MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/related; boundary="----=_NextPart_01C612B6.74955790" This document is a Single File Web Page, also known as a Web Archive file. If you are seeing this message, your browser or editor doesn't support Web Archive files. Please download a browser that supports Web Archive, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer. ------=_NextPart_01C612B6.74955790 Content-Location: file:///C:/202B6194/news_isp_hammers_bob_vila_site_with_spam_suit.htm Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" ISP hammers Bob Vila site with spam suit

http://news.com.com/2100-1024-5170631.html<= /a>

 

 

 

3D"CNET

ISP hammers Bob Vila= site with spam suit


By Matt Hines
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
 

Story last modified March 5, 2004, 9:28 AM PST

An Internet service provider filed a lawsuit against the operator and marketer of home improvement Web site BobVila.com for violating terms of the federal Can-Spam Act.

In the claim, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court of California, Net service provider Hyperto= uch accused BVWebTies, the company that owns and operates BobVila.com, and one = of its partners, BlueStream Media, of breaching guidelines of the Can-Spam Act by sending the ISP and its customers "unwanted and unsolicited= " e-mail that advertised a newsletter being distributed by the Web site.

Among other complaint= s, Hypertouch, which is based in Foster City, Calif., claimed that BobVila.com sent 41 different e-= mail messages bearing "materially false or misleading" headers, or subject lines, to trick people into reading the correspondence. =

Neither BVWebTies nor BlueStream Media immediately returned calls seeking comment on the lawsuit.

Passed in December 20= 03, the Can-Spam Act was meant to help regulate spam by threatening various for= ms of punishment, including possible prison sentences, against individuals and companies responsible for sending unsol= icited e-mail.

However, early indica= tions show the law has done little thus far to discourage spa= mmers. A study released in February found that only 3 percent of bulk commercial e-mail included a valid U.S. postal mail address for the sender and a link = to opt out of future messages, as required by the federal mandate. =

Hypertouch said in it= s suit that the spam sent by the defendants could be linked to no physical address= and that the parties sent the communications to randomly generated and harvested e-mail accounts, as well as to accounts that had submitted requests to opt = out through links of other messages. Hypertouch executives labeled the e-mail campaign tactics as classic attempts to deceive consumers and questioned Can-Spam's ability to deter such activity.

"Most ISPs advise their customers to never reply to spam in an attempt to opt out, because th= at will only confirm for the spammer that an e-mail address is live," Hypertou= ch President Joe Wagner said in a statement. "BobVila.com and BlueStream Media's actions graphically show how harmful the Can-Spam Act is by requiri= ng recipients to reply to the spam they receive."

The company's legal c= ounsel also criticized Can-Spam, calling the legislation "an open license to = spam with very little protection for the public." However, the attorney said Hypertouch will continue to use the law to pursue companies that are spammi= ng its customers. The ISP has previously gone after individuals it believes are responsible for sending "junk faxes," a paper-based cousin of e-m= ail spam, and is currently engaged in a class-action lawsuit against one person= to that end.

Some industry watchers contend that spam distribution has continued to grow since Can-Spam went into effect at t= he beginning of this year. Approximately 60 percent of e-mail sent in January 2004 was s= pam, up from 58 percent in December 2003, according to San Francisco-based Brightmail, a spam-filtering company.

 

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