scheduled Canada Day celebrations.
CASL, it was said, would deliver us from unwanted advertising. But really—who’s to say what’s unwanted? Perhaps you really want to know the The Dirty Truth on Penis Enlargement—but are afraid to ask. Maybe you’d lose sleep at night wondering how to Burn Belly Fat with One Weird Tip. I know I do.
No content is ever truly unwanted. In the very least, creation is loved by the creator.
People across this great world are putting long hours into crafting cunning campaigns compelling consumer cash commitments. See what I did there? Alliteration. Thank God my literary genius isn’t threatened by this toxic, abusive, draconian, nasty, unlikable, really bad piece of legislation. And now I’ve run out of adjectives. See? People really don’t appreciate the effort and energy that goes into good writing—or, the fallout from badly written fiction like CASL. Well, I hope the Chairman of the CRTC is sleeping well at night while Nigerian Princes are starving in their crumbling palaces, and the common man can’t muster the erection he desperately needs to save his failing marriage.
That’s not all.
Did you know that under CASL, if your elementary school child emails his classmates an offer to sell his Nintendo 3DS using the email addresses provided by his school, your child has broken the law? What’s more, there’s no “Bad Johnny!” slap on the wrist for this infraction. No sir! Investigators in dark glasses and trenchcoats will show up at his classroom door and slap him down with a fine; not a “give us your lunch money, weasel” kind of fine, but a $1-million dollar administrative monetary penalty. And if he sent a second email trying to sell Pokemon X and Y? You guessed it: another $1-million dollar administrative monetary penalty. Junior gets tossed in juvenile detention while you put your house up for sale, live in your car, and get a second and third job.
All this could have been avoided had the government just listened to the voice of reason.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) conducted a survey of over 160 of its members. 161, I think. Of those, ninety percent said that CASL should be scrapped, eighty percent felt it would be ineffective, sixty-four percent believed it would make conducting business hard, and fifty-six per cent expected it to harm business development, job growth, the future prosperity of Canadians and life as we know it. Why would they lie? What do they possibly have to gain? Yeah, the CCC weren’t prescient enough to foresee your kid in shackles and an orange jumpsuit, but I think that can be forgiven.
So there you have it, Canada. If you want to take to the streets to vent your feelings about CASL for reals, now would be a good time. Don’t forget your bullhorns, pitchforks, torches, gasoline, firewood, and a likeness of Jean-Pierre Blais suitable for burning.