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MS Gets $7 Million From Spammer 373

pin_gween writes "Reuters UK reports that Microsoft has settled its spam suit against Scott Richter for $7 million. From the article: 'Microsoft and New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer had sued Richter in late 2003, asserting that he had sent, or helped other spammers send, billions of e-mail messages to consumers touting everything from herbal products to loan consolidation schemes.'"
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MS Gets $7 Million From Spammer

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  • by bigwavejas ( 678602 ) * on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:24PM (#13280555) Journal
    "Nevertheless, Richter said that he and his company had changed their e-mailing practices and pledged not to send spam to anyone who has not asked to be sent commercial e-mail."

    Richter knows nobody in their right mind would agree to receiving the loads of $hit he shovels. What he effectively saying is, "I'm going to hide in teeny-tiny font, at the bottom of some website, when you click "Accept" for your order (whatever that may be) you're also agreeing to receive my spam."

    In his case he's a product of what he solicits - Garbage.

    • by Frymaster ( 171343 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @02:00PM (#13280907) Homepage Journal
      Richter knows nobody in their right mind would agree to receiving the loads of $hit he shovels

      and yet, miraculously, there are people out there who buy that stuff... if there weren't there wouldn't be any spam.

      if we're really going to stop junk email, these are the people we should be working on educating. think what damage could be done to the spammers' pocket book if every new copy of outlook showed a little message every time a suspected spam was opened that said "warning: unsolicited commercial email may be fraudulant".

      if ms is serious about shutting down spam, they should spend less on lawyers and more on educating their end users.

      • by ebyrob ( 165903 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @02:13PM (#13281030)
        But stop and think about the economics a bit...

        Richter has sent "billions" of spams. Say, that's 2,000,000,000 to be conservative. If he's merely been fined $7,000,000 that works out to less than 1/2 a cent per spam sent.

        If he can make one $50 sale per 100 emails, then he's still in the green. Just how teachable do you think the dumbest 1% of people are? (And actually... judgements like this will probably kill spam, because it probably takes more like 1,000 emails to make that one sale given filtering and noise ratios...)
      • by schon ( 31600 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @02:55PM (#13281386)
        there are people out there who buy that stuff...

        Maybe, although that is far from proven - all we have is the word of the spammers themselves, and you must remember rule #1 (spammers lie.)

        if there weren't there wouldn't be any spam.

        Bullshit. If this were true, then there would never have been spam to begin with, because the *very first* spammers got exactly zero orders. Nobody bought anything, and yet spammers still spammed - why? because they could.

        It doesn't matter if nobody buys anything - as long as sociopaths believe someone *might* buy their crap, they will continue to do it, and new ones will pop up as the old ones run out of money.

        What they see is lots of spam from other companies, and (just like others who lack critical thinking skills) believe that "someone must be buying", and start spamming.

        if we're really going to stop junk email, these are the people we should be working on educating.

        How are we going to do that when *YOU* buy into the self-perpetuating "someone must be buying" myth? Since *YOU* believe it, spammers will believe it, and they will keep spamming.
        • by penix1 ( 722987 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @03:08PM (#13281490) Homepage
          To add spice to your already excellent post...

          There is a study floating around (can't recall where) that found that spammers aren't making money off the products they "offer". They are making their money by selling email addresses to other spammers. Email address harvesting is where the true spammer makes his bread...

          Still, how this translates into Microsoft getting the loot is beyond me.

          B.
        • Unfortunately, I do know some idiot that does read his spam and buys things from it.

          I asked why on earth would you even dare read it. You are contributing to the problem by making it profitable.

          His unfounded response was that he gets good deals sometimes. (Which is total BS upon inspection... any research on the product shows it can be had for the same or lesser cost)

          Spam buyers are the same people who get sucked into paypal, nigerian investment and every other scam on the market.

          Having said that, I've seen
        • by stlhawkeye ( 868951 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @04:53PM (#13282148) Homepage Journal
          Maybe, although that is far from proven - all we have is the word of the spammers themselves, and you must remember rule #1 (spammers lie.)

