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Fax-Spammers Sued For 2.2 Trillion

timothy posted about 12 years ago | from the let's-think-this-through dept.

Spam 353

linuxwrangler writes "Fed up with junk faxes which have been illegal since 1991, a Silicon Valley businessman has launched a lawsuit against junk faxer Steve Kirsch seeks the damages provided in the law: $500/fax for the last four years. If certified as a class-action on behalf of the 3 million receipients of the faxes that claims to send each day the total damages would reach 2.2 billion even without invoking the "triple-damages" clause for "willful" violations. Federal regulators hit with a 5.4 million fine just two weeks ago after the company ignored numerous warnings from the FCC and was found to be in "flagrant violation" of the law. maintains that their actions are protected by the constitution and court decisions in this case could lay the foundation for the future of junk email regulation"

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The Budget (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124167)

Doesn't our country run on something in the area of $3 trillion per year? Try making the title and the article sync up.

MY PENIS IS ALWAYS IN SYNC... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124209)

with whoever I'm screwing.

Just thought you might be interested.


Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124412)

indeed i am interested.

do you have video and/or photographic footage of this "in sync" action?

Read the article... (3, Informative)

Christopher Bibbs (14) | about 12 years ago | (#4124212)

the poster made an error, but the link has $2.2 trillion as well. Yes, it is an insane number, but spaming with a fax is insane as well.

Re:Read the article... (2)

krogoth (134320) | about 12 years ago | (#4124316)

What? Slashdot editors aren't supposed to correct people who submit stories!

Re:The Budget (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124222)

read the article...

Unsolicited commercial faxes have been banned by federal law since 1991, and a Silicon Valley businessman says it's time for "blast fax" king to pay up -- to the tune of $2.2 trillion.

In suits filed today in state and federal courts, software company owner Steve Kirsch and another plaintiff seek the damages provided by law, $500 for each unsolicited commercial fax over the last four years. If a judge certifies either suit as a nationwide class action on behalf of all recipients, the figure can be multiplied by 3 million, the number of faxes that the company boasts it sends each day, Kirsch said.

That comes to $2.2 trillion, even without invoking another section of the law that allows judges to triple damages for willful violations, Kirsch said.

Re:The Budget (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124228)

3 trillion amount to less than is spent on social security.

the US spends a WHOLE lot more than that

Re:The Budget (1)

CommieOverlord (234015) | about 12 years ago | (#4124318)

GDP in the US is $9.963 trillion per year. GDP being the amount of output generated by domestic and foreign owned factors of production within the borders of the United States.

Re:The Budget (1)

thefalconer (569726) | about 12 years ago | (#4124323)

Wow, $3 trillion? Where's my share! I want my $2mil cut of the winnings. :)

first (-1, Troll)

xintegerx (557455) | about 12 years ago | (#4124169)


This just in... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124172)

500 * 3,000,000 = 2.2 trillion

Re:This just in... (2)

Christopher Bibbs (14) | about 12 years ago | (#4124233)

500 dollars * 3,000,000 per day * 365 day per year * 4 years = 2.2 trillion

Re:This just in... (2)

coryboehne (244614) | about 12 years ago | (#4124276)

Invoke the triple damages rule and that becomes 6.6 trillion, now add for interest (compounded daily of course at 5%),,, now just the interest would be a whopping $330,000,000,000 per diem which equals in simple terms a debt that will never be paid (hell even the 2.2 trillion is unattainable by a company of that nature, considering they weren't charging $500 per fax, let alone the $1500 it could theoretically cost them). Maybe Microsoft could bail them out? LOL!!!

Re:This just in... (1)

SlugLord (130081) | about 12 years ago | (#4124302)

in Britain and generally everywhere except for the USA, one billion == 1 000 000 000 000, the number called a trillion in the USA. In the USA, a billion is 1 000 000 000.

Basically, both a billion and a trillion are correct, and you are ignorant for suggesting that the person who said billion is in error.

Re:This just in... (1)

sirsex (550329) | about 12 years ago | (#4124330)

OK, so what is 1 000 000 000 on that side of the water??

Re:This just in... (1)

SlugLord (130081) | about 12 years ago | (#4124355)

1 000 million :-)

actually it's a milliard, but I think they just use 1000 million instead. I'm from the USA so I'm a little rusty with my English idioms.

