MySpace Wins $5.5 Million in Spam Case

Although most of us see spam as part of life on the Internet these days, it’s still refreshing to see spammers get tracked down and nailed for their e-mail abuse. That’s exactly what happened in the case of TheGlobe.com, which hit MySpace users with 400,000 unsolicited e-mail messages over a year ago. MySpace filed suit in June 2006, and announced Thursday that it will be collecting $5.5 million in damages from the TheGlobe.com after a success in court.

In February 2007, a Federal Court found TheGlobe.com liable for violations of the CAN-SPAM Act, a California business law, and MySpace’s terms of use. MySpace’s terms of use don’t just prohibit spam, though, they actually impose “liquidated damages” of $50 per e-mail sent. The court will enforce this provision – the first time such a provision has ever been enforced. TheGlobe.com is liable for every spam e-mail sent to MySpace users after March 17, 2006, totaling $5.5 million in damages.

Although that only accounts for 110,000 of the 400,000 messages allegedly sent, it adds up to a significant chunk of change for both companies, and sends a warning to spammers everywhere that they can be held liable for their actions.

"This ruling sets a new precedent enabling us to further protect our members from phishing and spam," said Hemanshu Nigam, chief security officer for MySpace, in a statement. "We hope it sends a strong message that MySpace will take aggressive steps to stop those who violate the law and damage our members’ experience.”

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