Legal issues hosting email...?

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sdsadmin
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Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by sdsadmin » 2012-06-22 17:27

Good Morning Hmail Forums,

Im new to this forum and have been using Hmail for about a month now. Ive used this forum to help learn more about hmailserver and have successfully set it up(im also using Zpanel for easier maintenance and the preinstalled roundcube for webmail) So far its all been running great(other than my computer crashes-hardware related)

Anyway, i have a customer who is fed up with their current email hosting service and wants me to host theirs for them. My question is what are the legalities of hosting email? I always back up every night and make sure we have good backups, however i dont know how long we need to keep old emails? And along the same lines how do we restore a single email if a customer accidentally deletes one they didnt want to?

I just dont want to get into any trouble hosting email. I know im careful not to delete anything with my own account, but i plan on offering IMAP which would allow the user to delete right off the server...which wouldnt allow me to get a backup.

Any help is greatly appreciated and thanks for all the help ive already gotten just reading the forums!

Thanks!

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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by jbmd » 2012-06-22 18:40

I am attaching down the license, hopefully it is not a secret :wink:

And I understand that as long as you will NOT use MS SQL server HMailserver is free for commercial webhosting.


----------------------
HMAILSERVER LICENSE TERMS
This is a legal agreement between you and the author of this software, Martin Knafve. By installing this software (hMailServer), you agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law.
hMailServer is provided "as is" without any warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. You agree to hold the author harmless for any result that may occur related to the use of this software.
hMailServer may be used for both personal and commercial purposes. You may install hMailServer on an unlimited number of your own computers. You may not resell hMailServer to third parties without prior permission from the author.
hMailServer uses Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition. By agreeing to this license you agree to be bound by the terms of the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition license.
hMailServer also use OpenSSL. By agreeing to this license you agree to be bound by the terms
of the OpenSSL license, below.

===================================================
MICROSOFT SOFTWARE LICENSE TERMS
MICROSOFT SQL SERVER COMPACT 3.5

These license terms are an agreement between Microsoft Corporation (or based on where you live, one of its affiliates) and you. Please read them. They apply to the software named above, which includes the media on which you received it, if any. The terms also apply to any Microsoft
· updates,
· supplements,
· Internet-based services, and
· support services
for this software, unless other terms accompany those items. If so, those terms apply.
BY USING THE SOFTWARE, YOU ACCEPT THESE TERMS. IF YOU DO NOT ACCEPT THEM, DO NOT USE THE SOFTWARE.
If you comply with these license terms, you have the rights below.
1. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS. You may install and use any number of copies of the software on your devices.
2. ADDITIONAL LICENSING REQUIREMENTS AND/OR USE RIGHTS.
a. Distributable Code. The software contains code that you are permitted to distribute in programs you develop if you comply with the terms below.
i. Right to Use and Distribute. The code and text files listed below are “Distributable Code.”
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iii. Distribution Restrictions. You may not
· alter any copyright, trademark or patent notice in the Distributable Code;
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· the code be disclosed or distributed in source code form; or
· others have the right to modify it.
3. Scope of License. The software is licensed, not sold. This agreement only gives you some rights to use the software. Microsoft reserves all other rights. Unless applicable law gives you more rights despite this limitation, you may use the software only as expressly permitted in this agreement. In doing so, you must comply with any technical limitations in the software that only allow you to use it in certain ways. You may not
· work around any technical limitations in the software;
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· make more copies of the software than specified in this agreement or allowed by applicable law, despite this limitation;
· publish the software for others to copy;
· rent, lease or lend the software; or
· use the software for commercial software hosting services.
4. BACKUP COPY. You may make one backup copy of the software. You may use it only to reinstall the software.
5. DOCUMENTATION. Any person that has valid access to your computer or internal network may copy and use the documentation for your internal, reference purposes.
6. TRANSFER TO A THIRD PARTY. The first user of the software may transfer it and this agreement directly to a third party. Before the transfer, that party must agree that this agreement applies to the transfer and use of the software. The first user must uninstall the software before transferring it separately from the device. The first user may not retain any copies.
7. Export Restrictions. The software is subject to United States export laws and regulations. You must comply with all domestic and international export laws and regulations that apply to the software. These laws include restrictions on destinations, end users and end use. For additional information, see http://www.microsoft.com/exporting.
8. SUPPORT SERVICES. Because this software is “as is,” we may not provide support services for it.
9. Entire Agreement. This agreement, and the terms for supplements, updates, Internet-based services and support services that you use, are the entire agreement for the software and support services.
10. Applicable Law.
a. United States. If you acquired the software in the United States, Washington state law governs the interpretation of this agreement and applies to claims for breach of it, regardless of conflict of laws principles. The laws of the state where you live govern all other claims, including claims under state consumer protection laws, unfair competition laws, and in tort.
b. Outside the United States. If you acquired the software in any other country, the laws of that country apply.
11. Legal Effect. This agreement describes certain legal rights. You may have other rights under the laws of your country. You may also have rights with respect to the party from whom you acquired the software. This agreement does not change your rights under the laws of your country if the laws of your country do not permit it to do so.
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This limitation applies to
· anything related to the software, services, content (including code) on third party Internet sites, or third party programs; and
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It also applies even if Microsoft knew or should have known about the possibility of the damages. The above limitation or exclusion may not apply to you because your country may not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental, consequential or other damages.
===================================================
Copyright (c) 1999-2004 The OpenSSL Project. All rights reserved.
Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:
1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by sdsadmin » 2012-06-22 18:50

