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MySpace wins another verdict against alleged spammer

Discussion in 'Social Networking Sites' started by Atlas, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. Atlas

    Atlas Regular Member

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    By BRIAN BERGSTEIN
    AP Technology Writer


    MySpace can collect $6 million from a notorious Internet marketer accused by the popular online hangout of spamming its users.

    An arbitrator has ruled that Scott Richter and his Web marketing company, Media Breakaway LLC of Westminster, Colo., must pay MySpace $4.8 million in damages and $1.2 million in attorney's fees for barraging MySpace members with unsolicited advertisements. Media Breakaway and its employees were also banned from the site.

    MySpace, a unit of News Corp., had alleged that some of the messages were sent from accounts whose sign-on information had been hijacked by "phishing." Media Breakaway countered that rogue business affiliates - independent contractors who sent messages for Media Breakaway - were to blame for phishing and other improper behavior.

    In a statement, Media Breakaway celebrated the fact that the arbitrator had awarded MySpace "95 percent less than the amount demanded" by the company.

    Indeed, Thursday's arbitration ruling pales next to a $230 million verdict MySpace won in U.S. District Court last month against two Internet marketers, Sanford Wallace and Walter Rines. Nonetheless, MySpace hopes the Richter case will rachet up the pressure it has been trying to place on spammers.

    "MySpace has essentially declared a war on spam and phishing on our site," Hemanshu Nigam, MySpace's chief security officer, said in an interview.

    Richter is a familiar figure in such matters. Microsoft Corp. won a $7 million settlement against him in a spam lawsuit in 2005, and the state of New York got $50,000 from Richter the year before.

    However, Richter's father, Steven Richter, who serves as Media Breakaway's president and general counsel, said Monday that the company has worked harder in recent years to stay clean. He said Media Breakaway now has five employees tracking its legal compliance, up from one in 2006.

    In this case, he said, Media Breakaway had misunderstood MySpace's rules prohibiting commercial messages. "Once they told us it was wrong we threw the iron curtain down on it," Richter said in an interview.
     
  2. air360

    air360 Regular Member

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    Oh give me a break....if youve been sued so many times before how can you not know what myspace tos say...and if they really didnt know what myspace tos were they shouldnt have been on the site in the first place!lol
     
  3. wiredmom

    wiredmom Executive VIP Premium Member

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    You have NO idea how funny that statement is.
    -giggles-
     
  4. charliebne

    charliebne Registered Member

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    LOL ditto

    I bet someone here in blackhatworld knows something about that :p

    Anyways, don't they own CPA Empire?
     
  5. elvanvitar

    elvanvitar BANNED BANNED Premium Member

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    they do. and yes a few people here definately know about this lawsuit in particular.
     
  6. Uptownbulker

    Uptownbulker BANNED BANNED

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    Voce Sergeant Schultz:

    I know nuzzink!

    Anyway, this article from Channel Web is a bit more informative:

    "MySpace Wins $6 Million From 'Spam King' Richter

    By Stefanie Hoffman, ChannelWeb
    3:25 PM EDT Tue. Jun. 17, 2008
    Social networking giant MySpace is set to receive $6 million for a lawsuit the company filed against "Spam King" Scott Richter, who inundated its members with unwanted spam from hijacked accounts in August 2006.

    Specifically, an arbitrator decided Friday that Richter and his company, Media Breakaway, was to fork over $4.8 million in fines and a $1.2 million in legal fees to MySpace for the case that originated in January 2007.

    MySpace contended that Richter's company was responsible for sending out unsolicited e-mails to thousands of MySpace contacts obtained through phishing attacks. The spam, which promoted a Website called consumerpromotionscenter.com, tricked users into believing that they were receiving e-mails from friends on their contact list, MySpace claimed.

    The social networking site filed a lawsuit against Richter in January 2007 under California's CAN SPAM Act, demanding damages to the tune of $100 per e-mail, which would have resulted in an award in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

    "MySpace has zero tolerance for illegal activity on our site and is committed to bringing to justice those who try to harm our members," said Hemanshu Nigam, chief security officer for MySpace, in a written statement. "Recently, MySpace won a major victory against Scott Richter and Media Breakaway under the Federal CAN SPAM Act. This award reflects MySpace's continued momentum and holistic approach to ridding the site of spammers and phishers through technological innovation, education, partnerships and enforcement. We will continue to do our part in cleansing the Internet of this invasive onslaught of spam."

    Media Breakaway did not say in its statement that it would appeal the judgment. Rather, the media company said that it was to be held responsible for the numerous unsolicited e-mails it distributed to MySpace subscribers, but denied responsibility for "certain affiliates who violated Media Breakaway's own affiliate terms and conditions."

    "We respect the Arbitrator's findings regarding violations of MySpace's Terms of Use by certain rogue affiliates, particularly during 2006 when the concept of social networks was still developing. We acknowledged early on in this process that our company should not profit from the sending of unsolicited commercial bulletins to MySpace users and offered to return any such profit to MySpace, and we repeatedly offered to work with MySpace to resolve mutual concerns," said Steven Richter, president and general counsel for Media Breakaway, and Scott Richter's father.

    Media Breakaway also noted in its statement that the final decision resulted in an award that was 95 percent less than what MySpace initially demanded from Richter. The ruling, however, was a paltry sum compared to a recent judgment lat month against Sanford Wallace and his business partner Walter Rines, who were required to hand over $230 million to MySpace for duping numerous subscribers out of millions of dollars with phishing e-mails that violated the CAN SPAM Act.

    Richter has been penalized for illegal spamming activity in the past. Richter's previous company, OptIn RealBig.com was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2005 whenMicrosoft (NSDQ: MSFT) filed a $50 million against the company. The lawsuit was settled in 2006 for $7 million."
     
  7. wiredmom

    wiredmom Executive VIP Premium Member

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    Its odd how Myspace is going to get all this money - yet its the "users" who were affected by the "spamming" and they wont see one penny of it. They should use that money and put on a big concert or something free for all myspace users and have big headliners ^_^
     
  8. MaskedMarketer

    MaskedMarketer BANNED BANNED

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    Its not odd at all considering that the spammers cost myspace money.. What type of "damages" do the users incur? Realistically you shouldnt be expecting any money at all. It is a free service...