Re:This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124391)

Okay, so now I'm interested. What's the U.S. version of a billion -- 1,000,000,000 -- called in Britain and, erm, generally everywhere? A thousand million? Tenth of a billion?

Not making fun; I'm genuinely curious about this one.

Re:This just in... (2)

SlugLord (130081) | about 12 years ago | (#4124461)

perhaps you missed the other reply to my other message, but my understanding is that it's technically a "milliard," but that 1000 million is also used.

Leap Year (1)

barista (587936) | about 12 years ago | (#4124389)

Let's not forget the leap year

500 dollars * 3,000,000 in just one day = 1.5 billion dollars.

You know what they say, a billion here, a billion there, sooner or later you start talking real money.
/--end cliche

Um, trillion? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous QWord (590872) | about 12 years ago | (#4124175)

claims to send each day the total damages would reach 2.2 billion 'nuff said

Do the math... (3, Informative)

billbaggins (156118) | about 12 years ago | (#4124214)

1) If you do the math, 3 million faxes by $500, that comes to ~1470 days of faxing, or about four years, to get to $2.2 trillion. To get to $2.2 billion, it would only take about 30-odd hours...

2) They could both be right, if linuxwrangler is British (sorry, too lazy to check), since on the west side of the pond a trillion is a million million, while on the east side, that number is called a 'billion' (which in my head makes more sense anyway)...

3) Either way, it's a helluva lot of money to be fined, and would [ probably | hopefully ] kill off the company involved...

Re:Do the math... (2, Informative)

CommieOverlord (234015) | about 12 years ago | (#4124329)

Over here on the East side a million million is still a trillion. A thousand million is a billion.

1,000 * 1,000,000 = 1,000,000,000 (one billion)

Maybe you meant to say that a British trillion is the same as an north american billion?

Re:Do the math... (3, Interesting)

Archfeld (6757) | about 12 years ago | (#4124420)

Wow I honestly never knew there was a difference..What do the Canadians use ??

2.2 Trillion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124179)

A lawsuit that would definately put a company out of business.

My, my.. (1, Funny)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 12 years ago | (#4124186)

/. Headline: "Fax-Spammers Sued For 2.2 Trillion Spam | Posted by timothy on 22:48 22nd August, 2002"

linuxwrangler's post:
"If certified as a class-action on behalf of the 3 million receipients of the faxes that claims to send each day the total damages would reach 2.2 billion..."

Rude Turnip's conclusion: Man, they must have sent out a *shitload* of fax spam between the time of the article submission and when it was posted to Slashdot's front page!

5.4 million? (1)

agnosonga (601770) | about 12 years ago | (#4124189)

I know spamming is annoying, but doesnt 5.4 million seem like a lot of money. or is that just to cover the wasted paper

Re:5.4 million? (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 12 years ago | (#4124201)

"doesnt 5.4 million seem like a lot of money. or is that just to cover the wasted paper "

It's most likely for punitive damages. Fines are rarely based upon the actual dollar cost of damages. Fines are about making the perpetrator feel the pinch of their crimes. Otherwise, the fines incurred would just be another cost of doing business.

Re:5.4 million? (5, Interesting)

Scrameustache (459504) | about 12 years ago | (#4124267)

Its a fine for not respecting the law and continuing to illegally fax-spam even after having been duly warned.

and its not just the paper: Its the toner, employee time to dispose and sift through all that crap, the busy fax-line preventing you from sending or recieving legitimate faxes.

Email spam is annoying and a bit time consumming, but on top of that fax-spam cosume ressources and reduce the availability of the fax machine for legitimate purposes.

At my old job we got dozens of faxes a day, most of them spam. We would often not recieve important documents faxed to us by clients because the machine was out of paper due to all the adds it spewed out.

The fine is not a compensation for those hurt, its a punitive measure meant to make it stop.

Re:5.4 million? (2, Insightful)

SlugLord (130081) | about 12 years ago | (#4124338)

I'm not sure fines are punitive enough to stop spammers... perhaps castration would be more appropriate.

Seriously, I don't think the spammers realize/care how much actual damage they do, and whatever penalties are in place don't seem deterrant enough. The same goes for email spammers and phone solicitors. In theory, if I tell a phone solicitor to take me off their list, they have to or face a fine, but the fine is 500 dollars. What company would even bother for a 500 dollar fine. The majority of people wouldn't bother pursuing the 500 dollar fine, so it doesn't really accumulate for the company, and a puny fee like that is hardly noticeable.

