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Spammer Sues List Broker 351

BuckMulligan writes: "This article describes a lawsuit brought by a spam company against a list brokerage warehouse for selling e-mail addresses of persons who didn't opt-in. What this means is that those marketing lists created by data brokers aren't even accurate enough for sending spam."
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Spammer Sues List Broker

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  • I wonder... (Score:5, Funny)

    by WndrBr3d ( 219963 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @03:31PM (#3195640) Homepage Journal
    This brokerage warehouse wouldn't happened to be called HOTMAIL.COM ... would it ?? ;-)
  • Um.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wakko Warner ( 324 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @03:31PM (#3195646) Homepage Journal lists of people who opt-in for spam even exist? Are they big enough to fit on one 8.5x11" piece of paper?

    Who the hell would be stupid enough to opt-in for spam?

    - A.P.
    • There are actually legitimate opt-in lists, but to the best of my knowledge, you can't buy them; you can, however, pay someone to mail to them.

      For an explanation of why you can't "buy" an opt-in list, ask Google about "Nadine mailing".
      • Re:Um.... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by foobar104 ( 206452 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @03:42PM (#3195744) Journal
        For an explanation of why you can't "buy" an opt-in list, ask Google about "Nadine mailing".

        Yes, this is off-topic. Mod me down if you must.

        Am I the only one who forsees a day when URLs and hyperlinks as we know them are superceded by Google search strings?

        The Google database changes dynamically, of course, but that's currently a small problem. If I'm looking for info on the IBM FAStT700 disk array, as I was this morning, I'm a lot more likely to type "ibm fast700" into Google than I am to navigate through IBM's maze of a web site.

        If I don't know exactly what I'm looking for, Google can usually help me find it, or at least something sufficiently close to it to get by.

        But if I know exactly what I'm looking for, but don't know where to find it, Google is even more helpful.

        Who needs URLs anymore?
        • Who needs URLs anymore?


          • Okay, fine. Setting aside the arguable point that Google is a what and not a who, you got me on that one.

            My point, though, was that in a lot of ways the URL, for my purposes anyway, is going the way of the IP address. It's a part of the Internet infrastructure that I'm passingly aware of, but that I only have to encounter on rare occasions.
    • Re:Um.... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Linuxthess ( 529239 )
      "Would you like to recieve email messages from our *valued* business partners?"
      How many grandmas couldnt even read that small print?
    • Who the hell would be stupid enough to opt-in for spam?

      Many! It's not called spam, it usually goes under the name of "Special Offers" or "Free newsletter". Everyone doesn't know that if they give out their email address to unreliable destinations, they will get spammed.
    • Re:Um.... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Binky The Oracle ( 567747 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @03:36PM (#3195687)

      I suspect that most "Opt-In" mailing lists are derived from people who click through an online service agreement without reading the whole thing or the privacy policy.

      The real trouble comes when trying to determine which of the spam that says I can opt-out actually means it, and which of the spam is just harvesting/validating my address.

      Thankfully, most of the web sites I use only send me their own spam (which I generally don't mind, especially if I can tell them to stop) but occasionally I get one site that sold my name to a list and voila... instant opt-in on a technicality.

      That's why I normally make a new email alias when providing my address to a new site so I can at least attempt to see who sold my name in the first place.

      • Re:Um.... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Stonehand ( 71085 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @03:42PM (#3195745) Homepage
        Another bit is the web sites with an unverified opt-in -- that is, anybody can type in an e-mail address and it's considered as an opt-in without sending a confirmation request.

        a) a confirmation request sent via e-mail, that requires POSITIVE confirmation (the response must include a unambiguous not-readily forged reference to the original message) before "real" addition to the list

        b) a simple, obvious, free removal mechanism, which works within a reasonable period (say, 48 hours?)

        would help.
      • >Thankfully, most of the web sites I use only send me their own spam

        I suppose that after reading dilbert off and on for years I should have expected it, but within a week of signing to have it mailed daily, and marking/unmarking every box to the "don't send" category, I discovered

        1) the site carring the daily cartoon to which the email links is down about 80% of the time.
        2) It took less than a week to spam me for rugrats . . .



