Reunion.com Hit With Spam Claim
In recent papers filed with the U.S. District Court in Northern California, they asked Judge Maxine Chesney to reconsider a ruling that they did not suffer financial damages and, therefore, can't sue. They argue that spam results in financial loss because it eats up storage space in email inboxes as well as bandwidth. "These injuries are significant particularly when viewed in the aggregate, even if not the type of injury that ordinarily amounts to monetary loss to any individual as a result of a single incident."
The case was brought by three California residents and one Texas resident who allegedly received emails that appeared to have come from their friends, but actually were sent by Reunion.com. The site, like some other social networking sites, asks users for their e-mail addresses and passwords when they sign up. The site then accesses users' contacts and sends e-mails inviting them to join.
The consumers sued the site for violating California's anti-spam law, which prohibits e-mails with false or misleading headers and subject lines and provides for up to $1,000 per violation. The federal CAN-SPAM law preempts most state spam laws, but there's an exception for state laws dealing with fraudulent e-mails. Unlike California's law, the federal law does not allow consumers to file class-action lawsuits.
Reunion.com argued that the messages were not misleading because the site obtained people's permission before accessing their email contacts and messaging their friends.