Fines for spamming (of all types) need to be increased, with the possibility of jail time. The same goes for product recalls, but that's another topic.

Re:5.4 million? (5, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | about 12 years ago | (#4124422)

Fines for spamming (of all types) need to be increased, with the possibility of jail time.

Harder fines, sure, but jail time? No.

I don't think putting people in jail for every stupid thing is a good idea. In fact, I think there are many "crimes" that should not be punished by jail time (how many pot heads really deserve to be in jail, seriously?).
Rapist, murderers, muggers, all those people deserve to be taken away from society for a while. But minor crimes, as annoying as they might be, don't warrent imprisonment. You could make 'em do community service, make 'em bankrupt with huge fines, but don't waste precious jail space for small things.

Plus, do you really want the spammers of the future to have aquired skills like fashionning weapons out of toothbrushes or how to take advantage of a dropped soap in the showers? You'd just make 'em angrier...although maybe the spam about penis enlargement would go away. ;- )

Re:5.4 million? (1)

Yottabyte84 (217942) | about 12 years ago | (#4124473)

In theory, if I tell a phone solicitor to take me off their list, they have to or face a fine, but the fine is 500 dollars.

In the US, they don't need to do anything if you ask them to take you off thier list. If you want them to do any thing tell them to ad you to thier 'do not call list'.

Re:5.4 million? (1)

gorbachev (512743) | about 12 years ago | (#4124352) makes $50M / year by breaking the law. $5.4 isn't enough.

Proletariat of the world, unite to kill spammers!


Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124192) most states, that is.

Do any of us who actually understand the technical side of how email works believe that passing any law is going to stop spam? Our mail relay system needs to be overhauled, period. A technical solution is the ONLY solution to fixing SPAM, I'm afriad.

Big business trumps first amendment issues (0, Troll)

Sheetrock (152993) | about 12 years ago | (#4124314)

Not only that, but they may have a point about the lack of constitutionality in the "Junk Fax" law. I get advertisements through the mail that I don't necessarily want because it wouldn't jive with the First Amendment to pass a law to stop them. The same with my telephone, or door-to-door solicitations to sell me stuff or save my soul. And I'm willing to put up with all of this because I treasure others' right to free speech every bit as much as my own.

Why are junk faxes illegal? Because it inconveniences businesses, not people, and we don't mind crippling free speech for the sake of corporations. Criminalizing spam flies in the face of free speech as well, especially given the relative inexpensiveness of the medium as compared to telemarketing or junk mail. Plenty of technological measures are available to combat each of these things at the receiving end. Why must we use the law to silence people when individuals can easily choose not to listen?

Re:Big business trumps first amendment issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124358)

Why am I having to pay to recieve ads for products I don't want or need?

It's MY paper and MY toner and my fax line being tied up. If they want to advertise then they can send it through the mail at their cost.

Re:Big business trumps first amendment issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124367)

It's because the faxers make the people being faxed pay for their advertizement without their consent (Cost of toner and paper). I'm not saying either $500 fine per occurance or the faxer is correct, I'm just stating that it is wrong to pass the cost of unsolicited advertizing to someone who didn't want it. How would you like it if someone ate up all your fax toner and paper (especially if it's a thermal fax machine, paper gets ex-pens-ive fast :) )

Re:Big business trumps first amendment issues (4, Interesting)

GlassUser (190787) | about 12 years ago | (#4124387)

I'm probably feeding a troll. Oh well.

That's incorrect. The first amendment only guarantees you the right to free speech. It does not guarantee that you will be heard. Nobody has any legal obligation to listen to me. I have no right to use their resources to try to make them listen to me. The problem with junk faxing is that the faxer is using the faxee's resources (paper, toner, line time - and don't say that it's a flat rate per month, often a needed fax won't go through because a junk fax is taking the line). That has both direct and indirect costs to the faxee, which can be significant.

You may notice that is also a business. Many fax recipients are individuals. If you want to look at it as a conspiracy, at least realize that it's at least partially in favor of individuals.

Re:Big business trumps first amendment issues (2, Interesting)

DeltaSigma (583342) | about 12 years ago | (#4124392)

When you're fighting for the free speech of megalomaniac run corporations, I ask that you always keep in mind what they would do with your free speech.

