Spamhaus usage policy

Stephen Swaney steve.swaney at
Fri Apr 10 19:46:03 IST 2009

I'm examining the feasibility of providing Spamhaus and other "for" pay RBL
servers / services for our customers. I've had to read the "fine print" in
the Usage policies to see who needs to buy the services and I've come across
some information I think is worth sharing with the list.

Below is a recap of the Spamhaus usage policy but please see: for the complete
Spamhaus Usage Policy Statement!

Spamhaus RBL Usage Policies

The use of the Spamhaus ZEN list via DNS queries to their public DNSBL
servers is free of charge if you meet all three of the following criteria:
1.	Your use of the Spamhaus DNSBLs is non-commercial*, and
2.	Your email traffic is less than 100,000 SMTP connections** per day,
3.	Your DNSBL query volume is less than 300,000 queries per day.

*Definition: "non-commercial use" is use for any purpose other than as part
or all of a product or service that is resold, or for use of which a fee is
charged. For example, using our DNSBLs in a commercial spam filtering
appliance that is then sold to others requires a data feed, regardless of
use volume. The same is true of commercial spam filtering software and
commercial spam filtering services.

A company that uses the Spamhaus DNSBLs solely to filter their own email
qualifies as a non-commercial user and may use our free public DNSBLs if
that company's email volume and DNSBL query volume is below the free use
limits. The same is true for any non-profit organization, school, religious
organization, or private individual who operates their own mail server.

** (my guess) This would equate to approximately 3,500 mail boxes.

This means that any site that uses any type of commercial software to scan
for spam MUST license the Spamhaus feed to use it.

But the converse is also true!

If you use only MailScanner and other open Source software and:

2.	Your email traffic is less than 100,000 SMTP connections per day,
3.	Your DNSBL query volume is less than 300,000 queries per day.

You can use / query Spamhaus at no charge. I have confirmed that this is
correct with a Spamhaus re-seller.

I just thought that some might find this information useful


Steve Swaney
steve at
202 595-7760 ext: 601

The most accurate and cost effective anti-spam solutions available

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