          Yeah, you're right that it has nothing to do with sales, but you're wrong that's it just because "they can." They do it because "they make money." Spam pays off even if nobody buys anything so long as they click-through to a web site. This model is becoming outdated rapidly, and is being replaced by phishing and fraud.

          Bullshit. If this were true, then there would never have been spam to begin with, because the *very first* spammers got exactly zero orders.

          They weren't selling anything at first. They were just advertising. Advertising is a subconscious phenomenon that works on most people, regardless of how hard they consciously work to resist its impact. Even seeing commercials that you hate because of their simplistic stupidity can often generate sales. Most people don't remember the company that a given commercial is for, but they did hear the name and subconsciously associate it with a memorable event. People are constantly walking out of grocery stores and shopping malls, badmouthing the "stupid" commercials for products that they just purchased. Advertising is attention, the sales don't have to be direct to be counted.

          Nobody bought anything, and yet spammers still spammed - why? because they could.

          They kept doing it because they were making money, they didn't give a shit if anybody bought anything or not, as long as they made money. Spammers are usually intermediaries for somebody else's business. The spammer doesn't care if that business makes money as long as they pay the spammer to distribute advertising.

          It doesn't matter if nobody buys anything - as long as sociopaths believe someone *might* buy their crap, they will continue to do it, and new ones will pop up as the old ones run out of money.

          Again, I don't believe this is entirely accurate. It doesn't matter if anybody buys anything, but spammers spam because they make money doing it. They are paid by somebody else to spam on their behalf, they generate some traffic, they scrape email addresses and resell them to other spammers, they phish for information for identity theft or resell to identity thieves, they try to defraud the ignorant.

          What they see is lots of spam from other companies, and (just like others who lack critical thinking skills) believe that "someone must be buying", and start spamming.>

          No, they see that spammers are making money and getting wealthy with little risk so they do it.

          How are we going to do that when *YOU* buy into the self-perpetuating "someone must be buying" myth? Since *YOU* believe it, spammers will believe it, and they will keep spamming.

          Wrong again. Spammers will keep spamming as long as they make money off of it. When it's not profitable, it'll end. That profit is not necessarily tied to sales. Big telecom companies are often complicit in spam dissemination, there's too much money to be made off of leasing transatlantic bandwidth to strategic clients.

          Spam has to stop paying before it'll end. The question is where do you deal it, on the demand-side, or the supply-side? The demand is not from end users who want spam, it's from businesses who want to send it.

      • Spam Education (Score:3, Informative)

        by Kelson ( 129150 ) *
        I stumbled across this site a few months ago: Spam. Don't Buy It [spamdontbuyit.org]. It's an educational campaign to convince people not to buy stuff from spammers. There's a nice diagram of the spam business cycle, illustrating how few customers the spammer really needs to make a profit.
      • if we're really going to stop junk email, these are the people we should be working on educating

        No, if we really wanted to stop spam then we need to do two things:

        1. Force specific performance on the part of the end beneficiary of the spam. When I get a spam offering a guaranteed mortg4ge of $350,000 at %3.5 and $600/month regardless of credit then any mortgage broker who responds to my click here action should be absolutely forced to give me a mortgage on those terms. Let him take it up with the spamm

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:25PM (#13280559)

    and send some people to jail AND take their money
    simply taking their money isn't good enough as they can afford it so it becomes a cost of doing business

    untill they slam them in jail nothing will change

    • I don't think that being a spammer should get you locked up, but I do agree that the penalty should be stiffer. As you said, if the penalty is just a cost of doing business, then the penalty needs to be increased. IMO, the penalty should be about double whatever you made off of spamming. The penalty is then doubled for each subsequent offense.
      • by pete6677 ( 681676 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:45PM (#13280768)
        That wouldn't necessarily work, because people would just spam under a corporate name and then bankrupt the company when caught. Even if the penalty applied to them personally, it would be hard to collect and bankruptcy would probably get rid of it. For serious cases of spamming, especially if the spam is fraudulent or sent via stolen internet access, jail time must be a possibility.
      • I don't think that being a spammer should get you locked up
        Why not? We give people jail time for hacking, for stealing (even petty shoplifting) and spammers use hacked machines, stealing their bandwidth and resources. Even if they didn't do it themselves they _KNOW_ that the access they're buying isn't legit (if you're legit why do you need to buy dial-up lines & servers from some far away foreign country to send your spam for example.)

