On June 27, 2016 in Silverstein v. Keynetics et al., Case No. 16-cv-00684-DMR, the Northern District of California dismissed a putative class action lawsuit asserting claims under California’s anti-spam statute, Bus. & Prof. Code § 17529.5. The motion, brought by The Internet Law Group on behalf of its clients, asserted that all of the claims in the action were preempted by the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. This includes a claim under subsection (a)(1) of the statute, which purports to impose liability where “[t]he e-mail advertisement contains or is accompanied by a third-party’s domain name without the permission of the third party” (referring to the use of the linkedin.com domain name). The court agreed and allowed fourteen days leave to amend, but noted that it “has serious doubts about Plaintiff’s ability to plead his claims to escape federal preemption.” CAN-SPAM preemption of subsection (a)(1) is an issue of first impression across state appellate and federal courts.
The court’s opinion may be found at the following link: 52 – Order on Motion to Dismiss