Newsgroups: news.admin.net-abuse.misc From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Anti-Spam Court Decision Sender: email@example.com (Larry Kolodney) Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Mon, 3 Feb 1997 20:53:53 GMT Judge Graham of the Southern District of Ohio today issued a preliminary injunction barring Cyber Promotions from sending unsolicited messages to CompuServe subscribers on the ground that such messages constituted a trespass upon CompuServe's proprietary computer equipment. The 32 page opinion is precedent setting. AOL had previously obtained an order which permitted it to block Cyber Promo's mailings, but the Compuserve opinion prohibits Cyber Promo from sending them in the first place. More importantly the Court's reasoning is easily adaptable to spam sent by any party to any ISP's subscribers. Conceivably, even an individual could sue a spammer for trespass. The Court rejected CyberPromo's arguments: (1) that by opening itself up to the Internet, Compuserve was a common carrier, obligated to carry any message sent to it; and (2) the first amendment obligated CompuServe to carry Cyber Promo's mass mailings. A few factors clearly influenced the Court's decision: 1. Compuserve had specifically informed Cyber Promo that Cyber Promo was not authorized to use CompuServe's computer equipment to send its unsolicited messages to CompuServe subscribers. 2. Compuserve had attempted to employ filters which Cyber Promo had circumvented. 3. Compuserve demonstrated that Cyber Promo's spam was causing it damage in the form of lost subscribers and lost subscriber good will.