        I'm certainly not saying they should get as much jail time a

      • by fmaxwell ( 249001 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @02:10PM (#13281000) Homepage Journal
        I don't think that being a spammer should get you locked up

        Why not? Why should spammers be able to steal and not face jail time? What is the cost for the stolen bandwidth? What is the cost of the stolen storage? What are the administrative costs spent dealing with the theft of bandwidth and storage by spammers?

        If an ISP has to buy five more mail servers, an OC3 line, and add four more drives to his RAID system to store the spam, why shouldn't those who caused the ISP to bear that cost face jail time?

        Every time an employee receives spam, it takes them some period of time to recognize it as spam and delete it -- usually more if it's forwarded to a Blackberry or other mobile device. Why should employers have to bear these costs for disruptive spam and have the spammer not face jail time?

        Are we just trying to keep jails empty so that the radical right can have cells to lock up college kids caught with pot at rock concerts? Where the hell are our priorities?
        • Im going to use an arguement here that often is used on slashdot in defence of abusing open wifi points. The email server is accepting the connection, its accepting the email, its accepting the contents, at no point does it say 'no', so how can it be called theft? Thats analogous to a wifi point accepting the connection and issuing you an IP address on request, which is the arguement people use on this forum in defence of using open wifi points.
          • Im going to use an arguement here that often is used on slashdot in defence of abusing open wifi points. The email server is accepting the connection, its accepting the email, its accepting the contents, at no point does it say 'no', so how can it be called theft?

            I've seen 8 or more attempts in rapid-fire succession from different IP addresses all trying to deliver the same piece of spam after mail server refused the mail each time with a message stating that spam/UCE is not permitted at my domain. How man
        • by CRC'99 ( 96526 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @11:57PM (#13284151) Homepage
          I reject your reality, and substitute it with my own.

          Spam is a fact of life. It won't go away, it won't decrease. This is one of those wonderful "won't somebody please think of the children!" that people scorn so much on slashdot.

          If your ISP has to buy more mail servers, the maybe they didn't do their maths correctly in the first place. Maybe they're not enforcing local policies clearly enough. Maybe they should have just thought of it all back when they designed their setup. It's easy to blame spammers, but reality shows that people just didn't think.

          Stolen bandwidth? Stolen storage? Where was it taken? To say that it's stolen implies that somebody has been deprived of something. Sure, they may have less free space, but the capacity is still there - so nothing has been stolen. If you're running out of bandwidth/storage, then maybe you should have planned your business better and taken into account these things instead of counting on a bare minimum to survive.
    • Settling has nothing to do with jail time. This was a civil suit. You can't go to jail due to any decision in civil court. You go to jail for a crime. Clearly the laws are not in place to jail someone for spamming in New York.
    • Send people to jail for sending email? C'mon...

      Make the cost of doing business the entire business. Sue the company out of existance and, if their company is set up in such a way that allows it, sue the spammer into bancruptcy.
      • by fmaxwell ( 249001 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @02:16PM (#13281058) Homepage Journal
        Send people to jail for sending email? C'mon...

        No, send them to jail for stealing bandwidth and storage. Send the to jail for harassing people by repeatedly sending the same f***ing ads for Viagra, Cialis, penis enlargement, debt consolidation, etc. Send them to jail for interfering with peoples' businesses. Send them to jail for sending ads for penis enlargement to seven year old girls. And send them to jail for a long time.
      • Send people to jail for sending email? C'mon...

