Paul Wagner, a man who’s built a reputation for suing spammers, has lost his latest suit. Wagner sued Kraft Foods for over $12 million under Maryland’s anti-spam law, claiming the food giant had flooded the inboxes of the ISP he runs with spam. A jury disallowed the suit, deciding that Wagner’s company did not qualify as an actual internet service provider. Under Maryland’s law, ISPs can sue for $1,000 per spam message.
Kraft’s lawyers say Wagner intentionally attracted spam just so he could sue for it, since that appears to be how he makes his living. While Wagner’s lawyer admitted his client spends more time suing spammers than on his business, he insists Wagner does so as an attempt to fight back against spammers.
The judge in the case has asked for arguments from both sides on whether the state’s law requires a company to be an ISP in order to sue or not. His decision could change the way anti-spam laws are interpreted.
Kraft was relieved by the decision, saying it eased concerns that just anyone could harvest spam emails and then turn around and sue to ensure themselves a big payday. They claim Wagner had his brother send him thousands of the spam messages he’s suing about.
How do you feel about the decision? Should individuals and all companies be allowed to sue under the anti-spam law or only internet service providers? Do you believe Wagner is in the right? Leave a comment and share your thoughts with us.