First decision against spam in Poland

By EDRi · October 22, 2003

The Polish agency for Competition and Consumer Protection recently for the
first time condoned a spammer. According to the agency, the Firm
Edukacyjna Impuls Plus from the city of Grudziadz had violated the
Provision of Electronic Services Bill by sending unsolicited commercial
mail. The businessman was ordered to stop such actions and to publish a
special announcement in the Gazeta Wyborcza (one of the most popular daily
newspapers in Poland).

It is the first decision against a spammer in Poland and it is based on
administrative law.
Nobody has yet tried to challenge the phenomenon on the ground of private

The Polish law on the provision of electronic services was enacted on 18
July 2002, partially transposing both the directive on electronic commerce
(2000/31/EC) and the directive on privacy and electronic communications

The Polish regulation imposes a ban on sending unsolicited commercial
messages to private persons by means of electronic communication,
especially electronic mail. Legally, spamming is considered to be unfair
competition in the interpretation of the law on Fighting Unfair

But the issue is quite complex. “The attempts to answer some questions
connected with the use of information and communication technologies in a
normative context, face many difficulties when it comes to defining
certain terms” – the lawmakers said. One of the problems the Poles face is
the fact that the law only protects against spam with a clear commercial

Legal analysis of the anti-spam decision (in Polish)

Polish – English translation service

(Contribution by Piotr VaGla Waglowski, Internet Society Poland)