Spammers ordered to pay tiny ISP whopping $2.6m
$650,000 per employee courtesy of CAN-SPAM
A small internet service provider has been awarded nearly $2.6m in a lawsuit it filed against a company that sent just under 25,000 spam messages over an 18-month period.
Although it's questionable whether Asis Internet Services will ever see a penny of that windfall, the judgment is testament to the awesome power of CAN-SPAM, short for the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act, which was passed by Congress in 2003. It allows judgments of as much as $100 for every unsolicited email, and damages can be tripled for a variety of reasons.
The judgment was awarded by Magistrate Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte of the US District Court in Northern California. It comes in a case filed against the principals of a business called Find a Quote. A four-employee ISP in Garberville, California, Asis said it receives about 200,000 junk messages per day and spends about $3,000 per month to process them.
Laporte calculated that the ISP was entitled to damages of $865,340, but went on to triple the amount, to 2.596m, because, she said, the Find a Quote spammers, including defendant Edward Heckerson, had employed automatic scripts to send their messages.
"Plaintiffs have provided persuasive evidence that Heckerson engaged in conduct that warrants aggravated damages," Laporte wrote.
The judgment may be look like a king's ransom for the ISP, but it's by no means a record. Facebook was awarded $711m against Spamford Wallace last year, and in 2008, an Arizona ISP won a $236m judgment against a mom-and-pop spam shop.
The judgment is also less than the $3m Asis sought. But so far, no one from the ISP is complaining. ®
Not insane at all...
What do you rather want - a wussy fine that the spammers can afford? And yes they spam because it is worth a lots of $'s and they can more than afford wussy fines.
Or hit them so hard with a fine that will force them (an illegal entity) into (hopefully) bankruptcy or the like?
What do you want - a potential penalty for spamming that will make many people think twice before attempting it? Or one where the potential gains are worth the risk? (sure, hefty fines will not stop everyone - but if it stops some, it is well worth it).
Perhaps you cannot remember a mostly spam free Internet where the worse spam going around was the Dave Rhode's Letter... Well I can. And would like to see the Internet cleaned up and a vast percentage of Internet bandwidth and resource be put to better use than processing billions of spam mails every day.
So this is not about the US's sanity when it comes to trivial litigation... A pity that your ameriphobia prevents you from realising that.
So you think spammers should only pay say a $50 fine, despite, usally, selling illegal product, forcing ISP's and businesses to spend 10's of thousands to block it and potentially cripple a business by linking to virus ridden sites.
Nope, seems fair to me.
Punishment is meant to be a deterrent
Spammers should pay dearly. The punishment is meant to be a deterrent and PUNISHMENT for their crimes. All Spammers should do prison time in addition to serious fines IMO, just like pirates. These people try to hide behind their computers to commit crimes and they should pay the price.