I'm not trying to change your opinion. Just try to remember that information has become a commodity. So that means anyone with the capability of distributing information (everyone) is a target for people who wish to base their business on such actions. Just keep it in mind. This is war. Corporations are becoming more militant in their push for legislation while individuals are using more civil disobediance.

Personally, I value the individual's right to free speech before any group's right to free speech.

Bad logic (2, Insightful)

achurch (201270) | about 12 years ago | (#4124402)

Many others have pointed it out as well, but the critical difference between junk (snail) mail and junk faxes is that junk faxes use up actual resources of the recipient, namely paper and ink, while junk mail is paid for entirely by the sender and does not cost the recipient anything (other than the time to throw it away, which is generally considered insignificant--whether that's proper is another question). To draw an extreme example, because I can't think of a better one at the moment, it's like how yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater is illegal; the right to free speech is not an unrestricted right.

Re:Big business trumps first amendment issues (1)

SlugLord (130081) | about 12 years ago | (#4124406)

As far as the junk faxes, it's not free speech. Free speech is speaking in public. Junk faxes are an invasion of privacy. As important as is your right to yell anything at the top of your lungs, more important is my right to tell you to get out of my house. It's not crippling free speech, it's protecting privacy. If I don't want to listen, I still have to pay to have a sheet of your "free speech" in my home, and I want a law protecting me from that.

As far as the mail, I have the right to refuse your mail and force you to take it back at your cost. Therefore, no law is necessary because where I pick up my mail (the mailbox) is a public place and I don't suffer any damage from it.

Re:Big business trumps first amendment issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124439)

Junk faxes waste paper, toner, and time (identifying and throwing away junk faxes, and needlessly tying up phone lines). When I had a working fax machine, I would get at least one or two junk faxes a week. And I don't run a business at home. Why the f#$k should I have to pay for their ads? How is not allowing others and their businesses to waste my money whenever they want just to try to sell me something against free speach? If, for example, the nazi party (or whatever minority organization you prefer) decided to take some money out of your bank account to spend on pamphlets to support their cause, would you be okay with it? Sounds like you would.

With paper mail the sender pays for everything (except the time it takes the reciever to throw away). As for telephone and door-to-door stuff, why should they be able to waste your time and/or tresspass onto your property just so they can say whatever it is they want to say?


phsolide (584661) | about 12 years ago | (#4124348)

A technical solution is the ONLY solution to fixing SPAM

Only if you define "violence" as a technical solution. I feel that the masses must rise up and commit some obscenely violent form of punishment on a spammer or two, the more colorful and widely-reported, the better. The violence must be as graphic and horrific as possible, to deter the remaining, live, spammers.

But seriously folks, there is no technical solution. Spam is what it is because of intent, context and interpretation. Those are the qualities that technical solutions just can't determine by themselves.

Technical solutions won't work - we need a political or legal solution, before SMTP-based email breaks down, and MSFT steps in with a pay-per-message "MSMTP" protocol, where it costs at least $25,000 to run a server.


tkny (260036) | about 12 years ago | (#4124357)

i just hope this will set a precedence for internet spam as well. it's a total boon for these spammers to get away with these sort of harassment.

obligatory Austin Powers Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124194)

'A trillian is more than a billion num nuts!'

Like it was.. 1999 (4, Funny)

xintegerx (557455) | about 12 years ago | (#4124196)

Suing a DOT com for 2.2 Trillion dollars...

This isn't 1999 ;)

"Fax-Spammers Sued For 2.2 Trillion"

Re:Like it was.. 1999 (2)

garcia (6573) | about 12 years ago | (#4124217)

no, they have 2.2 Trillion in 1999. Now they are at $2.20 in 2002. :)

Re:Like it was.. 1999 (1)

xintegerx (557455) | about 12 years ago | (#4124238)

ha ha har lol. Ha lol

Re:Like it was.. 1999 (1)

danap611 (149840) | about 12 years ago | (#4124298)

hey, it's enuff money to put them out of business, which is where they need to be. the analogy of "a telemarketer calling collect" says it all, y'know?

