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12 Dec 2006

Oklahoma Anti-Spammer Loses Big in Court Email

In November, Mark Mumma, who runs a little design firm at, lost an appeal in the Fourth Federal Circuit. He'd filed suit against and their parent Omega World Travel under CAN SPAM and an Oklahoma anti-spam law. Omega countersued for defamation. The court threw out Mumma's case, and allowed part of the defamation case to proceed. At first blush, this looks like a big win for spammers.

But read the decision, and you'll find that Mumma did just about everything he could to be sure he lost the case. He didn't try to document any meaningful violations of law. Instead he called up the other party and yelled at them. He also made some rather overoptimistic interpretations of Oklahoma law which CAN SPAM preempted.

The judge said that regardless of we think about spam in general, CAN SPAM sets out specific rules which followed pretty closely, and those are the ones the court has to enforce. We all know that CAN SPAM says spamming is legal. As David Sorkin noted, CAN SPAM legitimizes spam by regulating it, and even though the mail from looked pretty spammy, if the law says it's legal, suing the sender isn't going to accomplish anything.

Don't take this for more than it is. The lesson is that if you plan to file a CAN SPAM suit, it would be a good idea to have some actual evidence of CAN SPAM violations in hand first.

CNet story about the case

posted at: 16:30 :: permanent link to this entry :: 2 comments
posted at: 16:30 :: permanent link to this entry :: 2 comments

comments...        (Jump to the end to add your own comment)

You're right. How silly of me to think that a blatantly "made up" server name like '' (a domain name that just happened to not be registered to anyone) would be a violation under CAN-SPAM.

Also, a KNOWN to be non-working return email address as the reply address. That's not a violation either apparently. I guess I'll know better next time huh...

(by Mark Mumma 18 Dec 2006 20:15)

Mark is a fraud and friend to many scammers and pedophiles.
Mark is a fraud. Known as close friend to convicted pedophile #John_Aster who plead guilty to over 15000 images of child porn.

(by Rita Anderson 20 Nov 2018 21:35)

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