Hey thanks! I read through that and it looks like were complying with everything in there. And were using MYSql not MS Sql so i think were ok.

My biggest question was about backing up/archiving email and how long we need to keep them legally.

I appreciate the help! Thanks!

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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by jbmd » 2012-06-22 19:02

I have that problem too since some of the customers think they can store the data there endlessly.

Probably the best thing is to set the quota for accounts. It will force them to erase it themselves once in a while.

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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by ^DooM^ » 2012-06-22 19:21

Depends which country you are in as to how long you legally need to back up email for. Check with your government agencies for info on that.
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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by percepts » 2012-06-22 19:41

I would think very carefully about doing it. Is it really worthwhile financially against the ongoing support you will be obliged to give just for one client and the requirement for guaranteed up time on your servers. I guess it comes down to your setup and your willingness to do it. And if they want IMAP how many users will be hammering your server. And if they want webmail.

Personally for one client I wouldn't do it. Gmail apps can be setup to use your clients domain name and they get as much space as they are ever likely to need. It has great inbuilt spam protection and functionality for mobile etc. And its free for a single client I think. You can just charge for setup and ongoing support without the hassle of maintaining software and server for it. Just my opinion.
Last edited by percepts on 2012-06-22 19:52, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by percepts » 2012-06-22 19:50

sdsadmin wrote: I just dont want to get into any trouble hosting email. I know im careful not to delete anything with my own account, but i plan on offering IMAP which would allow the user to delete right off the server...which wouldnt allow me to get a backup.
If you don't offer IMAP then the responsibility is for the client to back up their in house systems including email. Depends how they are setup as to how easy that is. If you do offer IMAP you can switch on mirroring whichs copies all incoming and outgoing mail to one adress which can be on another server so that in the event of a major failure you can retrieve what was lost since the last backup albeit painfully. Just clear down the mirror location as part of your backup procedure immediately the backup has finsihed sucessfully. But that already means you need two servers and you have nothing setup for for a system failure which may require backup servers ready to go. Getting into hosting is not for the faint of heart IMO.
Last edited by percepts on 2012-06-22 19:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by sdsadmin » 2012-06-22 19:54

Thanks for the fast responses!

Im in the good ol' US of A Which means its harder than heck to interpret the laws and figure out what i need to do. Im in montana and the laws arent clear. Ive only found that i need to back it up, but it doesnt say for how long.

Its not a huge deal i suppose. As technology increases, external hard drives will get cheaper and bigger. Which will make it easier to store more emails.

Im also talking to a few other customers who have wanted me to host their emails in the past so i dont think ill use Google(but thanks for the suggestion!) And ive had my hmail test server up for a while now and i have my domain on it and havent had any issues(other than hardware, but when we put it into production were going to put it on our server 2003 in a virtual machine(and well back up the virtual machine daily as well)

Im very impressed with Hmail so far and havent had any issues. Im still learning some of the stuff on ZPanel and wish i could change a few things with roundcube, but its all coming together nicely.

I appreciate all the help so far!

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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by sdsadmin » 2012-06-22 19:59

percepts wrote:
sdsadmin wrote: I just dont want to get into any trouble hosting email. I know im careful not to delete anything with my own account, but i plan on offering IMAP which would allow the user to delete right off the server...which wouldnt allow me to get a backup.
If you don't offer IMAP then the responsibility is for the client to back up their in house systems including email. Depends how they are setup as to how easy that is. If you do offer IMAP you can switch on mirroring whichs copies all incoming and outgoing mail to one adress which can be on another server so that in the event of a major failure you can retrieve what was lost since the last backup albeit painfully. Just clear down the mirror location as part of your backup procedure immediately the backup has finsihed sucessfully. But that already means you need two servers and you have nothing setup for for a system failure which may require backup servers ready to go. Getting into hosting is not for the faint of heart IMO.

Thats a great idea! I have to have IMAP enabled as webmail access is a huge request especially for those people who travel a lot. I like that idea and ill see if i cant implement it. One 'catch all' account for each domain i have shouldnt be too hard to set up i imagine...?

