Yahoo! sues spam merchants

Wham! Bam! Spam you, ma'am!

Internet heavyweight Yahoo! has joined a growing stable of companies hoping to give the perpetrators of unsolicited junk email a bloody nose and a thick lip. In the first round of a bout that could last some years, Yahoo! is suing two companies for allegedly using its domain name, yahoo.com, to send thousands of unsolicited emails to Net users. Yahoo! was responding to some 7150 complaints it had received from Net users about the two companies. With a few carefully aimed jabs just to soften them up, Yahoo! maintains that Information Technologies Corp and World Wide Network Marketing deliberately sent spam using Yahoo!'s domain to avoid detection. Incredibly, this is the first time Yahoo! has taken such action against spammers. It hopes that filing this lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California and throwing a few punches, other spammers will get the message. "There's more going on here than a direct dollars-and-cents cost to Yahoo," said Jon Sobel, Yahoo! senior corporate counsel in an interview with the Bloomberg newswire. "The lawsuit is about the damage to our name and the user experience," he said, adding that this spam action was an infringement of Yahoo!'s trademark. Earlier this week UK ISP Virgin Net announced it was suing a Surrey businessman for using its service to send out junk email. And independent UK Net company BiblioTech said it was continuing its legal action against a US company that allegedly sent spam to users of its free e-mail service. ®

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