The security hole, now fixed, also affected another site devoted to a new musical based on the songs of Billy Joel. Spammers using special tools could easily discover the list of emails buried in the sites' code.
Both websites were built by New York web designer Mark Stevenson, who hired a programmer to add a newsletter sign-up function to the sites. Stevenson told the New York Times that he thought the amount of resources put into the sites seemed adequate but "in retrospect, this was not enough, and we need to do more."
Ironically, spam derives its name from a Monty Python sketch where a crowd of vikings sing about spam while people try to order food without spam, and fail.