    • Re:Um.... (Score:3, Funny)

      by Boiler99 ( 222701 )
      I think it's like the check-boxes hidden between 3 flash ads of some photographically enhanced woman in an X-10 Cam advertisement that says, "YES I WOULD LIKE TO RECIEVE YOUR STUPID NEWSLETTERS AND PLEASE SELL MY ADDRESS TO 3RD PARTIES IN ASIA".

      If you don't specifically Opt-OUT, they opt you in by default ;) The problem is that you don't know what you have to opt-out on until you start getting the spam, and by then it's too late.
    • Re:Um.... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by nolife ( 233813 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @04:12PM (#3195914) Homepage Journal
      I had a similar experience with junk faxes at my last job. Tons of our machines got ads for a toner company. I called the business and was informed that I had requested these ads. Funny thing though. This went to at least 30 fax machines I saw that day and spread across at least 15 different departments in the company. There is no way that all of these people opted in for this crap. How do you prove we did not?

      Another issue. I get quite a few spams that claim that they are not intended for receipients of xx list of states, and they are filtered to prevent residents of those states "to the best of their ability". I can tell you that they have NO ability to filter that --> thats the best ability.

      It is all a scam and just another way for spammers to try to fool you or justify they are providing a useful service.

      The "Opt in/out" debate pertains to a lot of things and not just emails. The phone company comes to mind on this one. Don't want your phone number published in the phone book or given out in directory assistance? That is an option that they charge for and on a monthly basis. Yes, you have to pay to prevent getting dinner time calls for a motor club.

      How about the financial institution debacle last year with the information sharing? I noticed ONE opt out notice that was clearly marked as such. All others were buried inside filler ads and in back of not returned sections of the monthly bill and required a seperate mailing to a different address. On one hand these companies appear to be your consumer oriented friend to get your business and then they jam it up your ass when they think they have you. No wonder there are so many frustrated people in the world today.
      • Solution (Score:4, Funny)

        by DanMcS ( 68838 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @04:53PM (#3196162)

        A physical business fax-spammed you? That's great! Write them a polite note, explaining that sending bulk faxes is wrong. Attach a copy of their spam to it, with all identifying marks removed of course. Go to their office, tie it to a brick, and toss it through their damn window.

        What's a plate glass window run, $100-200 dollars? If you do it in the winter, even better, no heat for the bastards when they come into work the next morning. Too many expensive lessons like that, and they'll quit.

        Unfortunately, it's a lot harder to track email spammers. I usually try to have their accounts cancelled, but that's about it. Then a couple of weeks ago, some dumbass sent me one of those chain-letter "Buy Reports on Internet Marketing" pyramid scheme things. The one where you expect people to send you a five dollar bill in the mail. That's right, the moron attached his REAL ADDRESS. It's two hours from where I live, even better. Not worth a trip by itself, but if I ever happen to be in the area, I'll stop by. Saved the address.

      • Re:Um.... (Score:3, Informative)

        by dagoalieman ( 198402 )
        In Missouri, you don't have to pay to get your name off that list. The AGO office here got a clue, and implemented it fairly well. It's not without hitches, of course, but it's done well.

        I had JUST moved into my apartment, and JUST gotten my phone activated. First one ever, so I didn't have any past relationships, etc. I started getting calls two days later. At least two a day.

        Then I signed up with the AGO's office for being put on the "no-call" list. Since then, I've gotten a couple of calls from phone companies (who are exempt from the law) and two other companies who I had business relationships with.. I didn't opt in, but they made the call legally, so I didn't complain too much.

