Utah Court Issues $1.6 Million CAN-SPAM Judgement


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A Utah judge has fined a marketing company over $1 million for violating the CAN-SPAM Act. According to court documents, a Utah-based ISP named ZooBuh got fed up after receiving nearly 15,000 spam messages from marketing firm Better Broadcasting over an eight-month period.Better Broadcasting ignored their complaints, so the ISP filed a CAN-SPAM complaint against them and won.

The judge found that Better Broadcasting had ignored the mandate that every message they send must have clearly visible opt-out directions. They, for some reason, decided to provide their opt-out information as an image hosted by a third-party server. Most email clients block such images, and they tend to disappear from the servers they are hosted on after a short time. Better Broadcasting was also found in violation for using the same bizarre image hosting to deliver their postal address (another piece of info that per CAN-SPAM must be included on every message) and notice that the message was an advertisement. All of the remotely hosted images were broken on every spam message they sent ZooBuh customers.

Neither Better Broadcasting nor ZooBuh has had any comment on the ruling, but I’m sure ZooBuh is very happy. They, like most ISPs, spend a lot of time and money dealing with spam and shady marketers like BB can cost them big bucks. I am also sure Better Broadcasting will pay much closer attention to the CAN-SPAM Act’s requirements as they certainly have over a million reasons to do so now. No businesses can afford to thumb their noses at their federal and state spam laws, so make sure you and your employees are up to date on them and 100% compliant.

Written by Sue Walsh

2 Comments

  1. Elena Monet · June 26, 2013

    It’s a good thing that swift action was handed down on this case. At least it will show spammers just how serious the authorities are the fight against spam and frauds. Spammers are becoming more and more daring nowadays, especially if they know that a company/organization or individual doesn’t know a single thing about spam. Likewise, marketing companies like Better Broadcasting should do all means necessary to keep their CAN-SPAM Act requirements up-to-date. They should regularly review the policies so they won’t be touted as spammers. Better Marketing should stay on the safe side by adhere to rules and laws.

  2. Jake · June 30, 2013

    That’s such a lot of money, but the question is, can they actually pay the damages? I’d like to think that the main reason why they’ve gone “aggressive” with their campaign is because they need to boost their profits. Nevertheless, at least we’re getting somewhere in our fight against spam.

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