Missouri doesn't say that Junk Faxes are illegal (5, Interesting)

Mustang Matt (133426) | about 12 years ago | (#4124197)

Check out this letter I got after reporting one:
Mo Junk Fax Response []

I was a little disappointed to say the least. This fax was hitting me every morning at 3am.

Re:Missouri doesn't say that Junk Faxes are illega (1)

MaxVlast (103795) | about 12 years ago | (#4124232)

You expected help from a Nixon?

Re:Missouri doesn't say that Junk Faxes are illega (2)

victim (30647) | about 12 years ago | (#4124455)

Well, Yes! Jay Nixon was a driving force behind out telemarketing opt-out law. It works quite well. I filled out a web form and get no telemarketing calls except for the local newspaper trying to sell me a subscription (which I already have, they are just too lazy to check) and the occasional call from a charity that I already give to.

They are pushing an update to the law to close the remaining loopholes. has the poop. Over 1 million Missouri phone lines are registered for no call. That's a pretty good chunk of the state. We only have 5.6Mfolk. The AG's office is even enforcing the law! >$600,000 in fines levied so far.

Re:Missouri doesn't say that Junk Faxes are illega (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124309)

That just says "we can't start new legal action under this law while a federal court is reviewing whether this law is legal."

Why don't you try other routes? Specifically, a harrasment case of some sort. Walk into small claims court, claim they are harrasing you, get a temporary injunction against them. Suggest others to do the same.

I can't imagine that not working; if a random person were calling you on the telephone every morning at 3 am, the stalker laws would come down on them quite painfully.

but, they care about children! (2, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124200)

if you go to [] you will see that isn't bad, they care about missing children!

they send faxes about missing children! Without them children would stay missing.

what honerable and praiseworthy advertisers they are.

how long is it going to be until you start getting the 'missing children' spam email? I already get them in the real mail, missing children on one side of a ad, and the otherside, filled with useless spam.

Re:but, they care about children! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124447)

Yes, anyone who cares about children is with us. Everyone else is against us, and we will hunt them down and destroy them. People shouldn't complain about losing the paper, toner, and time from receiving so called "junk faxes" when all they really want to do is to help find the missing kids.

Problem with fax spam (1)

kcb93x (562075) | about 12 years ago | (#4124205)

The problem with spam coming in over a fax is that a fax machine (unlike an email box) can only handle one file/fax at a time, and the cost of toner, and tying up the line.

Re:Problem with fax spam (2)

GGardner (97375) | about 12 years ago | (#4124419)

fax machine (unlike an email box) can only handle one file/fax at a time.

Interesting theory. On my system, the mail spool uses a locking protocol, so only one e-mail can be received at any one time.

1st amendment rights? (2, Insightful)

Theaetetus (590071) | about 12 years ago | (#4124206)

Well, they're claiming they can do this due to 1st amendment rights, which do indeed give them the right to publish whatever they want...

However, they should have to pay all of our phone bills and paper costs... plus trash bags, disposal costs, a reasonable fee for our time disposing of their waste, etc.


Re:1st amendment rights? (5, Insightful)

Squareball (523165) | about 12 years ago | (#4124251)

Thank god that the first ammendment only gaurantees the right to speak, not the right to be heard!

Re:1st amendment rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124346)

Quick translation into Slashdot speak:
The Constitution guarantees you the right to browse at +2.

Re:1st amendment rights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124343)

How about another fee for them tying up my fax line when I'm expecting a fax (business or otherwise)?

"Firewalls" for fax machines? (3, Interesting)

1010011010 (53039) | about 12 years ago | (#4124207)

I wonder if there are any fax machines that can be programmed to block faxes from certain numbers, or by other identifying data.

Re:"Firewalls" for fax machines? (2, Informative)

DavesError (550952) | about 12 years ago | (#4124256)

Well, assuming fax spammers are like those annoying telemarketers, they have their numbers block and are just dialed by computer.

But not all hope is lost, many telecoms offer services that block calls from unknown and blocked numbers. That is, unless the other party enters their phone number. So, simply by signing up for services like these, you can protect your fax machine from receiving the junk.

Re:"Firewalls" for fax machines? (3, Insightful)

rmohr02 (208447) | about 12 years ago | (#4124331)

I think I'd go for a plain fax machine and join this lawsuit when I get fax spam.

Hmmmm... (1)

URoRRuRRR (57117) | about 12 years ago | (#4124225)

2.2 Billion Times 3 = 2.2 Trillion!

It's the New math!