        If you're in Missouri, <a href="">I strong suggest checking it out.</a> It's at for those link paranoid. You can even sign up online- you'll get a packet in the mail a week or so later explaining everything.. it's really pretty neat, clear English, whole 9 yards. They only reissue out the "no-call" list every six months, so you could have to wait a few months, but once it's done and you're out there, people have to quit calling. Else, you get to have fun with 'em. :)

  • Hmm. (Score:2, Funny)

    by TheFlu ( 213162 )
    Maybe they could just send an email to everyone asking them if they've like to opt-in.
  • by kaimiike1970 ( 444130 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @03:33PM (#3195661) Homepage
    That all those fake addresses people have been 'seeding' the internet with have finaaly begun to have an effect. Maybe the whole industry will eat itself from the inside out. Hopefully the two sides here can sue each other to oblivion.

    • The best technique I have seen for this was a usenet .sig saying "Send spam here" and listing addresses of the spammers.

      The poster had visited the websites the spammers were advertising (usualy p0rn sites) and collected legit e-mail addresses from the html source (usualy billing@ sales@ etc).

      He/she added this to the usenet .sig (with the explanitory note) and let the spambots harvesting addresses do the work for them :-)

  • The sad part of this is that tax dollars are funding the ability for these cretins to sue each other.
  • The company said it used the Mindset Interactive and Inurv lists to send messages to thousands of e-mail account holders. It claims the companies said the data were collected with the consent of the owners and could be used for direct marketing.

    This is most likely false. How many e-mails have you received stating that you indicated you wanted to subscribe to some form of mass-e-mailing, but didn't? And how do people receive spam only 8 hours [] after setting up an e-amil address?
  • Spammers? What? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rmadmin ( 532701 )
    Spammers can sue people? That just aint right. Regardless, if you buy 10 million e-mail addresses, look at how many of those addresses are going to be canceled, or changed in just one day. Our ISP has 400 users, and we change usernames, add, and remove users daily. And thats just a 400~ customer base! Maybe if the list makers get sued, they'll have to adhear to the actually 'Opt-in' theory! Then maybe I'll stop getting stuff about Viagra that I don't need, Hair loss products that I don't need, Viacream *shudder*, Ferimones, and the other list of absolutely stupid shit that I can't believe anyone would buy, let alone try to sell! But thats just my opinion.
  • by British ( 51765 ) <> on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @03:35PM (#3195678) Homepage Journal
    Drug dealer files lawsuit against drug supplier for selling him some bad weed, and some cocaine "padded" with baking soda and talcum.
  • by jhines0042 ( 184217 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @03:35PM (#3195682) Journal
    A Google search did not return any information about Inurv Inc.

    Personally, I think this is the best line in the whole article. Google, final proof that you do, or do not, exist.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Oh, sh*t. A search for "Anonymous Coward" didn't turn up anything on Google either. I guess that means that either I don't exist.

      Well, at least I can't get modded down.
    • When I find out the address of a spammer, I put it into Google and see what pops out. Often, a whole list of scam-type businesses will show up with the same address. I just came across one today in Glendale, CA. At the same address are an inkjet-refill company, a loan broker, an online gambling operation, and a spamming service.
      • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @04:06PM (#3195884)
        > When I find out the address of a spammer, I put it into Google and see what pops out. Often, a whole list of scam-type businesses will show up with the same address. I just came across one today in Glendale, CA. At the same address are an inkjet-refill company, a loan broker, an online gambling operation, and a spamming service.

        Sometimes that means you've found a spammer.

        Other times, it just means you've found a Mail Boxes, Etc. type of place. (Non-US folks: Sorta like a post office, but run by private companies. People can rent mailboxes with them, and collect their snail-mail there. Most of their customers are legit, but many aren't.)

        (Sometimes, of course, the same spammer will use the same mailbox/dropbox provider for more than one scam. Figuring out the difference by looking for similarities in writing styles, etc. is more an art than a science...)

    • Got it ;o)

      Posted somewhere down the page, I listed a link found on Google to a earlier article by In that article, they list Inurv Inc from Glendale, CA. No searches of general business directories for Glendale CA turned anything up, but this [] tells us a whole lot more... Of course, the Secretary of State should have some good info ;o)

      I'll post the general info here in case Sec State website are susceptible to ./ effect.. Probably the funniest thing there is that guy's name. So, Google has triumphed once again.


