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I don't use Google Doc forms, but I would think, yes. Not sure about reply/request forms for fans too on a website. I mean, I guess it might depend if the information is stored and then used to market info.

But I'm not a lawyer, so it would be nice to hear about that scenario from one.

I too have been going through my mailing list, adding the form to my sign-up and sending out need to respond emails. It seems everyone is doing this, because it's hard to know who is from the EU unless you gather that data too. So, I've been wondering, can you ask a person their citizenship? It may become necessary if laws are starting to be written this way, enforced by country. We may need to know what country everyone is from.

 

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Ah, the latest bandaid.

I love that they think a 20 million dollar fine will deter a multibillion dollar industry.

If companies can be people, they should be subject to prison time (a business embargo plus actual prison for the board and CEO) and the death penalty (dissolution).
 

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I've been picking up information on this matter in bits and pieces, and not all of it relevant to an indie author with a newsletter. Definitely feeling a need to pull it all together. Has anyone found a summary of what's expected of our particular situation, regarding compliance? If so, a link would be appreciated.
 

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My thoughts are yes. TBH, I’ve only begun researching this today. I listened to Mark Dawson’s podcast this morning featuring a UK attorney’s understanding of the law. I also listened to another marketing podcast (not book related) and an American attorney interviewed on the subject. If you are sharing your mailing list there will need to be full disclosure and consent prior to doing so based on the legal advise I’m hearing.
 

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For those that are still trying to sort it all, I checked with my mailing list service, and they had instructions on how to help comply. In my case, I'm using mailchimp.com. They have step by step instructions on how to update your sign-up forms, send out a notice for your current email list to update their profile to be in compliance, and then how to segment out the part that agree to the marketing email permission on the form. It took a while, but I've been managing to get through it all. I've got about 200 people out of my 1,000 have responded back. I'm guessing I'm going to have to cut loose a lot of them that don't respond.

But I am getting messages from other newsletter lists that I'm on with requests to update my profile and be GDPR compliant. Some other authors I've seen are offering free books to go through the process. But, heah, I figure if I've got some people not answering or opening up, then maybe it's a way to trim down the people that just don't open or respond. Sad though since I've spent a lot of time and effort to build it up by giving away free books on instafreebie. But if they don't respond, I don't have much choice.

I've been seeing a lot of privacy messages coming from Twitter, FB, and other websites, and I'm guessing it is from this new law too. 
 

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Go listen to that podcast on Mark Dawson's site, like pronto.

The two court cases (and fines) related to this have been because those companies mailed out "Do you still want to stay on this lis" emails.

By emailing that, you admit that some of those people shouldn't be on the list in the first place, in which case, you can't email them, in which case, your email is in breach.

Also, James & Mark ponder on losing subscribers through this. James says it might be 50%. Nah. I think you'd be lucky to keep 10% of your subscribers. In the past few days, I've rage-quit a lot of lists because they're sending me these dumb emails. NO. I don't want to stay on your list. NO. I never gave permission. NO. Even if I gave permission, I live in frikken Australia and if you don't know how to separate your list by locality, I don't wanna know about you. Imagine the deluge of this type of shit people in Europe are getting.

If you absolutely must commit mailing list harakiri, at least learn how to separate out the European ones and send it to them only. Don't expect them to receive it in a good frame of mind, though.
 

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Vaalingrade said:
I love that they think a 20 million dollar fine will deter a multibillion dollar industry.
They did actually think of that. The maximum fine is 20 million euros or 4% of annual turnover, whichever is the larger amount.
 

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Lexi Hall said:
Can someone please explain how an author who resides in the United States is subject to this law? I don't vote in the EU. I don't pay taxes in the EU and I don't live there either. I have no business presence in the EU at all.

Under what jurisdiction am I obligated to follow this law?
When you have subscribers who are in the EU.

Same with tax law. When you sell a book in the AU Amazon store, you pay Australian GST.
 

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Lexi Hall said:
Amazon pays Australian GST. I have no mechanism of any kind through which I can deliver tax remittance to Australia. Even if I did, I am under no obligation to pay taxes to any foreign government.
Amazon pays taxes on your behalf. If you sold independently, you would be. This is not how practice works, but is is changing. The GDPR is part of the worldwide movement to have laws applied to customer citizens of that country rather than the origin of the seller. In an internet world, that makes perfect sense.

For a small business, like us, it's sometimes safe to ignore laws that are poorly enforceable, and sometimes it's not that much of a bother, as with GDPR. Sometimes, too, intermediaries spring up that handle this stuff for you. Big companies, however, like Amazon, really need to watch their backs. For us... meh. Unless you get a really disgruntled person who lodges a complaint that you spammed them and a cursory investigation finds that your list clearly breaches certain standards. The chance of that happening is very small, but would be pain if it did, and as I said, following what Mark and James said about it is really easy.

In light of the Facebook scandal, these types of requirements relating to transparency and letting people know what they sign up for, are likely to be rolled out across the world.
 

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Lexi Hall said:
Amazon pays Australian GST. I have no mechanism of any kind through which I can deliver tax remittance to Australia. Even if I did, I am under no obligation to pay taxes to any foreign government.
The thing is, for Mailchimp, you are liable to maintain your list under laws that apply to it. Even if you live in the US, if you include an EU citizen on your list and you haven't complied, then you'll have problems. It includes EU citizens living ANYWHERE in the world. You don't know if the person is an EU citizen if they live in the US, Africa, or even South America. So, this could literally, affect everyone in the world.
 

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MarilynVix said:
The thing is, for Mailchimp, you are liable to maintain your list under laws that apply to it. Even if you live in the US, if you include an EU citizen on your list and you haven't complied, then you'll have problems. It includes EU citizens living ANYWHERE in the world. You don't know if the person is an EU citizen if they live in the US, Africa, or even South America. So, this could literally, affect everyone in the world.
I know you can find out where people are in the world. Mailchimp records the latlongs for the subscriber data. Mailerlite records their time zone.
 

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Patty Jansen said:
I know you can find out where people are in the world. Mailchimp records the latlongs for the subscriber data. Mailerlite records their time zone.
This doesn't always work. I know for a fact that I have multiple people on my list from EU countries, but when I tried to segment for them, mailchimp found no one.

As I've said on other forums (sorry if anyone has seen me repeating myself from other places) mailchimp has instructions on how to handle this, and since I use them to run my list, I used their instructions. I'd rather be safe and lose 1/3 of my list than mess up and be responsible for the fines. Plus the people who aren't responding are the ones who don't bother opening anything I send, so it's not really a big loss for me.
 

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Lexi Hall said:
Oh I'm sure they'll do whatever hurts us the most.

By the way, we have a government too. I guess they don't get a vote.
They do get a vote, but in a global marketplace, they don't get the only vote. If we're going to sell to EU countries, I don't think it's too much to ask that we have to abide by their laws for email marketing.
 
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