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(Some Guy) Hero Michigan man uses Junk Fax law to sue Sears over spam, wins   ( divider line
    More: Hero  
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11476 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Feb 2003 at 7:45 AM (20 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

67 Comments     (+0 »)

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2003-02-25 6:26:53 AM  
The Hero tag isn't strong enough for this one.
2003-02-25 7:48:18 AM  
I am going to sue you over that headline.
2003-02-25 7:49:20 AM  
But sure, Roebuck gets off scott free.

2003-02-25 7:50:42 AM  
Fast link!
All text!
2003-02-25 7:52:50 AM  
Hero tags WELL deserved indeed!
2003-02-25 7:57:13 AM  
That strikes me as what Cauce.Org has been trying to do all along.

Excellent job, sir. My hat is off to you!

2003-02-25 7:58:32 AM  
Man, it shouldn't take all that to stop being spammed; I wish they'd really work up some good legislation on this, something definitive. It's just too cheap and easy to spam people.
2003-02-25 7:58:32 AM  
Unfortunately, however, this is what is wrong with today's society. People are too quick to sue, and it's too easy to win.

Flame war in 3, 2, 1...
2003-02-25 7:59:03 AM  
That's an example of the apropriate use of the hero tag.
2003-02-25 8:01:32 AM  
That's all well and good, but will my penis still be larger?
2003-02-25 8:01:59 AM  
I'm suing X10 cameras cause there were no pretty girls posing seductively as they undressed in my house. Just my cats and well they don't mind showing off their junk to everyone who scratches their ears!
2003-02-25 8:05:56 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
2003-02-25 8:06:51 AM  
A couple of quick observations.....

Has anyone ever recieved spam from a major company such as Sears? Off the top of my head I can't think of any spam that I've ever looked at that was from anything even close to being a major company.

Second... say what you want about lawyers, but overall I'm glad we have the power of the courts.
2003-02-25 8:16:53 AM  
I am also glad we have the power of the courts. I am against the idiocy of the juries and the greed of the lawyers. When a burglar can get locked in a house for three days, sue the homeowners, and win, there is something wrong.
2003-02-25 8:21:43 AM  
dr_whoopass, I couldn't agree more. Companies are afraid of taking any risk, and so many projects are denied because of fears of lawsuits. These lawsuits are grinding creativity to a halt. Is Sears really that bad? Leave 'em alone, I say.
2003-02-25 8:22:07 AM  
1. Kill all lawyers.
2. Dancing in the streets.
3. W ALL profit.
2003-02-25 8:27:57 AM  
Hey, I can't wait to try this.It shouldn't be hard for me to find the company who sent me an email entitled "Teenage Whore Britney Gangbang Sheep BJ Anal Orgy", right?

I mean, all I have to do is open it and click on the link right?

2003-02-25 8:28:36 AM  
Most of us sit around and complain. Others
do something about it and fight back.

God bless America.
2003-02-25 8:36:02 AM  
could we sue the people who do all the annoying suing for wasting our time and tax dollars and tie up the courts?

Or better yet, can we make annoying suing illegal, punishable by death?
2003-02-25 8:41:35 AM  
With Fark and /. doing so many crosspostings, I think they should just merge. It could be called Farkslash, Slashfark, or Farkdot. I prefer Slashfark though.
2003-02-25 8:42:42 AM  
"That's an example of the apropriate use of the hero tag."

I am not faulting Cerejaninja on this one. I am just remembering when the shuttle broke up and certain people argued that "hero" label for the astronauts was overused.

And I also recall that farkers whine and complain about every time someone sues, saying how stupid Americans have become, etc.

So, now we label "hero" a guy who sues over a stupid email which he could have just deleted, and the label was too overused for 7 people who died in what is considered the ultimate human endeavor.

Just so I understand.
2003-02-25 8:46:33 AM  
This is crap. the Junk fax law is there because if you are getting a junk fax it cuts off your ability to recieve business related faxes while the junk fax is being received. A junk E-mail takes no time to receive and no business time is lost.
2003-02-25 8:52:00 AM  
Mr_Nemo, you mean like laws against prostitution and drugs that stopped that?
2003-02-25 8:52:54 AM  
The employees have to read it, see that its spam then delete it and that takes time. It all adds up, for example 160 million working days are lost a year in North America due to poor dental care. Yes, I know my name says English but most of you have had more dental work done then I have.
2003-02-25 8:54:59 AM  
Things Remembered
Wells Fargo

Those mainstream enough for ya? I've gotten spam from all of them.
2003-02-25 8:58:22 AM  
Americans have more dental work because they actually go to a dentist.