        A central part of the suit was the fact that the spam was actually fraudulant. False claims, phony unsubscribe mechanisms, etc. You do that sort of crap a few billion times, that's exhibiting enough contempt for civil society that jail seems perfectly reasonable.
    • fines need to be switched from a dollar ammount to a percentage amount. Instead of a fine get an income tax rais.
  • Hrm (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:25PM (#13280562)
    Great, where's my cut?
    • Re:Hrm (Score:5, Funny)

      by eobanb ( 823187 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:33PM (#13280654) Homepage
      1) write insecure OS
      2) spammers create botnets from your OS
      3) sue spammers
      4) profit!!!
    • Indeed; It seems to me that prior to any Microsoft operating system based machines, or Microsoft product running machines being widely used on the internet, the rate of spam was small. So, it would seem: Windows boxes join the internet, Spam increases beyond all understanding, Microsoft makes 7 million.... They get the loot, we STILL get the spam. What are they doing right and I am doing wrong?
    • it is from the 1/4 cent saved on every copy of longhorn err um vista that you would have paid for
    • Sitting in a bank account somewhere in Nigeria. Send me your bank account details and I'll have it wired across.
  • Waiting for my share of the money...
    Waiting...
    Waiting...

    Ah, Dang.
  • How much money did this slimeball make at the spamming? If ( profit > penalty ), then more like him will step up to take his place. I personally like the "Russian Solution." (Yes, I'm aware that the beating death was unrelated to spamming, but it's still fun to pretend it was because of one too many spams.)

    -paul

  • The wrong example (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phpm0nkey ( 768038 ) * on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:27PM (#13280577) Homepage
    As entrepreneurs go, Richter is scummy and opportunistic, but spammers come a lot worse. Richter at least made an attempt to operate openly and within a feasible interpretation of the law, instead of setting up shop in China and exploiting zombie networks distribute his spam.

    From a legal standpoint, this is a nice victory for Microsoft. I hope they achieve their deterrent effect by making the financial incentives to spam more dubious. I'm afraid, though, that they will only succeed in driving hardcore spammers deeper underground, with Richter serving as an example of the dangers of treating your spam operation like a legitimate business.
    • Re:The wrong example (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gorbachev ( 512743 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:46PM (#13280776) Homepage
      " As entrepreneurs go, Richter is scummy and opportunistic, but spammers come a lot worse"

      No, they don't.

      Richter has done it all. He's done every dirty trick in the business, including spamming for a fake 9/11 charity and pocketing the money for himself.

      Spamming using open proxies and zombies: check
      Bulletproof hosting in China: check

      About the only thing he has NOT done is hijacking unused netblocks to get anonymous Internet routing.

      He may NOW be all "legit" and shit, but the money running his current spam empire has all come from various illegal activities.

      The only thing different with him and your garden variety chickenboner is that he is somewhat successful in scamming businesses to buy spamming services from him. He gets repeat business, most spammers don't.
    • I wish I had mod points today. You are completely right that this can cut both ways!
    • Richter at least made an attempt to operate openly and within a feasible interpretation of the law, instead of setting up shop in China and exploiting zombie networks distribute his spam.

      Laws and law enforcement are much different in the US vs China and other well known spam countries. On my systemwide spam filter, I about 50% of the spam that gets caught gets hit with a spam rule that checks for urls that are based on servers in China and Korea. I believe its either the best or one of the best rules I ge
    • From a legal standpoint, this is a nice victory for Microsoft. I hope they achieve their deterrent effect by making the financial incentives to spam more dubious.

      1. This was not a legal victory at all, it was a settlement. From TFA:

      Richter, who was not immediately available for comment, said in the joint statement with Microsoft that he denied Microsoft's allegations.

      Microsoft knows that game very well. Settling out of court really doesn't do anything legally.

      And how financially painful was it fo

      • by Sydney Weidman ( 187981 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @02:46PM (#13281312) Homepage
        I agree that it reeks. Microsoft gets their legal fees paid plus some extra dough for massive free advertising. I wouldn't mind it if the money went into some kind of public trust. But the fact that MS just gets an extra 7Mil means that they are beneficiaries of spam business. That's really more of an encouragement than a deterrent. Now any joe who can make 20 million will get slapped with a lawsuit by MS, MS will get their cut, and the spammer can retire. Great business model. Everybody wins except the people whose mailboxes are choked with Viagra flyers.
  • Why Microsoft? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SlayerofGods ( 682938 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:27PM (#13280580)
    Shouldn't 'we' as the true victims get some of that?
    • Re:Why Microsoft? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Otter ( 3800 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:33PM (#13280652) Journal
      Why Microsoft?

