Nails, Coffins, Spam, and the Dormant Commerce Clause?

…I think plans A & B in an alleged commercial spammer’s legal defense (the Dormant Commerce Clause and First Amendment challenges) have now taken enough hits to be declared at least in the coffin, if not dead. Why? In the case of the Dormant Commerce Clause, it isn’t the slow accretion of adverse cases swaying the tide of legal thinking, as with First Amendment Cases, but an intuitively and legally obvious reason I explain below. While plans A&B lay near death, courts (much like they have been doing for the last 200-plus years) are still struggling with notions of jurisdiction. As a result, plan C (resisting the jurisdiction of an out-of-state court) looks to remain a source of continued litigation between spammers and those who would sue them…

Adware, Spam and Some of My Other Favorite Topics

By Eric Goldman There has been a flurry of interesting legal developments in the last few days: * The plaintiffs voluntarily and unilaterally dismissed (with prejudice) Simios v. 180solutions, one of several putative class actions against adware vendors. See the…

Advertiser Not Liable for Spam–Hypertouch v. Kennedy-Western University

By Eric Goldman Hypertouch, Inc. v. Kennedy-Western University, No. 3:04-cv-05203-SI (N.D. Cal. Mar. 8, 2006) This is another in a series of CAN-SPAM lawsuits filed by Hypertouch, which apparently has entered the CAN-SPAM plaintiff business. I blogged on one of…

NY Enforcement Actions for Reselling Emails in Breach of Privacy Policy

By Eric Goldman Gratis Internet runs several websites that promise free stuff (like free iPods) in exchange for consumers signing up for subscription trials. The trials are initially free but then convert to paid subscriptions. The idea is that many…

Do-Not-Contact Registries Proliferating?

By Eric Goldman There has been a groundswell of action at the state level to implement do-not-contact registries of various kinds. Two of particular note: 1) Don’t-spam-my-kid Registries. Two states (Utah and Michigan) already have laws enabling do-not-spam registries for…

San Francisco Presentation, March 15 12:30 pm

By Eric Goldman I’m presenting my latest article, A Coasean Analysis of Marketing, at University of San Francisco on March 15. The talk is free and open to the public. Although the title suggests that the talk will be heavy…

Checking Your Spamming Burdens at the Dormant Commerce Clause/Jurisdiction Doors?

An update on the disjointed state of state spam law cases By Ethan Ackerman Despite the passage of the federal CAN-SPAM Act in 2003, state spam laws continue to be enforced by states, and it appears private litigation under them…

Wasted Time as a Damage–Paglinawan v. Frey

By Eric Goldman Paglinawan v. Frey, No. 2:06-cv-00099-RSM (W.D. Wash. complaint filed Jan. 19, 2006). James Frey publishes the book “A Million Little Pieces.” It’s marketed as a non-fiction book, but some of it is actually fiction. Readers are upset…

Marquette’s Link to the Father of Spam

By Eric Goldman You may recall the story of the first spam. A guy named Gary Thuerk worked for Digital Equipment Company. In 1978, he sent unsolicited emails to over 400 Internet users inviting them to attend a demonstration of…

Is the Florida Attorney General a Spammer?

By Eric Goldman This is hardly the first time that politicians have been caught spamming (in Florida or otherwise), but the irony is palpable. According to Reuters: “Charlie Crist was a staunch defender of a tough anti-spam law passed by…