MySpace messages treated like e-mail under CAN-SPAM

Over at Spamnotes,Venkat put up a post about a recent decision from a federal court in California that considered the defendant’s argument that MySpace “messages” do not fall under CAN-SPAM because “the addresses to which those messages are sent lack a ‘domain name’ and have no route, instead remaining within the”

Venkat has described the case far beyond my poor power to add or detract, but here’s the skinny: the court looked to the plain language of the statute to can that argument. The definition of “‘electronic mail address’ entails nothing more specific than ‘a destination . . . to which an electronic mail message can be sent,’ and the references to ‘local part’ and ‘domain part’ and all other descriptors set off in the statute by commas represent only one possible way in which a ‘destination’ can be expressed.”

MySpace v. Wallace, No. 07-1929 (C.D. Cal. July 2, 2007)
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Fourth Circuit issues important CAN-SPAM decision

In the recent case of Omega World Travel, Inc. v. Mummagraphics, Inc., No. 05-2080, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has ruled in favor of accused spammers, in a decision which, as Professor Goldman states, is likely to “take some wind out of the sails of anti-spam plaintiffs.”

Venkat Balasubramani has a very thorough analysis of the opinion. In a nutshell, the opinion held that Oklahoma’s anti-spam statute was preempted by CAN-SPAM, that certain errors in message headers were “immaterial” and thus not actionable as misleading spam, and that allegations of nominal damages could not support a claim of trespass to chattel.

Court: Send spam to Washington state and you can be sued there

James Gordon is continuing his legal assault on spam [read about another Gordon case here], and has received a ruling in his favor from a federal court in the state of Washington. The court held that it had personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state company accused of sending spam to Gordon, a Washington resident.

The court found that Gordon presented sufficient facts to show that by knowingly sending commercial e-mails into Washington, advertising its products, the defendant was “doing business” in the state. This was a “purposeful act” done by the defendant, and thus it should have reasonably expected to be haled into a court in Washington for violation of its laws.

Gordon v. Ascentive, LLC, (Slip Op.), 2005 WL 3448025 (E.D. Washington, December 15, 2005).


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