      Because they sued him and you didn't.

    • by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:34PM (#13280669) Homepage Journal
      In this case the victim is Microsoft because they run Hotmail, which received (and had to wade through) beaucoup spam from this asshole. If you had a Hotmail account, I suppose you could be entitled to some of this, but since you paid zilch for it in the first place you get zilch out of this.

      If you run your own mail server, you may be entitled to sue the guy yourself. Good luck on that.

      The CAN-SPAM law specfically restricts these sorts of lawsuits to ISPs, but I'm not certain of the details. Either way it's probably best to let a large corporation conduct this sort of lawsuit, because it'll cost you a fortune to sue the guy for the relatively small sums you'll get. It's unfortunately to have your right to sue removed, but in this case it's probably not worth your effort anyway.
      • Frankly, I think the fine for spamming should include the data-transfer fees for the mail servers as well. Besides, Microsoft may get 7mil and we get nothing, but in theory, our reward is less crap to send to our junk box. They get money for wasted resources and we get a few extra minutes to actually 'read' email. At least in theory.

        Besides, with jokers like this, who else but Microsoft has the technical background and resources to fry spammers? Hate Microsoft all you want, but they can fight for us too.
  • Confused (Score:5, Interesting)

    by niskel ( 805204 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:27PM (#13280586)
    Everyone gets spammed and somehow Microsoft gets $7M. How does that work?
    • Re:Confused (Score:3, Insightful)

      by scovetta ( 632629 )
      Microsoft probably spent $20M in order to sue the guy. I'm sure that Bill is happy they won, but not because their profit this year will be $7M more.
    • by Valiss ( 463641 )
      How does that work?

      He who pays the lawyers, gets the cash. Problem is, most of us can not afford the time or money to hire an army of lawyers. M$ can.
    • Re:Confused (Score:3, Informative)

      by nacturation ( 646836 )
      Everyone gets spammed and somehow Microsoft gets $7M. How does that work?

      Microsoft sued Richter for the spam that Microsoft received and had to deal with -- ie: through MSN, Hotmail, etc. If you, running your own ISP, also received spam from Richter then you are free to sue as well. Setup and issue a call for donating to your legal prosecution fund and let us know how it goes.
       
  • Sad thing is (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:27PM (#13280588)
    If he was willing to settle for $7 million that means that he's made at least that much, and probably significantly more, spamming :P:P
  • From TFA:
    Microsoft will reinvest all of the money, after legal expenses, including $5 million that will go to increase Internet enforcement efforts and expand technical and investigative support to help law enforcers to address computer-related crimes.

    I presume this is marketingspeak for "prosecuting more spammers to get more money just like this." :P

    (For the humour-impaired: I am not anti-MS, this is a joke.)
  • Notable exception! (Score:5, Informative)

    by bani ( 467531 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:29PM (#13280608)
    Note that the settlement doesn't prevent richter from spamming.

    From TFA:
    Nevertheless, Richter said that he and his company had changed their e-mailing practices and pledged not to send spam to anyone who has not asked to be sent commercial e-mail.

    So supposedly, from now on he will only be mailing to users who have "opted in". Hmm.. sounds familiar.
    • by Saeed al-Sahaf ( 665390 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:32PM (#13280651) Homepage
      So supposedly, from now on he will only be mailing to users who have "opted in".

      A lot of the time these people buy lists from other SPAMers who "tell" tehm that the list they are buying is "opt-in". When the hammer comes down they tell the authorities "The guy I bought it from said they where all opt-in, how was I to know"? It's all circular bullshit.

    • Nevertheless, Richter said that he and his company had changed their e-mailing practices and pledged not to send spam to anyone who has not asked to be sent commercial e-mail.

      Well, in that case, it seems the most sensible course of action is:

      To: Scott Richter <scott.richter@optinbig.com>
      From: jimicus <postmaster@whitepost.org.uk>
      Subject: Please stop spamming me!

