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MySpace Gets Awarded $234Million Spam Payday

     
2:23 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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MySpace has won a $234m (120m) legal judgement over junk messages sent to members of the social networking site.

Victory in the case was awarded to MySpace after Sanford Wallace and Walter Rines, the men behind the junk mail, failed to show up in court.

The judgement is thought to be the largest ever given against senders of unsolicited commercial e-mail.

However, anti-spam experts said MySpace had little chance of getting the cash it sought.

MySpace Gets Awarded $234Million Spam Payday [news.bbc.co.uk]

2:39 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The 234 million is obviously just for show. The case gets coverage and MySpace gets to send the message to not solicit their users.
3:29 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Ha, sweet. But good luck collecting that.
3:47 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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From what I can understand, each fake friend request cost them (the defendants) $300.

Interesting, that this extends beyond simple 'email' spam, and that the CAN-SPAM has been applied to social network requests.

I suppose if bloggers were to email themselves or their users every time a comment was made, they could apply this to fake comments. Of course, they'd have to be able to collect judgments in the Ruble, Hryvnia, Yuan, or Lev to really be effective.

4:05 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Under the 2003 US CAN Spam law, each violation entitles MySpace to $100 (50) in damages, tripled when spam is sent "wilfully and knowingly".

Does this mean that everyone whose account was hijacked and used to send spam is also guilty and therefore required to fork over $100?

Sounds a bit over the top to me. Being the victim of a scam oftentimes costs you money but you shouldn't have to be considered a criminal for it too.

I like how the BBC actually has a picture of the guy who did it. That's classic.

5:38 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If your account was hijacked, how could you be liable? The hijacker is liable.

What I'd like to know is how much of this will be distributed to MySpace users. Assuming that it's ever collected, of course.

6:21 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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What I'd like to know is how much of this will be distributed to MySpace users

You're kidding, right? The users will obviously get nothing, ever.

6:37 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Sounds a bit over the top to me.

That Sanford "Spamford" Wallace guy is a very infamous spammer with a long track record of harassing millions of people on a daily basis for many, many years. So no, it's not. Courts can take that into consideration.

7:16 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Spamford Wallace is the poster boy for spammers deserving capitol punishment IMO.
7:17 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I didn't mean over the top in terms of the actual spammer getting fined for that much, I just meant it seems a little over the top that you can get fined $100 for spamming even if you do it "unwillfully and unknowingly", such as it seems in the case where someone hijacks your account.
7:19 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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that you can get fined $100 for spamming even if you do it "unwillfully and unknowingly"

Yeah, it does actually. But since MySpace is the one suing, they aren't going to sue their own users so they're off the hook.

6:34 pm on May 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

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how did they come up with the 234m figure?
 

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