MySpace Files Lawsuit Against Spammer

There is a huge contingency of computer users who have personal blog sites, such as Law in Life. Various websites allow users to create and manage their own blogs, the largest of which is MySpace. The number of MySpace users is astronomical, and unfortunately, this also means that the potential for abusers of MySpace is also relatively high.

Today, cnn.com’s Law Center brings us an article about MySpace’s lawsuit against Scott Richter for accessing member accounts and sending out a massive number of spam e-mails. Read the full story by clicking here.

MySpace alleges that Richter, through a number of his companies, sent e-mails to MySpace users. These e-mails apparently appeared legitimate enough for many MySpace users to unwittingly provide their usernames and passwords to Richter (this process is called “spoofing”). After gaining access to these accounts, the suit alleges that millions of spam e-mails were sent out by Richter through the accounts.

Generally spammers may sell their services to companies to sell products or services. MySpace’s complaint apparently demands repayment for all profits Richter received as a result of the alleged spamming.

Although not indicated in the article, it is highly likely that Richter’s alleged actions violated MySpace’s terms of use, and according to MySpace, even violated the law. When a crime is committed by a person, criminal prosecution for that crime can result, but sometimes a civil suit may arise from the same criminal actions as well. Here, there is no indication that Richter is being criminally prosecuted yet.

The story indicates that Richter has previously settled two lawsuits, one against Microsoft, for similar activities involving spam e-mails. The settlement with Microsoft included payment to Microsoft of $7 Million, which may give some indication as to how much Richter and his companies profited from engaging in these alleged spamming activities.

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