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DavidT

False reporting of newsletters puts "JAlbum" on Blocklist

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And just out of interest, I am not a rabid anti-spammer and in this particular case once I had established that they were indeed "genuine but clueless" I gave them my address so they could unsubscribe me, together with some advice on how to clean up their list and verify addresses properly in the future.
A very reasonable thing for you to do. :-)

DT

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Hi All!

Johan new sysadmin at JAlbum.net. We are a Swedish webbased photo album program. After first collecting my forum.spamcop.net registration mail from gmail spambox I'm now able to write to all Spamcop users. :)

Our software is a freeware with no costs whatsoever and upon the optional registration you also get a free hosting account. You then get our monthly newsletter (well about 6-12 per year) but it's easy to unsubscribe and you don't need to register to get our software. We really try to listen to our users and 'think' we have adopted and implemented all spamcop policys in our newsletters.

Today is a big day for JAlbum.net and our founder will release some news in a newsletter to our users. With some fear we will soon see if it gets through or the spamcop community stops it.

Feel free to give comments to me personally or in our forum. Feel free to check www.jalbum.net out, our software out and anything don't hesitate to contact me johan[at]jalbum.net

// Johan Groundstroem

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Good luck with your mailing. I think the most important things to keep from getting listed are (in no particular order):

Make sure that you verify the validity of email addresses before sending your newsletters. In other words, when someone registers at your site, send them a validation email with a unique link that they must click to validate their email address. This is the only way to know for sure that they have given you a legitimate email address that really belongs to them.

Make sure to promply remove bouncing email addresses from your mailing list! Email addresses do get recycled, but chances are good there will be an inactive period between one person abandoning an address and another person picking it up. This makes sure that the new user will not be getting a newsletter that someone else signed up for with an address that has been dead for months or years.

Make sure that you are setup with your ISP so that if there ARE any spamcop reports against you, they get forwarded to you as quickly as possible. Make sure to maintain all your validation information with your user accounts so that you can provide the deputies with information:

"Joe User validated their email address by clicking on the unique link http://example.com/validate.asp?user=1234&...tion=1234567890 from IP address 1.2.3.4 that was sent to their email address on 11/5/07"

At that point, it becomes a false report, and approriate action will be taken agains Joe User's spamcop account for false reporting.

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It seems to be decent but it should not be looking for updates or anything else beyond my machine unless it asks for approval first.

Hi we have had discussions about this in our http://jalbum.net/forum, and we choose to have this feature enabled by default basically because the main part of our users wants to know about _big_ improvements and bug fixes. I assure you that no user data is communicated to JAlbum and it's easy to turn of the update feature under preferences if you choose so.

Kind Regards

Johan[at]JAlbum

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I just checked out this site and you seem to be automatically added to their mailing list just for requesting the software:

So if I want the hosting account but don't want the newsletter, I need to signup and remember to unsubscribe to the newsletter. There is no option on the signup page not to get the newsletter.

I did not signup that way. I went through the support forum signup only, where there is no indication of a newsletter. I will report here if I get any unsolicited newsletters.

And yet I still received this unsolicited message and reported it.

http://www.spamcop.net/sc?id=z1564550726z5...a2e96da22bc8fcz

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Steven,

I went to the JAlbum forum and don't find any sort of separate forum registration. I only find the "Sign up" link at the top of the page that results in signing up for a free hosting account, and it mentions the newsletters very clearly. Please take another look and tell me how to find whatever it is you signed up for. You voluntarily gave them your address and there's a fully functional unsubscribe at the bottom of their newsletter. I never report something like that as spam. I do that for things that come to me from senders with which I've had no previous contact, but YMMV.

I'll report this to my contacts at JAlbum.

DT

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Steven,

I went to the JAlbum forum and don't find any sort of separate forum registration.

I don't right now either. But in October, as stated, I specifically did not download the software where registration was required and the newsletter was forced on you.

