Weblogs: Spam

Spamhaus and Spews win in spam-haven Florida

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

It looked to be an act of sheer desparation that Florida based spammers decided to take high-profile anti-spammers to court over the use of black lists and email filtering. On the grounds of damages to business and impairment of their freedom of speech, the legal arguments bolstering the spammer suit looked flaky at best, and the end result bares witness to that.

Spammer complaints rejected

Anti-spammers won a significant victory in defence of their methods of spam reduction. All arguments raised by the spammer organisation emarketersamerica.org (fronted by "ambulance-chasing" lawyer Mark E. Felstein - a man with a lack of candor) were rejected with prejudice.

One of the key moves of this developing saga was the anti-spammer strategy of going for a full disclosure process. This would entail spammers having to provide complete and substantiated proof and documentation in the businesses they've been doing over the last five years, including tax returns and contracts with ISPs. From the spammer reaction of trying to withdraw the lawsuit, it is certainly an understanding that spammers have been operating without full legality, and that alone would destroy any credibility they have left in the eyes of the court.

The cost of victory

This brave move of going for a full disclosure and going for a full defence has the side-effect of racking up legal fees rather quickly. Even with the anti-spammer lawyers reducing their fees by $40,000 owing to the reduced workload required since the trial didn't go its full length, that still leaves a hefty big legal bill to settle.

Part of the legal bill is being handled by the SpamCon Foundation. They have a legal fund "which provides monetary assistance to parties involved in litigation that has the potential to set legal precedent in the body of law relevant to the issue of spam." They don't have enough to cover this particular legal bill, so donations are gratefully accepted. (I've just donated $200 - its a worthwhile cause).

Related Reading

[ Weblog | Categories and feeds | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 ]