Not getting it fixed is not the same as not having a problem.

That is called denial.

2003-02-25 8:58:52 AM  
Do you work in the fast growing, lucritive spam industry? I have never seen someone defend a spammer.
2003-02-25 9:00:44 AM  
Oh yeah, and to expand my list of well known spammers even more:
2003-02-25 9:01:54 AM  
I will be sure to use this as evidence for my father-in-law who does not agree that basing my future financial success (and that of his daughters) on lawsuits targeted at Spam mailers is a sound fiscal decision.
2003-02-25 9:06:15 AM  
Zaago Just hit delete? I have a friend who does that. He got one of my e-mails and didn't see it in the myriad of spam he had. Cost me $30,000 or so.
2003-02-25 9:22:56 AM  
Nope, not a spammer myself. frankly I hate the stuff. I did however hear the interview with this guy on the D&D show. He is a scumbag lawyer (sorry about being redundant) and when he went to small claims court Sears was represented by a guy from loss prevention at a local Sears store not from anybody from Sears corporate offices.
2003-02-25 9:29:48 AM  

"He is a scumbag lawyer"

"Thanks for writing about the lawsuit. Please bear in mind that I am not a lawyer or other legal professional. [emphasis added] I don't have a web site yet, but it may be a good idea. Here's basically the details of how I did it."

Tisk,tisk,tisk. You didn't read the article did you? ;)
2003-02-25 9:56:13 AM  
There was a Dateline or 20/20 or something like that about telemarketing last summer. A woman had asked that she not be contacted any more by Sears, which makes it illegal to contact her again. Well, they kept calling her, so she sued and won. I agree that there are a lot of frivolous suits around, but whether it's by phone, fax, or email, if a company continues to bother you after you've explicitly told them you're not interested, it's harassment in my book and these lawsuits are the only way to send a strong message.
2003-02-25 10:18:58 AM  

You're either a spammer or an idiot. Either way, it's not good.

Spam costs companies millions in wasted productivity yearly. It also costs a shiatload of cash for bandwidth, server space, etc, to deal with the spam. Spam is like junk snail mail, except spam comes postage due. It's cost-shifted advertising and all spammers deserve to have their testicles (or labia) branded with cattle irons.
2003-02-25 10:21:57 AM  
My income just doubled.
2003-02-25 10:27:26 AM  
Just reading technicalities here, but the story clearly emphasizes using telephone lines as a means of transporting junk faxes, etc. What about by means of broadband? Specifically cable? Sounds like a legal dance spammers can argue in their defense.

Please, anyone in their infinite wisdom of these boards feel free to comment.
2003-02-25 10:45:30 AM  
Rpm wrote:
"Zaago Just hit delete? I have a friend who does that.
He got one of my e-mails and didn't see it in the
myriad of spam he had. Cost me $30,000 or so.

My Email computer program thingy organizes mail by sender so it is easy to see who sent what. The computer program is called "outreach" or "lookout" or some such thing. I forget. Computers are so hard to understand these days...

Oh, and it is "myriad spam" not "myriad OF spam."
2003-02-25 10:49:00 AM  
By the way:

In Outlook, while in your inbox, click the "organize" button.

Click on "using views"

Select "by sender"

ta da!

2003-02-25 10:57:35 AM  
And outlook runs on BSD? Fetching his hotmail?
That's news to me.
2003-02-25 11:04:03 AM  
Zmog, is that Seared Spam?
2003-02-25 11:06:14 AM  
the Junk fax law is there because if you are getting a junk fax it cuts off your ability to recieve business related faxes

The junk fax law is there because it was business feeling the bite. It was passed very very quickly. Contrast this with the ongoing battle over telemarketing--there it's businesses making a profit and consumers feeling the pain. The practice remains legal, though there are a handful of weak opt-in procedures that can cut it down a little bit.

Junk email laws, if they happen at all, will happen only because of the impact on business. If Joe Consumer doesn't like a 0.01 signal/noise ratio in his personal email box, tough shiat. If Joe Asst. Manager figures out that spam is reducing employee productivity by 0.1%, the law will get passed tomorrow. (Notice how in all the recent stories on spam laws, the arguments all center around workplace productivity.)

