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Spam America Online

AOL to Give Away Spammer's Porsche 140

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the high-volume-email-deployers dept.
introverted writes "CNN is reporting that AOL is giving away a spammer's Porsche. As part of a settlement with a spammer, AOL took the spammer's Porsche Boxster S, and they're running a sweepstakes (already ended) to give the car away."
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AOL to Give Away Spammer's Porsche

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  • Late! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by awx (169546) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:28AM (#8824240)
    Is this three or four weeks old now?
  • by nordicfrost (118437) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:30AM (#8824248)

    This was in the mainstream media, even. And Slashdot.
  • by hog2 (131006) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:30AM (#8824250)
    More info is available here [slashdot.org].
  • Remove this item (Score:1, Insightful)

    by sailboatfool (178278)
    and you will save diskspace from all
    the useless posts.
  • Let's hope the winner know's someone with a driving licence...
  • Bio-Hazard (Score:4, Funny)

    by AndroidCat (229562) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:33AM (#8824264) Homepage
    It's probably got spammer cooties.
  • by chimpo13 (471212) <slashdot@nokilli.com> on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:33AM (#8824267) Homepage Journal
    Does it come with a CD Multiplayer? And any guesses what they'll fill it with?

    mark my words
    Slashdotters are laughing now, but just wait until the RIAA/MPAA take a cue from AOL and start liquidating pirates assets...

    I'd continue the cutting & pasting of +5 mods, but I'm far too lazy. Thanks Claws Of Doom and WormholeFiend for me stealing the first +5 comments.
  • by jstrain (648252) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:35AM (#8824270)
    Is your penis too small? Do you strike out with the ladies? Forget those pills, pumps, and creams that never work! What you need to increase your manhood isn't in a bottle. When you need to overcompensate due to phallic insecurity, choose the solution that over 50% of males age 26-45 rely on. Get a Porsche!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Actually, way fewer than 50% rely on a Porsche. Maybe 0.5% do.

      The rest rely on web porn.
    • Y'know, it's funny...when a woman celebrates her fiftieth birthday by buying the toy she's wanted all her life and can finally afford, you don't hear a bloody thing about midlife crises.

      rj
      • when a woman celebrates her fiftieth birthday by buying the toy she's wanted all her life and can finally afford, you don't hear a bloody thing about midlife crises.

        No, you hear about "aging ungracefully". Besides, middle-aged women aren't usually as ostentatious in their sudden lifestyle changes; I don't know many lawyer's wives who decided to become biker chicks. Similarly, why do you think Demi-Ashton was such a big deal? Guys her age do the same thing (or try to, at least) all the time.

    • It's difficult being a male looking for a new car these days.

      -If you purchase a large sedan, you're old.
      -If you purchase a small sedan, you're gay.
      -If you purchase a minivan, you're whipped.
      -If you purchase either a sports car, SUV, or large pickup truck, you have a small penis.

      What does that leave? A Schwinn?
  • by GillBates0 (664202) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:45AM (#8824307) Homepage Journal
    Okay, this isn't exactly a punishment meted out by law enforcement authorities, but even then, isn't it unusual for a corporation to "sieze" a person's (albeit a spammer's) car?

    Maybe he got a better deal by giving away his car rather than an equivalent amount in money - but how'd they reach the settlement amount? Had the spammer's actions caused enough damage to AOL to justify the $1million settlement claim? My guess would be that the spammer's actions cost them bandwidth and diskspace - but are they justified in charging him the amount just because their users didn't delete the junk soon enough or their filters are lame?

    Not I'm justifying spam or spammers...but if they reach an out of court settlement for a million dollars, on the grounds that they won't pursue a lawsuit against him - it sounds an awful lot like extortion to me. I would like to see the damages of $1million justified in public - otherwise every crook company (we have plenty of them - RIAA/SCO/etc) could go around threatening people with lawsuits (which the individuals couldn't afford) and demand out-of-court settlements and the people being sued would have no choice but to pay up unless they had resources to pursue their case in court.

