First Brazilian decision on spam takes wrong turn
In the first decision in Brazil dealing with spam, the State Court of Mato Grosso do Sul held that the sending of unsolicited commercial email is equivalent to a traditional mailing-list system and is necessary to establish healthy marketing practices. The court also held that the plaintiff's right to privacy was not infringed, and therefore denied the plaintiff's claim for R5,000 in damages.
Although no Brazilian law specifically regulates spam, it is surprising that the court did not follow international practice or look to existing law (eg, Brazil's Consumer Protection Code) to find for the plaintiff.
There are several bills dealing with spam that are being considered by the government. Hopefully, one of these will be enacted shortly, clearly adopting either an opt-in or opt-out system and imposing fines on those marketers who do not comply.
Erica Aoki, Moreira Lima Royster & Ohno - Advogados Associated with Steel Hector & Davis LLP, São Paulo