      Dear Scott,

      Please accept this as an instruction to cease sending any form of unsolicited mail to [any address at the do

  • To consumers.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tgrimley ( 585067 )
    asserting that he had sent, or helped other spammers send, billions of e-mail messages to consumers

    At first I was wondering why Microsoft gets the money, and whether they would keep it. What's the basis for this suit? It's not a class action, is it? Shouldn't the money be going to those consumers that were affected by it?

    Granted the article mentions
    Smith said that Microsoft will reinvest all of the money, after legal expenses, including $5 million that will go to increase Internet enforcement eff
  • by MarkEst1973 ( 769601 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:29PM (#13280613)
    "The goal remains for us to separate spammers from their money," Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith told Reuters

    He then added, "We do this by certifying all zombie machines through the Microsoft Genuine Advantage program. Only licensed copies of Windows will be used to send spam."

  • by rich42 ( 633659 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:29PM (#13280615) Homepage
    the article says "agreed to pay $7 million to Microsoft" not "gets $7 million" there's a big difference.

    Microsoft's odds of actually seeing the money are about as likely as a spammer "unsubscribing" you.

  • by bgfay ( 5362 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:30PM (#13280623) Homepage
    I wonder if email is going the way of usenet. I used to use usenet all the time but gave up when spam destroyed its usefulness for me. Every member of my family has switched to Google Mail because our ISP mail accounts, even with the different services' spam protections and Thunderbird's filtering capabilities suffer from too much spam. It seems as though these lawsuits, which make for a great public relations thing (even I'm proud of MS for doing this), aren't going to make any real diffence.

    How does Google filter spam so well or is it just that the service is new?

    I still like the idea of publishing spammers home addresses and then sending credit card applications, catalogs and all the rest to their homes. If we could get each of them to receive a couple bushels of junk mail every day at their homes, maybe that would help. I'm against the idea of handing pornography to their children as they play on the playground, but it does seem poetically just.

    What can be done to save email or as Google already done it?
  • " Smith said that Microsoft will reinvest all of the money, after legal expenses, including $5 million that will go to increase Internet enforcement efforts and expand technical and investigative support to help law enforcers to address computer-related crimes."

    Ah great! Spammers money being diverted to enforcing M$ proprietary email controls and DRM!

    I guess everyone is getting the worst of ALL worlds.

  • The one I submitted [excite.com] had a bit more information including the three pieces of the settlement that would take place.

    A critical piece this article left out was that Richters operations would be monitored for three years. While only three years in length the oversight will (hopefully) insure he doesn't try some other route to clog the net with crap.

  • Why does Microsoft get the dough? Why is he not convicted? Why did it have to be Microsoft going after this guy, rather than the government or some class action lawyers?

    Do you see my point here? Microsoft has effectively found a(nother) way to make money off of spam - to sue spammers... although I'm very happy for anyone to make sending spam look like a poor business to get into, it's somehow hard for me to see this as anything other than Microsoft getting a cut of the take. Where's my share, I get spam al

    • Why does Microsoft get the dough? Why is he not convicted? Why did it have to be Microsoft going after this guy, rather than the government or some class action lawyers?

      Microsoft went after him for civil damages because they had to deal with his bullshit by way of Hotmail.com. If you want a some blood from Snotty Scotty, sue him for what he did to your mail server.

  • I worked for this guy a couple years ago (and one of his associates more recently, see below) in his Westminster, CO offices. He is probably one of those most untrustworthy people you could ever meet. He'll backstab you when its convenient for him and will be on your side when its also convenient for him. I hope him and his fellow spam partner Bill Waggoner both burn in hell.... the pieces of shit.
  • by topgeek ( 864279 ) <topgeek@geekoftheday.com> on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:32PM (#13280639) Homepage
    I too could get $7 million from a spammer, and all I would have to do would be to travel to Nigeria to meet the son of the late former Treasurer who was brutally murdered in a coup.
  • > Richter said that he and his company had changed their e-mailing practices and pledged not to send spam to anyone who has not asked to be sent commercial e-mail.

    ...the more they stay the same.

    10,000 Quatloos says that Richter pays for his judgement with the proceeds from his new company - YouOptedInReallyBigger.info - that sends spam only to people who opted in, because every ASCII string with at least one "@" character, from a@a, to my email address, to the Message-IDs of every USENET post made si

  • "The goal remains for us to separate spammers from their money," Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith told Reuters..."


