Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Accused Spammer to Debate SpamCop Founder

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the high-volume-email-deployers dept.

Spam 187

Weezle writes "Wired News is reporting that OptInRealBig's Scott Richter is going to debate SpamCop's Julian Haight in public next month. Richter had the nerve to file a lawsuit against SpamCop recently claiming that the blacklist keeps his company from sending out 'marketing messages.' (in lay terms, spam) Not surprisingly, Richter himself is being sued for $20 million by NY Att. General Eliot Spitzer. Sounds like it's going to be a real nasty fight."

cancel ×

187 comments

I went to a fight, and a debate broke out... (3, Funny)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211091)

Sounds like it's going to be a real nasty fight.

Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if the referee stops this fight early. I'm expecting both of them to fight dirty... Julian Haight tries hard but often swings first and aims later, while Scott Richter says he plays by the rules but morals have never really stood in his way.

There's no way they're gonna go the scheduled twelve rounds!

Re:I went to a fight, and a debate broke out... (0, Offtopic)

Orgazmus (761208) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211210)

"Scott Richter says he plays by the rules but morals have never really stood in his way."

You should have been modded redundant for that bit alone ;)
Come on, he's a spammer.

Julian: Hit him hard, hit him below the belt.

Re:I went to a fight, and a debate broke out... (4, Funny)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211360)

Tough fight? Nah, it'll be a quick knockdown. All Julian Haight has to do is interrupt Scott Richter whenever he tries to say something with a hearty "YOU TOO COULD HAVE A HUGE P ENIS!", or "100% LEGAL POT! GET HIGH LEGALLY!!!!!11!". Eventually Scott will get so pissed off he'll ask the debate moderator to silence Julian, and Julian will just have to say "I rest my case".

Opt-Out Real Quick (4, Informative)

bendelo (737558) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211092)

For those who wish to opt out...

OptInRealBig.com, LLC.
(303) 464-8164
info@optinbig.com

1333 W 120th AVE
Suite 101
Westminster, CO 80234
US

Re:Opt-Out Real Quick (4, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211128)

I think we've covered before that's not the way CAN-SPAM requires them to operate an opt-out system...

You have to do exactly what everybody tells you not to do, follow the instructions at the bottom at the bottom of the e-mail.

True, most of the non-ethical spammers will just target you for more spam if you respond in that way, but CAN-SPAM requires a law-compliant spammer to honor that system, and Richter claims that's how his company works.

Re:Opt-Out Real Quick (3, Funny)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211311)

yes they have to take you off THAT list, but they can just add you to another list.

you have unsubscribed from the Viagra News List.
here is a message from the Viagra Info List...

Re:Opt-Out Real Quick (3, Interesting)

gcaseye6677 (694805) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211558)

Although the CAN-SPAM act basically defines how someone should spam, I can't understand why people are saying that it allows any type of activity that was previously not allowed. If it calls for a working unsubscribe link, that does not mean that my mail system must accept mail from someone who has met this requirement. If a spammer is blasting my server with dictionary attacks and/or underhanded tricks designed to get around a spam filter, there's nothing in this law that says I have to permit it. Richter of course does not have a leg to stand on in court, so I assume he filed this suit to try to intimidate anti-spam activists, as if it would make them go away.

Re:Opt-Out Real Quick (3, Insightful)

heybo (667563) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211722)

but CAN-SPAM requires a law-compliant spammer to honor that system, and Richter claims that's how his company works.

Yea he says he's so law compliant then why does his spam server come knocking at the door of my mail server about 300 times a day. Funny how some of the bounces back to his server are from addresses that haven't been active for over four years. Isn't a nasty reject mail message enough to opt-out??

I'll be happy to come with a dull knife to strip away his flesh 1 square inch at a time.