At that time, (I wish I had documented specifically how I did this, but figured either I would or would not get a newsletter right away), I went to the Support Forum link and requested an account there. They may have changed their forum as I see no way to request a forum account there now.

BTW, I have now unsubscribed from the newsletter (which I firmly believe I never subscribed to as documented above).

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I don't right now either. But in October, as stated, I specifically did not download the software where registration was required and the newsletter was forced on you.

At that time, (I wish I had documented specifically how I did this, but figured either I would or would not get a newsletter right away), I went to the Support Forum link and requested an account there. They may have changed their forum as I see no way to request a forum account there now.

BTW, I have now unsubscribed from the newsletter (which I firmly believe I never subscribed to as documented above).

Hi Steven and spamcop users!

We have a strict policy at JAlbum not to spam our users still if you register for a free hosting account we take the liberty to send newsletters about once a month to our users (think we had 10 this year). You can register and not download the software but still you would get information about our rules.

If you choose to not register, the software still is free to download and use but you need to choose another free hosting provider. If you unsubscribe to our newsletter you will still keep your free hosting account. We have no wish to spam our users and I try to be active in fighting spam. This is the first spam report we got in some months and now we have ALOT of users (3 million copies of our software and over 12 million published albums). I think we communicate our offer clearly and according to spamcop rules.

I will get a techie to try to figure out what you managed to do first thing on monday but would very much appreciate if you try to figure out how you managed to do this. Is it ok by you if you provide me with your username? You can send a mail to me directly at johan[at]jalbum.net

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We have a strict policy at JAlbum not to spam our users still if you register for a free hosting account we take the liberty to send newsletters about once a month to our users (think we had 10 this year). You can register and not download the software but still you would get information about our rules.

If you unsubscribe to our newsletter you will still keep your free hosting account.

I believe I signed up only for the forums, not a hosting account and have not downloaded the software.
I will get a techie to try to figure out what you managed to do first thing on monday but would very much appreciate if you try to figure out how you managed to do this. Is it ok by you if you provide me with your username? You can send a mail to me directly at johan[at]jalbum.net

Also communicated the following via email.

Username: StevenUnderwood

The IP my signup would have come from: 12.30.28.14

My only documentation for how I signed up is in the SpamCop forum:

http://forum.spamcop.net/forums/index.php?...7913&st=20#

>> So if I want the hosting account but don't want the newsletter, I

>> need to signup and remember to unsubscribe to the newsletter. There

>> is no option on the signup page not to get the newsletter.

>>

>> I did not signup that way. I went through the support forum signup

>> only, where there is no indication of a newsletter. I will report

>> here if I get any unsolicited newsletters.

Headers for the registration confirmation have been attached. Subject only says I registered for the forums, which confirmed my original thoughts that I had not signed up for a hosting account or downloaded the software and therefore had not signed up for the newsletter.

History (earlier in the thread referenced above): DavidT was stating that reporters were reporting your newsletter after they "requested" it. My theory at the time was that they may not have requested the newsletter, that there was a way to signup while not expecting a newsletter and to still receive one. Since this whole experiment was done as a test to see if there was a way to sign up on your site without being notified you were signing up for a newsletter, I was very careful to read everything presented during the signup to make sure I was not signing up for the newsletter.

The only signups I can currently find, both of which state I would be signing up for the newsletter:

http://jalbum.net/signup/

http://jalbum.net/download/

As I recall, and as I documented in the forums at the time, I believe I signed up in the forum area (Welcome, Guest Login, Guest Settings area). I can not currently find a way to signup in the forum area. Has that part of the site changed since October?

The "JAlbum newsletter - Christmas" is the first and only newsletter I have received. Is it the first newsletter sent out in the last 2.5 months?

----- Original Message -----

From: "JAlbum forum" <forum[at]jalbum.net>

To: "Steven P. Underwood" <underwood+jalbum[at]spamcop.net>

Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2007 10:27 AM

Subject: JAlbum forums Registration Confirmation

> Thank you for joining JAlbum! To complete the registration at jalbum.net please click on the link below:

> http://jalbum.net/forum/validate.jspa?user...<removed>

>

> If you have not registered at jalbum.net, just ignore this message.

