On July 1, The Canadian Anti-Spam Law took effect, appropriately, on Canada Day. It was passed in 2010 as a “made-in-Canada” solution to “drive spammers out of Canada,” according to a blog from Denton’s Global Privacy and Security Group.

Perhaps you’ve begun receiving friendly requests from Canadian suppliers or vendors, like convention and visitors bureaus in Niagara Falls, Ontario, or Montreal, Québec, because you’re in their database and you now have to opt in to receive “a commercial electronic message.”

But it doesn’t just affect organizations in Canada sending you e-mail. It affects any organization or business sending messages to people in Canada. That has consequences for meeting organizers, particularly associations, that market their meetings and events to Canadians.

Because the law passed in 2010, the legal community has been administering counsel since 2012 about its effects and how you need to change the way you do business.

In  2012, the American Society of Association Executives published this story (for members only), which says, “CASL casts a wide geographic net. It purports to capture commercial e-mail and other electronic messages sent from or accessed by a computer in Canada; the alteration of transmission data when a computer system located in Canada is used to send, route, or access the electronic message; or if a computer program is installed on a computer located in Canada.

“This is important for U.S. businesses and nonprofits, as they must pay attention to the law even though they are based outside of Canada. It is also important to note that while the United States has federal and some state anti-spam legislation, the Canadian version is much tougher. For example, the U.S. federal CAN-SPAM Act restricts the ability of a private litigant to bring a class action.”

If you want more information on the new law, visit the Canadian government’s Web site.