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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by percepts » 2012-06-22 20:03

unfortunately Hmailserver does mirroring by server installation and not by domain name which is why I said "painfully". Would be nice to have it by domain. Perhaps a new feature request is in the offing unless its possible to have more than one instalation of HMS running on one machine.

p.s. may be possible to do with scripting.

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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by percepts » 2012-06-22 20:13

infact mirroring your whole server is probably the best idea so you can just put the mirror online if you have a failure.

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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by sdsadmin » 2012-06-22 20:15

I thought i saw in HMail under domains-domainname-advanced there is a catch all address option. Wouldnt that amount to the same thing? And i could back up that account daily and delete all the email from it on a daily basis to prevent it from reaching its limits? id just have to make sure that i kept that backup in a safe place and kept it organized by date and domain in case i needed to restore anything.

Wouldnt that work?

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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by percepts » 2012-06-22 20:39

nope. That catchall is so that if someone sends a message to an undefined account on a domain it goes to the catchall.
catchall is a pain and I would leave it switched off. Spammers use the fact that many have catchall switched on to send spam to nonexistant accounts in the hope that someone is checking what goes into the catchall just incase its important.

You could use fowarding by account but you must always remember to setup it when creating the account and you take away the ability of the account user to use it for their own purposes and you must create an account on your mirror for every account on the main server so admin becomes greater and more prone to error.

You could use one forwarding address for each domain but you still have to setup each account with it and if you have provided the client with ability to setup their own new email accounts then the setup interface has to handle it automatically which I doubt it does.

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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by sdsadmin » 2012-06-22 21:01

Ahh, i was mistaken. Thanks for the clarification! I like the idea of a single account that can catch all the email addresses. I understand that its gonna take a lot of management but i think i might give that a try along side my other backups. (im a strong believer that you can never have too many backups haha)

I appreciate the tips!

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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by Bill48105 » 2012-06-22 21:46

hmailserver 5.4 has 'archiving' option which saves copies of all mail in & out in a tree similar to the Data tree which I added to aid in keeping copies of messages for clients.
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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by sdsadmin » 2012-06-22 22:25

Bill48105 wrote:hmailserver 5.4 has 'archiving' option which saves copies of all mail in & out in a tree similar to the Data tree which I added to aid in keeping copies of messages for clients.
Bill
Really!? Thats great! The only problem is im running the 5.3 version that came with the zpanel install. Is there a way to upgrade that to 5.4 without blowing up my zpanel install? If so, how would i do that and how do i access and use this archiving option?

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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by sdsadmin » 2012-06-22 23:15

Okay so ive successfully upgraded to the 5.4 beta and things seem to be working, but i dont see where the archiving is at...? Ive enabled the mirror account and that seems to work but how do i find the archived tree?

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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by Bill48105 » 2012-06-23 01:30

sdsadmin wrote:
Bill48105 wrote:hmailserver 5.4 has 'archiving' option which saves copies of all mail in & out in a tree similar to the Data tree which I added to aid in keeping copies of messages for clients.
Bill
Really!? Thats great! The only problem is im running the 5.3 version that came with the zpanel install. Is there a way to upgrade that to 5.4 without blowing up my zpanel install? If so, how would i do that and how do i access and use this archiving option?
As far as I know you could likely upgrade but doubt the zpanel integration would work.. You'd need to use hmail's GUI admin and php web admin.

Archiving is an 'advanced' option enabled thru editing the hmailserver.ini file:
http://www.hmailserver.com/forum/viewto ... 38#p132238

Code: Select all

[Settings]
;ArchiveDir=C:\MailArchive
; Folder where copies of every email get stored. Default or undefined disables archiving

;ArchiveHardLinks=1
; Enables use of NTFS Hardlinks. (NOT FAT/FAT32!) Default or 0 disables & forces normal Copy
Create a folder where you want the archive stored then add the ArchiveDir value & restart hmailserver.exe service to enable. Assuming you are using NTFS, odds are you want to enable hardlinks which will save a ton of space & write time by hard-linking 'copies' vs making actual copies.

Once a few emails come in or go out you will see the folder structure build. Keep in mind the archive will grow forever so you'll want to manage that by either purging files over a certain age or migrating them to another media etc. I use a script that 7z's them then those get migrated to other storage after a certain amount of time.
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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by percepts » 2012-06-23 01:33

sorry can't help with that as I don't have 5.4 installed. Waiting for it to goto production status.

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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by Bill48105 » 2012-06-23 01:50

percepts wrote:sorry can't help with that as I don't have 5.4 installed. Waiting for it to goto production status.
More fun than watching grass grow or water boil!

The best way people can help get 5.4 released is to TEST/USE it & provide feedback! Is why I created this post forever ago:
http://www.hmailserver.com/forum/viewto ... 10&t=20581

Sure the positive votes far outweigh bad ones but seriously are we to think only 40-50 people have tried or are using 5.4 in almost 2 years since 1st 5.4 alpha was released?!?