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DavidT was stating that reporters were reporting your newsletter after they "requested" it.

No, that's not quite what I stated. Please go back and review this thread from the beginning. I did not state that people had "requested" the newsletter.

The "JAlbum newsletter - Christmas" is the first and only newsletter I have received. Is it the first newsletter sent out in the last 2.5 months?

No, there was one sent out on the 8th of November titled "JAlbum newsletter - November."

Assuming that you're correct about the previous existence of a forum-only signup on the JAlbum site (and I believe you probably are), it's possible that they've got some list-management issues, and that the forum registration addresses were added to the database of addresses provided during software registration and free album hosting registration. If that's the case, then they should take a close look at the situation and remove the addresses of people who only registered for their forum from the list used for newsletter broadcasts. If this scenario is correct, then I'd attribute this to human error, rather than any intentions to send people unsolicited messages.

DT

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No, there was one sent out on the 8th of November titled "JAlbum newsletter - November."
I appear not to have received that one. It is not in my mailbox and I can not find any reports in my past reports. Are there any reports against the IP that was used to send that newsletter?

If this scenario is correct, then I'd attribute this to human error, rather than any intentions to send people unsolicited messages.
I agree that it was not a deliberate attempt to spam. The problem likely happened between the November newsletter and this one.

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Are there any reports against the IP that was used to send that newsletter?

Not associated with the November newsletter. The only three reports in the last 90 days are from the October newsletter. The December newsletter, sent from a different IP, garnered only one report to SpamCop....yours. You received a copy of correspondence between JAlbum, Don, and myself, so perhaps you'll be willing to work with them to see what might have gone wrong.

DT

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Not associated with the November newsletter. The only three reports in the last 90 days are from the October newsletter. The December newsletter, sent from a different IP, garnered only one report to SpamCop....yours. You received a copy of correspondence between JAlbum, Don, and myself, so perhaps you'll be willing to work with them to see what might have gone wrong.

As stated earlier, I replied to johan via email, to work with them. The post here was simply a copy of that email to keep everyone here up to date. I am waiting to hear back from them, likely not until Monday however.

When was the October newsletter sent? If after October 4, then I missed 2 before receiving the latest one.

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No, that's not quite what I stated. Please go back and review this thread from the beginning. I did not state that people had "requested" the newsletter.

No, there was one sent out on the 8th of November titled "JAlbum newsletter - November."

Assuming that you're correct about the previous existence of a forum-only signup on the JAlbum site (and I believe you probably are), it's possible that they've got some list-management issues, and that the forum registration addresses were added to the database of addresses provided during software registration and free album hosting registration. If that's the case, then they should take a close look at the situation and remove the addresses of people who only registered for their forum from the list used for newsletter broadcasts. If this scenario is correct, then I'd attribute this to human error, rather than any intentions to send people unsolicited messages.

DT

Hi!

You have indeed found something Steven. The forum login/hosting is the same database in our system and after the forum upgrade there was a way to register for about 3 weeks through the forum subpage. With every forum upgrade we always needs to customize some pages is order for it to go through the right channels. We atleast have a way to pinpoint the registered users and have blocked the users that registered through the forum pages instead of our download pages.

Anything, don't heistate to contact me directly we acctully care.

Kind Regards

Johan

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You have indeed found something Steven. The forum login/hosting is the same database in our system and after the forum upgrade there was a way to register for about 3 weeks through the forum subpage. With every forum upgrade we always needs to customize some pages is order for it to go through the right channels. We atleast have a way to pinpoint the registered users and have blocked the users that registered through the forum pages instead of our download pages.

Glad we were able to explain that and it is understandable. We (mostly Wazoo) knows all about customizations needed to forums after upgrades. At one point, I think we had the live version and 2 upgrade versions running in beta here.

I will let you know directly if I receive any more.

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