California case law currently allows spammers to send email with deceptive “From” and “Subject” lines, so long as the body of the message provides the true identity of the advertiser. For example, pornographic advertisers could send email with misleading headers to 12 year old children just because there is a truthful name following the offensive images in the body of the email.
Several friends of the court including CAUCE have filed a brief in the case of DeWitt v. Devry University, Inc. While CAUCE and the other friends have no direct financial interest in the case, they have an interest in email as a tool that is more than simply an advertising vehicle for commercial entities that seek to shift the cost of advertising to recipients.
The appellate court in the DeWitt case will have to decide whether the plaintiff email recipient proved his case against the senders of unsolicited commercial email. The amicus curiae take the position that,
while the defendants were ultimately entitled to summary judgment, the state of the law requires clarification.
CAUCE, and others, including several private electronic mail service providers, argue that the appellate court for the California State First District should reject the holding in Rosolowski v. Guthy-Renker, which held that unsolicited commercial email does not violate California statutory law if the body of the email provides contact information not provided in the headers.