Lawyers win big in LinkedIn's $13m email spam lawsuit (you might get $10, maybe more)

Come and get your (probably miniscule) payout

Lawyers tasked with doling out LinkedIn's $13m "Add Connections" class-action settlement are advising people to collect their share of the payout.

The settlement [PDF] was agreed to last month in a California court, and ends a two-year legal fight over the social network's Add Connections feature. The website must pay out the aforementioned millions plus the lawyers' bills.

An open letter from the lawyers notes that the amount each person will receive has not yet been decided, but could be as low as $10 per claim.

Folks who used the Add Connections feature between September 17, 2011, and October 31, 2014, have until December 14 this year to file a claim.

The Add Connections feature allowed LinkedIn users to send invitations to join the website to their contacts. When the recipients did not respond, LinkedIn would send two "reminder" emails stating that the invitations to join LinkedIn were still waiting for approval. These reminder messages were the focal point of the case.

Lawyers argued that while the initial invites were knowingly sent by LinkedIn users, the site never notified people that it would be sending the reminder messages, and thus used their name and likeness in the emails without permission. That, it was claimed, broke laws against unfair competition, privacy intrusions, and California’s common law right of publicity.

LinkedIn has denied any wrongdoing, but opted to pay out the settlement. LinkedIn will now also notify people who send out the Add Connections invites that the recipient will receive two reminder emails if they don't respond to the initial invite, thus gathering permission from users before the messages are sent. ®

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