No More Making Spam for Nigel
A British man has won a landmark case in the United Kingdom against a company that was sending him unsolicited email. In what is believed to be the first case of its kind in Europe, Nigel Roberts sued marketing firm Media Logistics UK after receiving a number of email advertisements in August about starting a fax broadcasting business and a contract car firm. The advertiser used Media Logistics to distribute messages to Internet users.
Media Logistics filed an acknowledgement of the claim at Colchester County Court, but did not defend it and a judge ruled in favor of Roberts. In an out-of-court agreement Media Logistics agreed to pay L270 in damages and L30 in costs. "This may be a tiny victory, but perhaps now spammers will begin to realize that people don't have to put up with their email inboxes being filled with unwanted junk," Roberts said Wednesday in a written statement.
Roberts, who runs an Internet business himself and is studying for a law degree, sued Media Logistics in October under the Privacy and Telecommunications (EU Directive) Regulations of 2003. The damages were limited under small claims rules, which also means that they won't be bidding in future cases. That said, if future cases are lodged in a higher court, spammers might face larger penalties.
In the United States, a number of high-profile cases also have worked to limit spam's reach. Microsoft, in particular, has been aggressive in taking spammers to court, with the cooperation of state authorities. Last July, for example, Microsoft and Massachusetts shut down a spam operation in the state and targeted it for prosecution. With actions like that, as well as more court cases globally, there is hope that spam can at least be reduced, according to Aaron Kornblum, Microsoft's Internet safety enforcement attorney.
"The amount of spam coming from some individuals, or a spam ring, can be staggering," Kornblum said in a written statement. "If these people in particular are sued, and their operations shut down, the ripple down effect would be considerable."
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