      INURV, INC.

      Number: C2381410
      Date Filed: 9/28/2001
      Status: active

      Jurisdiction: California

      Mailing Address

      210 N. CENTRAL AVENUE #210

      GLENDALE, CA 91203

      Agent for Service of Process


      1443 ROCKGLEN AVENUE #4

      GLENDALE, CA 91205
    • by Merry_B.Buck ( 539837 ) <MeriadocB_Buck2 AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @04:24PM (#3195976) Homepage Journal
      Yeah...Why bother trying " []"?
      Or, you could try the California Corporations database [] to find Inurv, Inc. or their parent, Nash Business Services []:
      Nash Business Services, (818) 243-1977, 210 N Central Ave, Glendale, CA 91203
  • by Stonehand ( 71085 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @03:36PM (#3195692) Homepage
    Heh. If the marketer really believed that he was getting a list of people who opted in for marketing information, then kudos -- the list was bought, mail was sent, and the marketer got burned by complaints and bounces instead of going only to those unusual avians which welcome e-mail advertising.

    A more cynical hypothesis is that it was a "wink wink" situation where the marketer knew that the list was probably not what it was purported to be, and held the "sue the list provider" approach as another angle to deflect blame just in case the heat was too much. But that would be a tricky game to play.
    • I'd say the latter is true.

      What idiot would honestly believe that these warehouses of email addresses were all legitimate? These people got what they paid for, and should have known better. If people want to do business with you, they'll let you know directly.

      This is just a cheap attempt to put blame on the suppliers of the lists. They probably got a few threats of lawsuits and are now running scared thanks to the new laws in effect in a lot of states.

      The one upside to all this is that perhaps (maybe, possibly, but i doubt it) they'll avoid the data-mined address lists in the future and actually work to get business in a legitimate fashion.
      • Unfortunately, there are a lot idiots out there. I got a spam from a very large, very reputable company one time (the name escapes me) that used an e-mail address that could only have come from a web scraper. I sent a nastygram back to the company, and they responded that they're mailing list was from "only people who were interested in these types of products". I wrote back, and explained that they had been scammed.

        They seemed to be sincerely apologetic, and promised they would look into it. Never heard anything back, but who knows.

    • by alexhmit01 ( 104757 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @04:39PM (#3196067)
      Over my objections and warnings, they decided to use an "opt-in" mailling service. The guy sent e-mails to his opt-in list, revenue was split. I screamed and yelled but lost to the marketing department.

      Several days later, several billable hours of my answering to spam cop and other garbage, they may $50 or $100...

      They were totally shocked that there were complaints, they felt that it wasn't spam because it was opt-in...

      They do another experiment, this time they PAID for the list and the e-mail being sent... It appears to be a legitimate opt-in list... very few complains, they made almost half their money back...

      The only success they had was with a really above board company sending a list to their customers explaining why this service was relevant...

      The real joke is that spam DOESN'T make money. The only people making money are the ones selling the lists, or the ones with some real scams and no costs... They are single person operations with really scummy services that they just spam the same people each time...

      Oh well...

      Most marketting people REALLY believe that there are warehouses of people that REALLY want to be contacted (because they didn't uncheck a box or whattever) and aren't going to be unhappy when you send them e-mail...


  • Question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SkewlD00d ( 314017 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @03:37PM (#3195694)
    Why haven't the lists been made illegal yet? I mean, you can at least opt-out of junk mail by telling the post office, and the DMA did a 180 and now thinks spam should be done in a more reasonable way. Shouldn't there be a way you can opt-out of these giant master lists, nailing the spammers at the source?

    rm -rf *.spamer

  • Just a thought
    Maybe these people did opt in for spam.
    Only when the clueless AOL newbies realised this ment Hot Teen Sluts twenty times a day did they kick up a fuss and deny everything?