What do you want to bet it'll exempt personal/home accounts?
2003-02-25 11:07:47 AM  
A bit about telemarketers...

I used to be one of them. It was my college days and I was desperate for money. I am sorry. But here are some tidbits I picked up.

1) It is illegal to be contacted before 9:00 AM or after 9:00 PM. Since the call lists are generated by computers, they sometimes slipped up. If this ever happens to you, the telemarketing company has broken the law.

2) The contacting after the "do not contact" request is illegal as well, but there's a catch - there is a grace period of about 3 weeks for your name and number to be taken out of the system. If they call you again in the grace period, there is nothing you can do. After that, each time the same company contacts you, you are entitled to something like $100. It's not a lot, but it is something.

Also, while I am at it, call your credit card company and threaten to change to another card because of your interest rate. They WILL lower your current rate.

2003-02-25 11:17:33 AM  
Benito Lupito sez 2) The contacting after the "do not contact" request is illegal as well, but there's a catch - there is a grace period of about 3 weeks for your name and number to be taken out of the system

Nope. There's *zero* grace

From the federal law, emphasis mine:
Recording, disclosure of do-not-call requests. If a person or entity making a telephone solicitation (or on whose behalf a solicitation is made) receives a request from a residential telephone subscriber not to receive calls from that person or entity, the person or entity must record the request and place the subscriber's name and telephone number on the do-not-call list at the time the request is made.
2003-02-25 11:18:22 AM  
That proves you made up the $30,000 figure. No one with any sense would rely on hotmail for anything.

Anyway, this shole thing is silly. It is an excuse to whine. Yes. Spam is annoying. No. It is not like a fax or junk snailmail.

Why? You are on a computer. Computers do amazing things. Regardless of WHAT operating system or email you are running, you can SORT. It is what computers do very well.

SO, get over it, learn to use your computer.

For shame, anyone using BSD should know better.

2003-02-25 11:21:36 AM  
What kind of geeks are we making these days, anyway!?

I can direct my email by sender, whether there are attachments, whether the subject line and/or body contain certain words, etc...

The possibilities are endless!

All it takes is a brain.
2003-02-25 11:29:01 AM  

Let's see, he moved so his ISP changed and his non-hotmail bounced.

And even if it was sorted *SO WHAT* it was *one* count 'em *one* e-mail out of a couple of hundred. The rest were spam. You can have what, 10 filters with hotmail? And I never sent to his hotmail before, so why would my address be whitelisted?

And no I wasn't making the $30,000 up. It delayed my employment with his company by about three months.

And yes, he does know how to use his computer. He has been an expert witness in front of Congress on computer crime.
2003-02-25 11:35:27 AM  

He does not sound very competent.

Also, I get virtually no spam.


I am not stupid enough to give out my email every time some site asks for it.

RPM, look at it this way. Maybe it was just not meant to be.
2003-02-25 11:36:32 AM  
How more complex is RPM's story going to be so that I can say, "Well, you have a point there." Or he just gives up?

Any bets? Anyone?
2003-02-25 11:44:38 AM  
Junk or spam emails costs companies money. Believe it or not!

My company has a dual T1 internet connection. These data circuits cost us about $750 a month. Thats roughly $9,000 a year. Looking at the logs of our "anti-spam" box, roughly 38.6% of all email received on these circuits can be catogorized as SPAM, JUNK EMAIL, UNSOLICITED MARKETING, etc.

So roughly 15% of our total bandwidth costs are for unwanted, unsolicited spam mail. So without digging out the cost analyzes charts, graphs and percentile breakdowns SPAM email costs companies and individuals money.

As i've said about telemarketing, when you pay for my phone line or data access capabilities, then you may have the option to solicit to me during agreed upon times.

IE: TV, i don't pay squat but I don't whine about commercials.
2003-02-25 11:44:50 AM  

So, your "friend" lost $30,000 delaying employment with his company, and he testifies in front of Congress?

And his only source of email at the time was Hotmail?
And he did not notice your email amongst the "myriad of [sic] spam"?

And give all of these factors, the lack of other email, his inattention to your email, the importance of the email, and as such his ability to overlook it, his friendship with you, etc...

ALL those things, and you blame spam!

There is something much more sinister going on here.

(I think he was blowing you off, dude.)
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