Habeas Drops Spam Claim

Anti-spam company Habeas said on Tuesday it had dropped its legal complaint against affiliate network ClickBank for aiding spammers.

Habeas CEO Anne Mitchell said the company reached a “cooperative understanding” that cleared up the claims that ClickBank helped spammers violate its trademark.

Earlier this month, Habeas filed suit against marketers Stan Stuchinski and Dale Heller, accusing the two of violating Habeas’ trademark by sending out unsolicited bulk e-mail bearing the Habeas warrant to ensure its delivery. ClickBank was named as a defendant for acting as a middleman by operating the affiliate network used by Stuchinski and Heller.

“They’ve been extremely cooperative,” Mitchell said of ClickBank. “There is no question that one of their affiliate partners did this.”

Stuchinski has called the suit “extremely frivolous.”

Habeas was founded last August with a novel approach to fighting the spam epidemic. Habeas includes a copyrighted haiku poem, known as a warrant mark, in e-mail headers. With the Habeas service, e-mailers must agree to abide by Habeas’ e-mail rules to send out mailings with the Habeas warrant. Those violating the warrant may face legal action.

Mitchell said ClickBank would drop the two defendants from its affiliate network and actively work to make sure its affiliates understand the consequences of spamming.

“We do not tolerate spamming in any form, and anyone who promotes any of our programs or affiliate products through the use of spam will have their ClickBank accounts terminated,” said Geoffrey Hoyl, ClickBank’s chairman and chief executive.

Mitchell said third parties like ClickBank are often named in lawsuits in order to free them from legally binding privacy restrictions against revealing information about their users.

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