  • They're starting to consume their own. Maybe that will lead to a rapid extinction. I know... not likely, but we can hope, can't we?
  • Treeloot (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CaptainSuperBoy ( 17170 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @03:38PM (#3195707) Homepage Journal
    A couple things to note. The plaintiff is Virtumundo Inc., the same company that runs Treeloot. That's right, the company that brings you the most annoying banner ads in the world is suing someone for improper marketing. If they didn't know that there's no such thing as buying an opt-in list, I'd be worried about their long-term business prospects.

    There is no such thing as an opt-in mailing list. You can pay other people to send mail to THEIR list of people who have opted in, but no reputable marketer will ever sell you a list with actual e-mail addresses. Nobody, if properly informed, will willingly sign up for e-mail from "anyone who wants to buy my address." Your address could be re-sold unlimited times, and you'd receive a deluge of spam.
  • Yeah, I can almost feel it . . . got it, got it . . . No, lost it. Drat. No sympathy for them, I guess.

    I suppose there is something to be said for keeping lists clean, at least. I suppose there's an awful lot of wasted bandwidth out there due to millions of nonexistant email addresses. I suppose compared to all the P2P networks out there nowadays, though, it hardly registers.

  • Are they spammers? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rick the Red ( 307103 ) < minus poet> on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @03:40PM (#3195723) Journal
    It sounds like they don't want to be spammers. It sounds like they were trying to find people who didn't mind email adverts and were trying to avoid mailing to those who do mind. Nevermind how short that list may be, it sounds like that's the list they wanted and didn't get. It sounds like they were trying to be good Netizens, after all. And, of course, Slashdot calls them "spammers" and the readers just assume they are.

    Would real spammers sue their list providers for this?

    • They are spammers. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Arker ( 91948 )

      It does sound that way, but think about it. You can't buy an opt-in list. Anyone who's running a direct marketing company either realises that or is criminally incompetent. You can pay someone else to send mail to their opt in list, but you simply cannot buy the list from them. When people opt-in for marketing, they opt in for mail from a specific company, not for mail from anyone and everyone.

      Think about it. I opt in for marketing from xyz corp., because I like their products. Now they sell their list to a half dozen other companies... have I opted in for the mail that results in? No. Not at all.

      And, even if these people are really just that stupid, and really didn't mean to spam, they did, nonetheless, spam, so the term spammer fits. If you spam, you are a spammer, whether you spammed through malice or stupidity.

      • not necessarily...i've seen (but most definitely NOT selected) opt-in boxes for things like "sometimes we share our lists with partners who provide services we think our customers would like"...granted, these lists get shared with EVERYONE, so i'm guessing that's what the first poster was referring to
  • Sure..... (Score:4, Funny)

    by shawnmelliott ( 515892 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @03:40PM (#3195724) Journal
    To: Mr Spammer
    From: Me
    Subject: Opt-In

    Hello, just wanted to say hi. Hope you get this and please please don't forget to let me in on special offers, pornography, get rich quick schemes and fantastic trips for 2

  • This is a good thing.

    Proper Opt-in lists are a good thing. Now, if someone sells a non-opt in list or SPAMMING software, making the claim that it is a valid marketing method, they should be hung out to dry.

    I for one would be happy to testify in this type of case.

    Bitching and moaning, does not cut it. You must fight the SPAM!

  • by Romancer ( 19668 ) <romancer @ d e a t> on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @03:41PM (#3195737) Journal

    It'd be interesting to have an agency that you could send your e-mail address and preferences to that could be checked by potential buyers of e-mail lists.

    It could serve as a free service to the people who care enough to act on their need not to recieve spam. Any reputible company would check their databases with the 3rd party database and remove the e-mail addresses of people who opted out of all spam. Maximizing their direct marketing costs of sending out mailings.