Re:Hmmmm... (2)

Rebel Patriot (540101) | about 12 years ago | (#4124260)

"Oh no, 3 horny women and only 2 condoms...Thank god I read slashdot"

It took me awhile to figure that one out. When I did, I was all alone camped on top of a mountain in north east Tennessee. No horny women around. Story of my life.

new math (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124280)

Well the New Math made VA Linux worth a whole lot on its IPO.

grr (1)

SlugLord (130081) | about 12 years ago | (#4124236)

It's about time... Know what else bugs me? those recorded messages that the autodialers spew onto your answering machine or into your ear if you're unfortunate enough to pick it up. That's gotta be illegal (you can't tell them to stop because it's not a person). Is there any way to stop that?

Re:grr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124257)

hang up?

Re:grr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124263)

Here's a reply from a message I sent to the Michigan AG:

Citizen Inquiry #2002015886A

Automated telephone calls, when used to deliver pre-recorded
advertising, are subject to regulation by both Michigan and federal
Neither the state nor federal law, however, apply to automated
telephone calls that deliver pre-recorded political or

Michigan Compiled Law 484.125 basically provides that the consent of
party being called must be obtained before a pre-recorded, commercial
advertisement may be played. Violation of the law is a misdemeanor
violations are to be reported to the county prosecuting attorney.
Additionally, the Michigan law authorizes an action to recover damages
not to exceed $1,000.00. A copy of section 484.125 (MCL 484.125) may
obtained at the Michigan Legislature's website:

The federal law, 47 USC 227, is similar to Michigan's law in that it
authorizes an action for damages. Complaints under the federal law
be filed with the Federal Communications Commission. For further
information, you may call the Federal Communications Commission
at 1-888-225-5322. Or you may access that agency's website:

Attorney General

Re:grr (1)

littlerubberfeet (453565) | about 12 years ago | (#4124322)

yes. one can stop them. here is what you do, you need to find out what the 3-tone sequence is for "number out of service". So, call a number you know doesn't work, record the tones it makes, then re-record the tones at the beginning of your answering machine message. The computer then thinks the number is out of service.

Re:grr (2)

rossz (67331) | about 12 years ago | (#4124382)

I kept getting one that was a woman who immediately said, "sorry, I dialed the wrong number.". I thought it was odd the first time. The second time I realized it was a recording. Some telephone sales company looking for phone numbers to use later on, no doubt. I would get the service to block "unknown" caller ids, but we get a lot of calls from Europe and they are often "unknown". maintains... (1)

smithmc (451373) | about 12 years ago | (#4124242)

...court decisions in this case could lay the foundation for the future of junk email regulation

Good, let's hope so! We could use more junk email regulation, and not a moment too soon.

Now we can.... (0, Funny)

Cubeman (530448) | about 12 years ago | (#4124254) off the national debt. What better way for the American people to show their patriotism after September 11 by donating their lawsuit proceeds to the government!

I'm going to fax my representative right now about it. :)

Everyone gets a dollar! (5, Funny)

Malduin (207683) | about 12 years ago | (#4124258)

2.2 billion x triple-damages = 6.6 billion from

Estimated world population by US Census Bureau [] : 6,245,356,272

6,600,000,000 / 6,245,356,272 = 1.06

So, basically, that's enough to give every person in the world a dollar...or enough to get Worldcom back on their feet for another year or two!

Re:Everyone gets a dollar! (5, Funny)

Malduin (207683) | about 12 years ago | (#4124272)

500 dollars * 3,000,000 per day * 365 day per year * 4 years = 2.2 trillion

Well, 2,190,000,000,000 to be exact.

So...2,190,000,000,000 / 6,245,356,272 = Everyone gets $350.66. Everybody wins!

Ahh.. if it only worked that way *sob*

Re:Everyone gets a dollar! (5, Funny)

x136 (513282) | about 12 years ago | (#4124349)

$350.66 - $349.60 (lawyer fees) = Everyone gets $1.06. The original poster was correct.

More Coverage (2, Interesting)

wiZd0m (192990) | about 12 years ago | (#4124259) ec h-spam-fax.html

Dr. Evil figure... (5, Funny)

truefluke (91957) | about 12 years ago | (#4124261)

i want every lawyer on the prosecution to put his pinkie to his mouth each time they say the damages amount.

