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AOL claims victory in three spam suits

December 23, 1998
Web posted at: 10:00 AM EST

by Roberta Fusaro

(IDG) -- Taking a hard line against spammers, America Online Inc. said it has won three lawsuits it brought against junk E-mailers in three states and is suing spammers in five more states.

The Dulles, Va.-based Internet service provider was awarded financial damages in each of the three suits, which were filed against LCGM Inc. in Madison Heights, Mich., Prime Data Systems in Bowling Green, Ky., and IMS in Knoxville, Tenn.

An AOL spokesman wouldn't specify the amount of damages awarded in each case.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that LCGM, a well-known spammer whose unsolicited E-mail touts pornographic Web sites, had violated state and federal computer laws by employing methods and software designed to defeat AOL's filtering technologies.

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In all three cases, the defendants were ordered to pay financial or punitive damages for sending millions of pieces of junk E-mail to AOL subscribers and infringing on the AOL trademark by using the domain name in the body or header of their junk E-mail.

All were barred from sending E-mail to AOL or its subscribers.

America Online also filed lawsuits on Monday against nine well-known junk E-mailers in five states: Power Promo and GreatDeals.Net in Reston, Va.; National Health Care Discounts Inc. in Sioux City, Iowa; Global Marketing Solutions Inc. and First Class Advertising, both in Orange County, Fla.; Virtual Girlfriend in Sunland and Tujunga, Calif.; USA Home Employment in Studio City, Calif.; Michael Persaud and others in San Diego; and The Christian Brothers in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The spammers being sued generated large volumes of junk E-mail and were the objects of numerous AOL subscriber complaints, said Rich D'Amato, a spokesman at America Online, which has about 14 million subscribers. "We want to make the message clear to spammers: We will find out who you are and where you're coming from, and we will go after you," he said.

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