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Virgin Net -- which has 175,000 subscribers in the UK -- has followed the lead of independent Net company BiblioTech to try and stamp out spam. In what it is believed to be the first legal action of its kind in the UK (BiblioTech prefers to chase offenders through the US courts), Virgin Net is suing a Surrey businessman for sending out more than a quarter of a million junk emails using a Virgin Net account. Virgin Net alleges that Adrian Paris, trading under the company name ProPhoto UK sent out a series of bulk junk emails, (spam) prompting thousands of complaints and causing disruption to Virgin Net’s computer system. Davis Johnson, business development director at Virgin Net, hopes the case will send out a clear message to spammers. "Spamming is a nuisance to our customers and a reputation issue for us," he said. “As an ISP we have a responsibility to protect our customers from potential spamming and by pursuing this case we hope that spammers will think twice before sending any unsolicited email out in the future. "In addition Mr Paris’ spamming has caused us to suffer a loss of goodwill from our existing and potential customers," he said. The European Parliament is set to vote on the legalisation of unsolicited email later this week. ®

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