How can 5.4 be released as stable if people don't try/use it & give feedback? (Don't get me wrong, martin being extremely busy is a key factor but if enough people test it & say it's working then it makes it much more likely he'll trust it's OK & take the time to release a new build.

That being said, anyone waiting on 5.4 should at least test & provide feedback to help the process along.
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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by percepts » 2012-06-23 02:23

I suppose I could try it out but since I have such a small throughput of email and don't use IMAP (that may change) I don't think I'll discover much if anything for you. And 5.3.3 has been stable for me so I adopted the "if ain't broke don't try and fix it" policy. I'd still be running win2k if browser support hadn't died for it. It just worked for me.

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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by percepts » 2012-06-23 02:26

[quote="Bill48105
Sure the positive votes far outweigh bad ones but seriously are we to think only 40-50 people have tried or are using 5.4 in almost 2 years since 1st 5.4 alpha was released?!?
[/quote]

download page says 20,000 downloads. Just because people haven't voted doesn't mean they haven't used it. :wink:

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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by Bill48105 » 2012-06-23 02:40

percepts wrote:download page says 20,000 downloads. Just because people haven't voted doesn't mean they haven't used it. :wink:
Download counts mean nothing in terms of if the software works.. For all we know that was 99% bots, people who downloaded it by mistake or people who never even installed etc etc etc. Besides there are almost 1/2 MILLION downloads of 5.3.3, should we assume that many people use it? (Hope not because we know there are many bugs in older builds!)
percepts wrote:I suppose I could try it out but since I have such a small throughput of email and don't use IMAP (that may change) I don't think I'll discover much if anything for you. And 5.3.3 has been stable for me so I adopted the "if ain't broke don't try and fix it" policy. I'd still be running win2k if browser support hadn't died for it. It just worked for me.
Each person's server use is unique so the more people who use a build the better idea we have of how it's working. You'd be surprised how bugs/issues are found. Not always by heavy users, often by the 'oddball' ones who don't fit the 'norm' who do. ;)

Btw on one hand I generally agree, if it's working leave it alone. But there is also a point where the risks of upgrading/change outweigh risks of NOT changing. Just look at the changes since 5.3.3 to latest 5.4 (including many bug fixes) and combine that with fact 5.3.x is likely dead (as in no further releases beyond 5.3.4 expected, only martin has source, etc) vs 5.4 which is open source & relatively active.

Anyway we've mucked up this thread with tangent discussing things beyond original poster's question. ;)
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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by sdsadmin » 2012-06-25 16:27

Haha, yeah i was out for the weekend and just got myself caught up. Im okay that we went out on a tangent, im enjoying learning more about Hmailserver! I did manage to get upgraded to 5.4 and it appeared to be working with ZPanel. I was in the middle of testing it when i decided to upgrade Oracle(ive got my test mailserver in a virtual machine) and when i upgraded oracle it killed my VM!! So once i get that fixed ill be doing more testing on 5.4 and its integration with ZPanel. Im also excited to test this archiving option!

Thanks everyone!

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hmail 5.4 and zpanel

Post by rob2k2 » 2013-12-12 18:55

hey sdsadmin

Did you test much of zpanel with hmailserver 5.4..??

like add users and delete users etc ?? is it working?? with 5.4? I know you lost your vm there sux.. but how far did you get.. should i try it is it worth it??

I'm in a similar situation.. i'm not concerned about the archiveing.. i'm actually having the dreaded hanging issue.. apparently there is a promising experimental build i would like to try out.. but my bigger concern is zpanel breaking.. In order to use the experimental build i will have to upgrade to 5.4..

I'm going to work on getting test server going - but before i invest too much time into this i would appreciate any feedback on your limited experience with 5.4 and zpanel..

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Re: Legal issues hosting email...?

Post by Snorkasaurus » 2013-12-26 05:54

percepts wrote:I would think very carefully about doing it.
I would +1 to that...
sdsadmin wrote:Im in montana and the laws arent clear.
I am quite certainly not a lawyer but have done IT admin work for organizations [in Canada] that had some special legal requirements (PCI standards and PIPA/PIPEDA compliance for example). Standards like these can be what we in the computer biz call A Massive Pain In The Ass if you are not prepared for them. These compliance standards may also require not only maintaining copies of electronic records for a defined duration but may also require destruction of electronic data under certain conditions (someone leaving the organization, customer request, or duration of time).

While these kinds of restrictions are typically reserved for large organizations, I would still suggest that before offering to host mail for an organization you should ask them if they have any similar compliance standards that they must meet, and investigate the implications for you and your mail server.

Aside from that there would of course be the usual elevated expectations from the users of your mail server. :-)

My 3¢
Snork.

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