Spam king Richter must pay US$6m to MySpace

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Self-styled 'King of Spam' Scott Richter has been ordered to pay US$6m in legal fees and damages for spamming MySpace subscribers in August 2006.

Richter's company, Media Breakaway, stated that it will not appeal against the decision because the amount is considerably lower than MySpace had originally sought.

MySpace had accused Richter and his Colorado-based company of sending unsolicited emails to thousands of MySpace customers purporting to be from MySpace friends promoting a website called consumerpromotionscenter.com.

The social networking site said that Media Breakaway obtained the addresses through phishing attacks.

But Richter claimed that he has broken no laws and that the phishing was done by affiliate organisations working for Media Breakaway.

MySpace had only two security staff at the time and admitted that it was unable to cope. The site now has more than 40.

MySpace sued Richter in January 2007 seeking damages under California's Can-Spam Act. The legislation awards US$100 per email sent, which would have run into hundreds of millions of dollars.

But in August 2007, a Californian district judge accepted Richter's plea to have the case referred to arbitration. Philip Boesch, the court-appointed arbiter, reached his decision this week.

Richter's previous company, OptInRealBig.com, was bankrupted in 2005 when Microsoft and the New York Attorney General sued Richter for spamming.

They were asking for US$50m, but Richter settled with Microsoft for US$7m and the New York Attorney General for US$50,000.

Earlier this month MySpace won a record US$230m in damages against spammers Sanford Rines and Scott Wallace, who fled before judgement was handed down.
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