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Anti-Spam Advocate Wins Big In Small-Claims Court

27 March 2002

WASHINGTON -- March 26, 2002 -- As reported by Newsbytes.com: ``A small-claims court in Washington state has ordered three direct marketers to pay $1,000 apiece for violating the state's laws against unsolicited junk e-mail, or "spam."

``The judgments were granted to Internet free-speech group Peacefire.org, which sued Red Moss Media, Paulann Allison and Richard Schueler for repeatedly sending misleading and deceptive spam.

``Washington prohibits the distribution of commercial e-mail that contains misleading information in its subject line or uses a bogus return address or third-party domain name return address without permission. The law provides for up to $500 in damages for individuals, and as much as $1,000 for companies, for each infraction.

``Peacefire Webmaster Bennett Haselton called the decisions an important victory for consumers and the state's spam law, which recently withstood a constitutional challenge at the U.S. Supreme Court.

``...California has enacted a similar law that bans the sending of commercial e-mail unless the marketer has a preexisting business relationship with the recipient. The California statute also requires commercial e-mail to contain "ADV:" in its subject field to indicate that the message is an advertisement..."

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