    Funny, I think that's their goal for me, too.

    Wait, am I supposed to be bashing Microsoft, or the spammers? I hate these confusing topics...

    • Wait, am I supposed to be bashing Microsoft, or the spammers? I hate these confusing topics...

      Simple. "No honor among thieves".
      Or in the microsoft-friendly version:
      Bash both of them. Spammers for doing what they do, and Microsoft for not doing enough to stop them.
  • Except pay for some lawyers? Are they putting it in a fund for people who got hurt by this spam? (Bill to Melissa: The spampot is the small one next to our Melissa & Bill Gates support the world fund, dear)
  • My guess is that Microsoft will never see a penny of that money. The guy was in the process of declaring bankrupty. I seriously doubt he has $7M to pay off Microsoft in the first place. This is probably some sort of insider PR deal to make Microsoft look like they're helping the consumer, but ultimately the ruling doesn't stop the guy from spamming or hold him accountable for any of the illegal and unethical activity his company likely engaged in.
    • My guess is that Microsoft will never see a penny of that money. The guy was in the process of declaring bankrupty.

      RTFA.

      Additionally, as part of the settlement, Richter agreed to drop bankruptcy proceedings filed in March in the U.S. bankruptcy court in Denver, according to a joint statement by Microsoft and Richter. The settlement is conditioned on dismissal of the bankruptcy cases.

  • by Shads ( 4567 ) <shadusNO@SPAMshadus.org> on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:44PM (#13280759) Homepage Journal
    ... charge spammers $1.00 for each spam they send payable to receipient.

    Last tally i'd be getting >2200.00 / day USD. I'd be happy to even click "Mark folder read" for that price.
  • Ob (Score:2, Funny)

    by katarac ( 565789 )
    What are you going to do with the 7 million, sir?

    Oh, just throw it on the pile, I suppose.
  • The CAN-SPAM legislation gave ISPs (including Hotmail) the right to go after spammers. The damages are intended to deter spammers and to give the ISPs an incentive to take out the spammers without spending taxpayer money to do it.

    In this case, it looks like this is exactly what happened. As much as I personally dislike Microsoft, the system is working as planned on this one. The fact that they are reinvesting the proceeds into more enforcement efforts is encouraging.

    As for the rest of us.... whoever run
  • by Alcimedes ( 398213 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:47PM (#13280793)
    I'm sending you this letter because recently Microsoft won a lawsuit against an e-mail spammer that netted a 7 million dollar payout. Since you have received some of this spam, Microsoft would like to send you your portion of the settlement.

    Please contact me for your share of 7 million dollars!
  • Even the rich are getting shafted by Microsoft these days!
  • So, if I configure my mail server to send, as a part of the EHLO sequence, a message to the effect of:
    EHLO foo by completing this transaction you agree to pay one thousand dollars United States currency for every commercial email transacted, payable within thirty days of transmission


    Would that not be just as valid as most spammers .1 point microfont "by clicking on accept you agree to let us spam the shit out of you"?
  • by rwyoder ( 759998 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @02:00PM (#13280914)
    ...did an interview with Richter for a story called "High Volume Email Deployer". You really have to see this to appreciate what a moron Richter is. Not only was he stupid enough to agree to be interviewed by them, he was too stupid to realize they were making a fool of him.
  • The problem (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dark Paladin ( 116525 ) * <.jhummel. .at. .johnhummel.net.> on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @02:02PM (#13280926) Homepage
    [sarcasm]Remember how when MS was suppose to pay California schools they did it in software?

    Yeah. Turns out, this is how this guy is going to pay his bill.

    The Good News: MS Campus is about to get all the verbal Viagra and "male enhancement" products they'd ever want!

    The Bad News: MS Campus is going to have bigger dicks then ever before....

    [/sarcasm]
  • by RzUpAnmsCwrds ( 262647 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @02:43PM (#13281290)
    Here's an excellent interview with Scott Richter from The Daily Show: Scott Richter Interview [shortify.com] (9.9MB, Windows Media)

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