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Spamming and Spoofing

Earthlink Networks v. Cyber Promotions, No. BC 167502 (Cal. Super. Ct. L.A. County March 30, 1998)

Summary

Although, as described in this section, other networks and ISPs have successfully sued Cyber Promotions, in this action, Earthlink, a California ISP, is credited with, as Sanford Wallace himself stated as part of the settlement agreement,“put[ting] Cyber Promotions out of the spamming business.”

Analysis

Earthlinks’ suit contained twelve counts including federal and state infringement and dilution claims, violations of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as well as common law claims of misappropriation, conversion and trespass.

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Although Cyber Promotions denied all liability, the suit settled in March 1998 on terms which were wholly favorable to Earthlink. The settlement stipulated that Cyber Promotions would pay Earthlinks $1,000,000, and that in the event Sanford Wallace engaged in any Internet related activity in the future Wallace had to provide Earthlinks with written notice of that intention via its attorneys. In addition, Sanford Wallace provided Earthlinks with a separate letter, on Cyber Promotions letterhead, stating, “Cyber’s continued legal battles, highlighted by Earthlink’s diligent prosecution of the lawsuit on behalf of its subscribers and by Earthlink’s refusal to settle that lawsuit on any terms other than those ultimately agreed upon, have eliminated even the possibility of continuing financial viability for Wallace’s and Cyber’s business operations. These factors have essentially ‘put Cyber out of the spamming business.’”


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