    • Sounds a lot like the state of Indiana's anti-telemarketer bill. It would be interesting to see if the opt-out list is effective or not. There's some loopholes though... not-for-profit agencies can use volunteers to call you, etc. And it will only be effective if the state government follows through with lawsuits to people who violate the list.
    • Better yet, "If (my address) shows up on a list you bought or rented, it is a 100% certainty you're being ripped off. Sue the bastard for fraud. Have a nice day."
  • As always, it's the lawyers who win!

    One scumball sues another, or the good guys sue the bad guys, or the bad guys sue the good guys, the lawyers never lose!

    Forget IT, that's what my career should have been.
  • Mindset Interactive? (Score:3, Informative)

    by rodbegbie ( 4449 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @03:42PM (#3195741) Homepage
    Why, that wouldn't happen to be this bunch of spyware monkeys [], would it?

    And your telling me that their email list gathering methods might be unethical? Who'd have thunk it?

  • I always "opt in" on these things with a fake email address. I hope to water down thier lists so they will eventually just give up.
    If enough people did this, those lists might go away.

    Another place where you get this is on product registration. Usually the agreement is in the fine print somewhere on paper so you don't get warned during the registration. Usually something about business partners.
    • Intentionally opting in (to a default-opt-out) w/a bogus address just makes the good guy's (if they exist) life harder. If it is a default-opt-in, then perhaps it is ok.
      • You can actually do this to make it better for the good guys, while hurting the bad guys. Use a fake address for everything, but make sure you select to opt-out of everything they want to send. If they still use the address they are a bad guy and get a bad address, if they are a good guy they won't use that bad address.
        • Exactly! When you go through one of those registrations that requires an email, make it, for instance, abuse@their.dom or even better abuse@their_upstream.dom. Don't opt in for anything, if they're good guys nothing happens. If they are spammers, they spam themselves, or their upstream.

    • Re:Always "Opt-In" (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ONU CS Geek ( 323473 )
      When websites ask for my address and I really don't want to give it to them, I have a very simple method:

      abuse@[Upstream Provider of website]
      Let's see them talk their "we didn't spam" asses out of that mess, shall we?
  • They also use web 'bots that search the internet for all email addrs and spam anything they find. Heck, you could even use dns to spam every domain such as etc. Evil, and spammers do far worse. Heck, all those "enter to win a prize" at your local radio stations, etc. probably sell their info to the spam listers and mass-mailers to make addition revenue.
  • Why can't we spam the spammers? Add their email addrs to other spammers lists, etc. Heck, here is where to deprecate Virtumundo Inc. []
  • I used to invoke mutt with a script that sent a complaint message to every time I read my e-mail.

    They claimed that all their lists were opt-in, but actually they had no idea. They accepted lists from their customers and took their word that they were opt-in. They would happily remove you from their mailing lists, but the next customer that submitted a list that included your name would automatically re-add your name.

    So, the perfect solution to me was to simply complain about all the goddamn spam regardless of whether I had received any or not. That would remove my name from all their mailing lists *for that day*. It solved my problem completely. I don't give a fuck about whatever problems I might have caused for them.
  • by gregfortune ( 313889 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @03:51PM (#3195802)
    Here's a link [] to an earlier article than the newsbytes story although it's very sparse on details. Looks like they *might* have contact info for Inurv though... Phone number perhaps?

    "Officials at Inurv could not be reached for comment."
  • by jdreed1024 ( 443938 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @03:57PM (#3195835)
    Assuming that Virtumundo really did get screwed when they were given a bogus database, then kudos to them for showing that they are a somewhat responsible company.

    It would appear that they are different from Joe Spammer who uses Korean mail servers and provides a bogus reply-to address. The fact that they even read the complaints they got proves that they aren't out to (purposely) screw people.

    I've gotten some things that I thought were complete spam, but when researching where they originated from, I realized there were times when signing up on a website, I forgot to uncheck all of the "I want to receive e-mail from our partner sites" buttons. While they really should be opt-in, instead of opt-out, it's my own damn fault for not double-checking my work.

