AOL Files More Suits, May Seek Federal Anti-Spam Law

America Online Inc. filed suit against a
pornographic spammer accused of using the AOL tradename, and said it may seek
federal legislation to put spammers out of the business.


In a speech before the Jupiter Consumer Online Conference in New York on
Thursday, America Online CEO Steve Case announced “AOL’s 10 Most Wanted
Spammer List,” which include Lovetoys Online, the Notoriously Nasty Spammer,
PlanetLovejoy, and loseweight.org.


He said the company would build a case against each one and pursue them in
court where possible.


“Like the online consumer, we’re fed up with spam. We are adopting a block and
tackle strategy against spammers. That is, we’re going to block as many of
their e-mails at the gateway as we can, and we’re going to tackle them in
court,” Case said.


AOL also filed suit against a company that it accused of it using the AOL and
AOL.com trade names on a series of pornographic Web sites, as well as in spam
sent to AOL members promoting the sites.


The company also said that it had obtained a judgment in its anti-spam lawsuit
against Prime Data Worldnet Systems Inc. and its proprietor, Vernon N. Hale.


In addition, the company said that another spam defendant, Squeaky Clean
Marketing, had agreed to a permanent injunction that will bar Squeaky Clean
Marketing from ever e-mailing AOL members again.


The latest lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District
of Virginia, charges one Eddie Davidson and his two firms, Web Communications
and Sex Web Inc., with violations of the federal copyright statute, the
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and the Virginia Computer Crimes Act.


The suit alleges that Davidson and his two firms unlawfully transacted
business under names like AOLsex.com.


The suit seeks damages and an injunction barring Davidson and the two
companies from continuing the transmission of unsolicited e-mail to AOL
members promoting sexually explicit Web sites.


AOL said that the defendants copied the design of its AOL.com Web site and
falsely included the company’s domain name in return addresses in order to
make it appear that the site and solicitations were sponsored or approved
by AOL.


“The conduct of these defendants has been nothing short of
outrageous. They have been actively engaged in transmitting millions of
unsolicited, unwanted e-mails advertising pornographic Web sites without
regard to the age of their recipients,” said George Vradenburg, senior vice
president and general counsel of America Online.

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