    • More than likely, the spammer person ran a corporation, and the corporation owned the car for tax reasons and stuff. Disclaimer: I am not an accountant. As for your extortion argument... wow. I never thought of that. The terms of most out-of-court settlements are kept confidential by agreement of both parties, and the records are sealed by the court, so neither party CAN go public like you want. Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.
    • A settlement is an agreement between the two parties. You can't "demand" a settlement.
    • In civil lawsuits, there are compensatory damages and there are punitive damages.

      Compensatory damages are intended to compensate for the losses incurred by the plaintiff.

      Punitive damages are intended to punish.

      If there were only compensatory damages then there would not be any disincentive to spammers, they'd compensate the plaintiff and be off and to it again because the net earnings are still pretty good.

      It is possible that the punitive damages were excessive, I really don't know, but I thought this g
    • by swb (14022) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @11:05AM (#8824605)
      My guess is that it was all they could get ahold of.

      1) File lawsuit against spammer.

      2) File motion to freeze spammers assets. Make case that spammer has shown willingness to be sneaky, underhanded, pushing fraudulent products, etc and that its necessary to ensure spammer has viable assets should plaintiff win.

      3) Win case. Spammer's business assets are near zero except for car, which couldn't be sold due to freeze. Everything else is leased/rented or of zero salable value. AOL agrees to take car before spammer decides to park it on street with keys in ignition to spite AOL.

      4) Spammer goes to farm field owned under another corporate umbrella, digs up cash vacuum sealed in plastic sacks stuffed in PVC pipes. Pays attorney and re-starts spamming business.

      5) AOL sells car, claims "victory" in war on spam.

    • You obviously don't watch enough late-nite TV. Don't you know that you can buy cars and homes siezed from similar low-lifes by the FBI, IRS, repo men and other organizations? Auctions are being held right now near you! You can also obtain financing for your low-life auto auction purchase!

      • If you RTFA, you will observe that this was done by a private CORPORATION: namely AOL, which IMHO is a tad different from LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES (which I mention in my comment) like the FBI/etal.

        But you're right, I don't watch enough trashy late-night TV...I consider my time too valuable to be wasted watching the trash that Fox/etc feed you day after night.

    • ...Are they justified in charging him the amount just because their users didn't delete the junk soon enough or their filters are lame?

      And how much money do you think it costs to hire a team of programmers to write good filtering software that's capable of handling AOL's volume of spam? A million bucks sounds not too unreasonable to me...
    • by leviramsey (248057) *

      Ask any plaintiff's attorney. If the case goes to trial, the odds are very much against the plaintiff winning.

      The objective of the plaintiff's attorney is thus not to win at trial but to convince the defendant that pushing the case to trial is not worth it and settle.

      More often than not, the defendant in this case is a corporation. Cf. the breast implant class actions of ten years ago. Dow Corning etc. would have almost certainly won at trial (the evidence demonstrating liability was and is virtually

    • otherwise every crook company (we have plenty of them - RIAA/SCO/etc) could go around threatening people with lawsuits (which the individuals couldn't afford) and demand out-of-court settlements and the people being sued would have no choice but to pay up unless they had resources to pursue their case in court.

      The RIAA have already done this will people using P2P programs to share music. When you are being faced with $500,000 fines for every song on your computer...cutting a deal for $2500 doesn't look

  • by Ilan Volow (539597) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:55AM (#8824352) Homepage
    Wouldn't it be ironic if the spammer was the one sending those "GET OUT OF DEBT NOW!" messages.
  • by SlashdotMakesMeKool (610077) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @09:55AM (#8824353) Homepage
    Cowboy Neil can't resist the posts with the little piggy on them.

    SQWEAL for the cowboy!!!!!