"2.2 trillion....(pinkie)dollars.*snicker*"

Judge: Would the prosecution PLEASE refrain from doing that pinkie thing every single time? You're getting on my nerves...

huge fine (0)

ItsBacon (32095) | about 12 years ago | (#4124265)

$2.2T? With a fine like that, we could start paying down the national debt...

Everyone start saving your SPAM (2, Insightful)

E-Rock-23 (470500) | about 12 years ago | (#4124290)

If you do, and regulations go into effect regarding SPAM e-mail, then each and every one of us has a case. Unless the legislation that comes out of this suit has a "non-retroactive" clause (or something along those lines), then we can all take out our SPAM-induced "Net Rage" out on the sorry saps that pull this crap.

After all, isn't that the American dream? Turning a profit on the misery of others? Won't it be nice to turn the tables on these low-lifes and profit from their misery?

And what, praytell, will become of the sneaky bastards like the infamous Crushlink, the ones that lead us on into giving up our addys so they can sell the list to the SPAM crowd? If I were a SPAMer and loses, I'd be running for the hills...

Re:Everyone start saving your SPAM (1)

amuro98 (461673) | about 12 years ago | (#4124332)

Just a few problems:

1: most of the spam I get isn't American - it's from overseas companies who are located overseas.

2: even if you successfully sued a spammer (there have been a few cases), what makes you think he has the money to pay you or the thousands of other Americans he mailed?

3: it's "spam", not "SPAM". SPAM is the pink stuff you buy in little cans from Hormel who does not like it when you call unsolicited "SPAM." They don't mind, however, if you call it "spam."

Regardless, I'd *love* to see some idiot get hit with a multi-million dollar bill for thinking that "make money fast" must really work - and is legal.

Even so, you'll simply see spam migrate least until other countries start implementing equally strict laws and start enforcing them.

In regards to... (1)

E-Rock-23 (470500) | about 12 years ago | (#4124376)

1: it's from overseas companies who are located overseas. Isn't that a bit redundant?

2: He/She has the money because someone paid them to send out their ad. They don't just do one ad at a time in most cases. Otherwise, SPAM wouldn't be as lucrative a business option.

3: spam, SPAM, what's the difference? I don't even like Hormel's nasty can-o-meat. I won't eat anything I can't positively identfy...

Re:Everyone start saving your SPAM (2)

Keeper (56691) | about 12 years ago | (#4124393)

Won't work if you live in the states. Constitution protects you from expo-facto laws (think I got that right).

In other words, if a law is passed making something you did yesterday illegal, you can't be prosecuted for it -- because when you did it yesterday, it was legal.

Re:Everyone start saving your SPAM (2)

polymath69 (94161) | about 12 years ago | (#4124454)

It's ex post facto, and it applies to both the Congress and to the States. See here [] .

The prohibition doesn't apply in this case because this anti-fax-spam law has been on the books since 1991, so all of's supposed violations clearly would have taken place while the law was already in force.

Hehehe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124296)

2,2 trillion dollar lawsuit...

You US people keep amazing me. Carry on while we Europeans laugh about your legal silliness! Cheers!

The spammer should feel lucky... (0, Redundant)

amuro98 (461673) | about 12 years ago | (#4124306)

...he's only being charged $500/fax.

The existing junk fax law states that if the faxer is *knowingly* violating the law, the fine can be tripled to $1500 - per fax.

Surely someone pointed out this law to the faxer at some point...?

I'd love to see this scum bag try to pass his costs onto his customers, who then sue him for damaging their business' reputation.

It's that new math (1, Flamebait)

Mulletproof (513805) | about 12 years ago | (#4124327)

2.2 Trillion? Let's try not to pass such a theoretical number off as fact in this lawsuit. I was going to say I was surprised Slash would post that kind of sensationalism, but then reality hit. Back here in the real world, we all know damn well that that number will ever see the light of day in this suit, let alone be awarded as a settlement. Try again, Tex.

Re:It's that new math (3, Insightful)

linuxwrangler (582055) | about 12 years ago | (#4124421)

2.2T or 6.6T, while being the potential penalties the law specified, are naturally uncollectable.

One could, however, bankrupt the company and send a message to any other scumbag who thinks this is a good business model which is, of course, the goal.

