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We are preparing for a longer downtime on our project's site. We would like to let our users know about this planned downtime but we do not know if this requires their consent. Would this email be the same category as a newsletter? This would affect 1000+ people from a lot of different companies.

I will accept a generic answer also but it somebody knows how this affects Germany I would appreciate the insight.

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closed as off topic by Sven, Dan, MadHatter, Alex, ceejayoz May 21 '12 at 14:28

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This is off-topic here on Server Fault, as we are not lawyers. Nevertheless, I guess this depends on a lot of things (what kind of service you run, how your users are related to your project etc.). The safe thing would be to allow users to configure if they want to receive this kind of status message. Taking myself as an example, there are services where I want or better need an advance notice of a downtime, for others I couldn't care less and might even be annoyed when receiving something like that. –  Sven May 21 '12 at 13:49
    
I had the feeling that this is off-topic but I still posted because a lot of admins might deal with the same situation and some of them might have the answer. I don't need legal advice strictly, only a clarification/categorization. –  Germstorm May 21 '12 at 13:53
    
It's clearly off-topic (citing the FAQ: and is not about ... Licensing, legal advice, and circumvention of security or policy). You need to contact your lawyer to get a reliable answer for this. –  Sven May 21 '12 at 13:55
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You should at least post an announcement on the actual website or something, usually people that plan to use the website visit it. –  Bogdacutu May 21 '12 at 14:04

1 Answer 1

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Not a legal expert.

This really is something that should be written in the contract, and in most cases is.

But regardless, I can't think of a single reason why a user wouldn't want to be notified of planned downtime, regardless of legal limitations. It is an important announcement regarding their service and they should receive it in the fastest possible manner to minimize downtime of their services connected to the downed server.

They'd also want to be notified if the contract would be changed or if their bills are overdue or things like that. Think of this as a slight alteration to the uptime part of the contract.

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