  • Fortune-of-the-(however often the front page is updated):

    Porsche: there simply is no substitute. -- Risky Business

  • by night_flyer (453866) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @10:09AM (#8824402) Homepage
    maybe I can take one of their cars!

    ::looks out window and sees their 1975 Pinto Wagon ::

    Nevermind...
  • by bfg9000 (726447) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @10:25AM (#8824455) Homepage Journal
    The guy's life reads like a spam-filled success story. If I post this article at work, we'll lose 10 people tomorrow.

    "Hi everybody, I'm Robin Leach, and I'm here today looking at the gorgeous 20 million dollar home of [insert spammers name here]!! It's a fabulous castle bought with all that email money, because spamming REALLY DOES WORK!!! Of course, he had the cheapest mortgage on the planet! Boy, he's more loaded than half of Hollywood, and it's like he didn't even work for it! With spam, he seems to MAKE MONEY OVERNIGHT!!! While you stupid peasants are out there slaving away, he's clicking "Send Now" and watching his fabulous dragon's mound of gold coins pile ever higher! He's so smart, he doesn't even need a spellchecker! He has a stable of Porsches and a stable of lovely ladies! And that huge penis of his is a favorite around town! He has no problems meeting ladies because Spamming REALLY DOES WORK!!" He's living the American Dream, and I'm just poor fat old Robin Leach!!!
  • Dude. (Score:1, Funny)

    by unlinear (235476)
    Whoah.
    Deja Vu.
    • "I saw a story go by, and then another one that looked just like it."

      "How much like it? Was it the same story?"
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Porsche was probably part of the liquidation of assets. If they guy didn't have enough hard cash to pay the settlement/award to AOL, AOL can then start liquidating his assets to get all the money they were awarded. I don't know who gets to choice which particular assets get "disposed" of, but I guess AOL worked with the government to just keep the Porsche as a Porsche and not convert it into cash. The spammer probably made out on the deal also, as I believe the cost of turning assets back to cash would
  • by samhalliday (653858) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @11:19AM (#8824666) Homepage Journal
    (from article)

    NEW YORK (AP) -- America Online said its members have submitted more than one million AOL screen names for the Internet company' s unorthodox drawing for a spammer' s seized sportscar.

    aaah, one million valid email addresses for phase two! WARRRAARARRAGAAARRAAGG!!

  • Great idea! (Score:5, Funny)

    by arvindn (542080) on Saturday April 10, 2004 @12:21PM (#8824934) Homepage Journal
    1. Announce sweepstakes for spammer's porsche
    2. Get people to sign up; collect email addresses
    3. Sell email addresses
    4. Profit!
  • Am I the only one who thinks AOL sending me a Cd in the post every fortnight asking me to join up with the crappy service is spam? Spam that is far worse then the digital form as it involves so much wasted resources and environmental damage deleivering the discs. So let's have a compo where the winner walks off with a million bucks in AOL shares. Hypocrites.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      They're not hypocrites. CDs cost money to send, emails through relays do not. Therefore, AOL is paying for their advertising while spammers are not.

      Junk mail isn't illegal. Spam is. Junk faxes. Junk emails. Things where the spammers dont pay for the medium - where YOU pay for the medium - those're the ones that're just plain wrong.

      Don't blur that line or you can have it used against you. Next thing you know, people think it's all the same and junk'll come with no recourse.
  • by Quill345 (769162)
    I guess one lucky winner will have his/her e-mail address published on AOL's page... ;)
  • by tyblu (770326)
    Slightly counteracts the fact that AOL sucks sweaty llama balls.
  • The world looks more and more like a never-ending Jerry Springer episode. The point is that AOL had no business seizing this man's Porsche, they should have sued him dry and let the prison dogs drill him a new asshole.

    Let's see here: the Bush gov't has spent bazillions to seek out and destroy Bin Laden/Saddam etc. We catch this one little spammer prick that we'd just love to have drawn and quartered on national TV, and yet they just say "Give us your shiny red car" and let him loose. And now make a medi

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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