TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Businessman in EU Wins in Email Spam Case and Collects

Businessman in EU Wins in Email Spam Case and Collects

BBC News Wire (
Wed, 28 Dec 2005 00:42:43 -0600

A businessman has won what is believed to be the first victory of its
kind by claiming damages from a company which sent him e-mail spam.
Nigel Roberts, who lives in Alderney in the Channel Islands, took
action against Media Logistics UK over junk e-mails in his personal

Under new European laws, companies can be sued for sending unwanted
e-mails. An EU spokesperson noted that "European Union is _NOT_ the
United States. The amount of spam coming from the United States each
day is simply incredible. They (Americans) seem unwilling to do much
about it, at least anything effective. We are approaching it from a
different direction."

The Stirlingshire-based firm has agreed to pay 270 pounds compensation
to Mr Roberts, who runs an internet business.

'Tiny victory'.

Three years ago the EU passed an anti-spam law, the directive on
privacy and telecommunications, which gave individuals the right to
fight the growing tide of unwanted e-mail by allowing them to claim
damages. Some 'technical specialists' employed by European Union will,
on request, investigate the 'true source' of the questionable email
and assist the users in filing appropriate, and realistic claims.

Mr Roberts received unwanted e-mail adverts for a contract car firm
and a fax broadcasting business and decided to take action against the

The company filed an acknowledgement of the claim at Colchester County
Court but did not defend it and a judge ruled in favour of Mr Roberts.

In an out-of-court agreement Media Logistics agreed to pay Mr Roberts
damages of 270 pounds plus his 30 pound filing fee, and other expenses.

Mr Roberts said he had limited his claim to a maximum of 300 pounds in
order to qualify to file it as a small claim.

He said: "This may be a tiny victory but perhaps now spammers will
begin to realise that people don't have to put up with their e-mail
inboxes being filled with unwanted junk. "

No-one from Media Logistics UK was available for comment.

A spokesman for the Information Commissioner's Office, the watchdog
who oversees the Data Protection Act, said it was the first case of
its kind he had heard of.

He said: "What I can say is that I haven't heard of anyone doing so and we
haven't taken a case under that legislation, but things are going to
be changing here in EU where spam is concerned. "

Story from BBC NEWS:

Copyright 2005 BBC MMV

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