A U.S. District Judge in Los Angeles has ruled that “spam king” Sanford Wallace and his accomplice Walter Rines are liable to pay MySpace $230 million in damages. This is significant both for the verdict’s size, and because the spam happened entirely within MySpace rather than through traditional ISP based email.
MySpace claimed the pair sent in excess of 730,000 messages to MySpace members. Under the 2003 federal anti-spam law known as CAN-SPAM, each violation entitles MySpace to $100 in damages, tripled when conducted “willfully and knowingly.”
The pair were jointly fined $157.4 million, with an additional $63.4 million against Rines under CAN-SPAM — plus $1.5 million more against the pair under California’s anti-phishing law and $4.7 million in attorneys fees.
In the 1990s, Wallace was responsible for sending as many as 30 million spam emails a day. In 2006 a court found him liable for 4 million in damages for distributing spyware.
While nobody will miss the spam, I kind of hope we’ve not seen the last of the ingenious Spamford Wallace.