Well, it looks like the “DMA giving in” on Spam is not exactly what it seems. From my understanding of reports I’ve read over the last day or so, the DMA is calling for legislation, which is good, because we’re at that stage now.
But they are suggesting (as they always have) that unsolicited e-mail is okay as long as you have a real From and Subject line and provide a street address.
The idea is that this law would get rid of all the dubious spam that gets sent, but would also clear the way for “legitimate” companies to spam anyone they wanted to. This was always their position and it is dead wrong.
The DMA should follow the strategy of the CMA which has had a very enlightened policy since 1997 (disclosure: I was one of the authors of the CMA policy).
This Wired News article called “Spam So Bad the Spammers Balk” gives a good overview.