Yes, thats TRILLION, twelve zeros. (4, Insightful)

Alsee (515537) | about 12 years ago | (#4124333)

The article says FAX.COM claims it send 3 million faxes per day. The lawsuit is for the last 4 years. At $500 per fax.

3,000,000*365*4*500 = 2.2 TRILLION DOLLARS.

And then theres the possibility for TRIPPLE DAMAGES if the judge rules the violations were willfull. It's completely up to the judge, but IMO (IANAL) FAX.COM's actions were blatantly willfull as defind by the relevant law. If convicted, not assessing triple damages would be a gift.

We have a fax machine. We've been getting junk faxes semi-reularly. With luck maybe we'll be getting a peice of the pie when this is over. I hope it's triple damages (grin), not that it would change the size of the check. I'm sure single damages is enough to bankrupt them nearly a million times over.


Re:Yes, thats TRILLION, twelve zeros. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124386)

First things first: You can't sue someone for money that they don't have. You will be lucky to get a couple million dollars out of this fucked company.

Second, I believe that a judge cannot require a company to pay damages so high that it would effectivly bankcrupt them. I'm not sure on this one though.

Re:Yes, thats TRILLION, twelve zeros. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124425)

sure you can. if company a screws company b you sue them for x and win

they then file for bankrupcy and sell their assets to give money to company b for as much as they can.

if this were the case then you oculd setup a series of small ltd companies and screw around with them breaking whatever law you wanted and just opening a new company when you get busted.

Re:Yes, thats TRILLION, twelve zeros. (1)

Alsee (515537) | about 12 years ago | (#4124478)

First things first: You can't sue someone for money that they don't have.

Sure you can SUE for more than they have. The judge can award more than they have. You just can't actually recieve a check for more than they have.

I believe that a judge cannot require a company to pay damages so high that it would effectivly bankcrupt them.

IANAL, but sure they can. They seize all cash and all assets. The assets generally get sold off at auction. The available money gets distributed to creditors and to pay damages. The remainder of the debt beyond available monies gets wiped out by bankruptcy. That's why I said "not that [triple damages] would change the size of the check".

It would still be so sweet to see the judge award triple damages of $6 trillon.

Grins insanely and dances around a tune from the Wizard of Oz...

Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!
Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.
Wake up - sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead. She's gone where the goblins go,
Below - below - below. Yo-ho, let's open up and sing and ring the bells out.
Ding Dong' the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
Let them know
The Wicked Witch is dead!


2.2 Trillion / Billion (1)

fire-eyes (522894) | about 12 years ago | (#4124354)

Odd, the title says 2.2 Trillion, the body says 2.2 Billion. Pick a number.

spoofed faxes (0)

Zapper (68283) | about 12 years ago | (#4124366)

At least with fax spam you don't get spoofed addresses and the like.
Or then again maybe there's a bunch of guys running around with a fax machine in the back of a van and phone cable using your phone line in the dead of night...

Re:spoofed faxes (1)

amiol (598959) | about 12 years ago | (#4124475)

You can't spoof faxes, but you can tell the Telco your using not to diclose your number. Legaly, only approved gov. agencies can trace your number if you request anonymity. (unless you've got a trace buster buster buster!)

So? They'll fax in the money, 1 dollar at a time (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 12 years ago | (#4124400)

That's what I would do

Anyway that aint shit. I used get multihundred pages from all over the world because some big employment agency misprinted their fax number and I get everything from resumes to employment verifications to mortgage questions. What I did was I called the agency, let them know and then threw the pages away away.

Steps to success (-1)

TheSpoogeAwards (589343) | about 12 years ago | (#4124404)

1. Get new pants
2. Go to bed

picking at the amount (1)

amiol (598959) | about 12 years ago | (#4124437)

When you're dealing with numbers this big, the actual amount doesn't matter, since if the claim is successful it's gonna bankrupt the company period. It makes no difference if they go under owing 2 billion or 2 trillion dollars, the end result is the same.

$2.2 Trillion? (2)

Loki_1929 (550940) | about 12 years ago | (#4124472)

Judging by the corporate scandals coming to light as of late, that figure is probably close to the CEO's yearly salary.

Sued for 2.2 Trillion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4124476)

Hell, I spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap and Larry H. Parker helped me get 2.2 Trillion. Ask for more!
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