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05 May 2007
Last December I wrote about Mark Mumma, who runs a small web hosting company in Oklahoma City and his battle with Omega World Travel a/k/a cruise.com. Mumma lost his CAN SPAM suit agains them in December, but Omega's countersuit for defamation went to trial last week, and I hear that the jury awarded Omega $2.5 million in damages, which Mumma is not likely to be able to pay.
This may be painted in some circles as a huge defeat for anti-spam activists, but it's not. Mumma has been what one might call an intemperate litigant, as most impressively documented in an interview with Ken Magill. Press reports say that Omega would have settled with Mumma for an apology and no money, which considering Mumma's string of losses was a pretty good offer. But he didn't.
There are plenty of real anti-spam lawsuits going on, with real charges of behavior that is actually prohibited by law. A good example is the case that Project Honeypot filed last week against spammers who'd scraped addresses off their honeypot web pages. I look forward to following its progress.
Update: Read Robert Braver's comment on this message which clarifies the sequence of suits. Omega sued first in response to threats from Mumma, but the outcome is indeed a train wreck.
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