by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
entrepreneurs, lawsuits, spam

The Rise Of Anti-Spam Lawsuit Entrepreneurs

from the give-me-spam-so-i-can-sue-you dept

I'll admit that many years ago, when I first heard about people trying to sue spammers for profit, it sounded like a pretty cool idea. No one likes spammers, and being able to sue them and make some money off of it sounds good, right? But it appears that it's becoming a bigger business these days, and in a story about a specific case from one such person, Eric Goldman reasonably questions the tactics of some of these "anti-spam litigation entrepreneurs," noting that they often seek out spam, just to have more to sue over. That seems highly problematic. If they're purposely putting their email address out there just to get spam, with the intention of suing over it, it's difficult to see how they have much of a claim to complain about the spam received. Now, it appears that some judges are starting to fight back against clear profiteers, who are clearly not using the law as a way to fight spam, but just to profit.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Oct 2008 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re:

    Junkmail is funded by the sender through postage
    Spam is "funded" by the victim through bandwidth and account storage constraints

    I think that is a straw-man argument, saying you have bandwidth or storage limitations is like saying if you get enough junk mail it won't fit in your mailbox.

    additionally pretty much every mail server out there does not count spam towards the mailbox limit and as mailboxes are frequently giving out storage space in the gigabytes a few more kilobytes (or megabytes, 1000 emails without pictures or attachments will only be about a meg or so) makes almost no impact on the storage limit.

    You also pay the same amount whether you receive spam or not, you pay a flat monthly fee for your internet unless you have a terrible service provider (in which case, why are you still with them?) so you can't say it costs you anything to receive them, if you specifically are with a shitty ISP that charges by the byte then it definitely doesn't hold true for the rest of the world.

    Junkmail content is normally legitimate business offers
    Spam content is seldom legitimate, legal or ethical - and more often than not, offensive

    I can understand this, but it seems to me that the spammers should be sued not for spamming, but for false advertising, or other already existing laws that prohibit scams. however, the sending of bulk emails in and of themselves seems to be a non-issue to me.

    Both junkmail and spam devalue the method of delivery, because it takes so much time and effort to weed out what we care about and what is worthless trash (according to each recipient).

    I'm happy your e-mail filters work so well FOR YOU, but then this really isn't about you or any other individual's experience, is it? Many have had and reported different experiences with false-positives and false-negatives and some of us worry about others beyond our limited personal viewpoints.

    I also dislike this argument, if someone can't set up really good spam filters, then isn't that an indication that there is a hole for a new service to fill? email addresses that rely on their reputation for not letting any spam through, the computer tutors now also teach how to set up spam filters as part of the email training course, and so on.

    while this is again my personal experience most of my friends never have to check their spam folders because they have their filters set up as well as mine are. none of the professionals (of computer science, so programming, pc maintenance&repair, database, networking, etc..) I know have a problem. that seems to only reinforce in my mind that it is a matter of training, not an impossible thing attainable to only a scant few.

    I am, however, willing to leave my argument at that and agree to disagree.

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