    I have no problem receiving advertising mail if it's because I forgot to uncheck a box, or accidentally checked a box. The problem is when there's no way to get off the list. It sounds like these folks actually read replies and care about whether they're spamming or not, and if so, good for them. Personally, I think e-mail marketing is a waste of bandwidth, but if I can prevent myself from receiving junk mails in the future, I don't have a problem with it.

    (On the other hand, they could just be some schmoes who spammed knowingly or on purpose, and are now just trying to pass the buck.)
  • From the article: (20020320/Media Contact: Richard Stern, Virtumundo, 816/931-1831 /WIRES ONLINE, LEGAL, BUSINESS/)

    They would be related would ......... nah....
  • Bernard Shifman sends his "resume". The honeypots [] can his resume and trace the origin back to Shifman. One such offense is in England, where spam is punishable by time in a dungeon []. A class-action suit [] is brought against Shifman because of his spam. In response, irate recipients of Shifman's resume tell DoubleClick [] to pass off every spam they get to a specific user profile (matched to only send to Bernie). Bernie gets the idea that he can make money selling address lists and saves all the addresses he gets from the recipients and multiple forwards. One spam company decides to sue Bernie for a bogus list. Just imagine the scene in the courtroom with a bunch of whiny little kids arguing before Your Honor.
  • by Sabalon ( 1684 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @04:41PM (#3196083)
    Phillip-Morris claimed that they didn't know cigarrettes were addictive.

    Napster claimed that they were unaware of people trading illegal music on their network.

    What's next? Some crack dealer claiming that because he bought his stash from someone else, he assumed the other person was selling a legal product?

    Gee...I should have bought those offered speakers off the back of that van that one time and then claim I thought it was a legit store.
  • by jgerman ( 106518 )
    What this means is that those marketing lists created by data brokers aren't even accurate enough for sending spam.

    No that's not what it means, though that reason is listed, the focus is on the emails that were not legitimate opt-in's. And I'd think that the fact that this angered the company in question means that they aren't a spammer, they seem to be attempting to send to opt in's only.

  • Litigation is in the air like LA smog. Wow maybe some posters and /. will be served next.


    It's cool they're starting to feed on one another, and, although, I personally find cannibalism repugnant, in this case I'll hope for mutual annihilation. The econiche of bottomfeeders is an ugly place.

  • by waldoj ( 8229 ) <waldo.jaquith@org> on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @05:15PM (#3196283) Homepage Journal
    From: LendWare Info
    Date: 07/13/01 2:16 PM
    Subject: Thanks for Applying for a Loan OnLine

    Dear Waldo Merideth,

    Replace with Lender Name Here is pleased to inform you that your online loan application has been received and we will be contacting you in the near future.

    Thank you for choosing Replace with Lender Name Here

    Replace with Company President's Name Here
  • "An e-mail marketing firm on Tuesday said it has filed lawsuits against two e-mail list providers, alleging the lists it bought from the companies were full of non-existent addresses and people who hadn't asked to receive commercial marketing messages."

    So what you are telling me that either there are ethical spammers or they are worried that they aren't getting their moneys worth.

    Hmmmm.... I wonder what they are going to do about all those fake email addresses?
  • by Trogre ( 513942 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2002 @06:15PM (#3196664) Homepage
    ... should we still call them spammers?
    If it's for people who have genuinely opted-in to a bulk mailing service then the mail is solicited, isn't it?
    Surely spam is still defined as unwanted, unsolicited mail.
    Even if some spammers do blatantly lie, telling me I've opted in for their mailing 'services'.

  • by Restil ( 31903 ) on Thursday March 21, 2002 @12:29AM (#3198400) Homepage
    A spammer.. bought a product frequently offered in spam.. was upset when they discovered that the spam they bought into was misrepresented.. and sued... most likely.. another spammer.

    Keep it up guys.. This takes care of the email listing spams... has someone's sex drive not grown by 581%?? You need to start suing!


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