You know with all this suing left and right by everyone who thinks they are someone with some kind of power makes me think of what my Grandpa used to say "People become lawyers to make up for having little dicks. Makes them feel big." Doesn't anyone relize that only the lawyers make money in a suit. Everyone else loses.

free speech??? (4, Insightful)

dmitrygr (736758) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211518)

Free speech is garanteed, correct. But where does the constitution say anything about garanteeing an audience?? If you do not like a public debate, you leave. It follows that if you do not like spam, you leave the list, but no! If they want to compare it to real life, they should make it a real comparaison - including a "leave" option. Obviously this is not going to happen, as that's whan they loose all their "customers" (ahem, victims). However the comparaison to speech is not valid if one cannot plug his ears.

hmm (-1, Flamebait)

spudgun (39016) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211099)

we need a lone gunman .....

just don't get hte anti spammer !

Re:hmm (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9211157)

I hope all spammers die of cancer. A lone gunman would provide to quick of a death to these scum bags. tip: please fill out forms of the links that spammers give you with garbage (not using the identfiers that they send you of couse and going to the root of the domain) Also set your web browser to sit and refresh the web pages that the send. Eat their bandwidth and make them pay. If everyone does it, it will make spam non-profitable.

Like Manson debating Bugliosi, this is. (4, Funny)

The I Shing (700142) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211103)

OptInRealBig publicly debating SpamCop on the legality of spam is like Charles Manson publicly debating Vincent Bugliosi on the legality of committing mass murder.

Re:Like Manson debating Bugliosi, this is. (-1, Flamebait)

222 (551054) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211242)

Or like Pres Bush debating John Kerry on the ethics of war ;)

Re:Like Manson debating Bugliosi, this is. (1)

darnok (650458) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211501)

Funny, maybe, but +5 Insightful???

Here's some news: spam != mass murder, regardless of whatever spin you want to apply

I'd be really interested in watching this debate, as I'm genuinely curious how it is that OIRB see themselves as being hard done by in this instance. Regardless of the name, SpamCop isn't acting as any sort of global email traffic cop - if SpamCop "blocks spam", it's because ISPs are taking SpamCop's recommendations and acting upon them.

It's absolutely no different to the Alexis de Tocqueville institute publishing its information; I may disagree with the content, but I've got no power to prevent others reading it and acting on it *and nor should I have that power*. I can, however, feel free to pick their information to pieces and post responses. OptInRealBig is free to respond to SpamCop's published information in exactly the same way; the fact OIRB have to deal with is that more ISPs seem to trust and agree with SpamCop than not.

Re:Like Manson debating Bugliosi, this is. (4, Insightful)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211852)

Yes, spam is mass murder. Suppose that 100 million computer users receive 100 spams a day, and each one requires 5 seconds to display, categorize, and delete. That's 500 seconds of wasted time, times 100 million people.

50,000,000,000 seconds is
833333333 minutes is
13888888 hours is
578703 days is
1585 years

That's 1585 man-years of wasted time every single day.

Assuming a person lives to the age of 80 years, the total wasted time adds up to almost 20 people. The entire lives of 20 people, wasted EVERY day to spam. It's fucking mass murder.

Seen this before? (0)

Zinic (780666) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211106)

Sounds like a tactic used everywhere, suing that is, but this seems something that you'd expect MS to have its name on. It's almost a shock.

Does such a claim really warrent a lawsuit though?

Re:Seen this before? (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211125)

Given the stupid state of the law and the justice department this dumb-ass might just win!

Watch what you say... (3, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211112)

Lawyers for both sides said they have agreed to allow the debate because they believe it will not focus on the lawsuit.

Uhm... two guys suing each other in public and they're not going to talk about the legal alligations either has leveled about the other? Sounds like some lawyers won't be members of the Bar Association much longer.

Re:Watch what you say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9211289)

Uhm... two guys suing each other in public and they're not going to talk about the legal alligations either has leveled about the other? Sounds like some lawyers won't be members of the Bar Association much longer.

That might be true if we disbarred lawyers for being stupid. But I think they can only be disbarred for ethics violations. (As it should be; a stupid lawyer should just get no clients. Being disbarred is beyond that; it is utter disgrace.)

PPV (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9211121)

I would so pay $50 to watch this on pay per view

Where is this held? (4, Funny)

FsG (648587) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211122)

..and can I bring my baseball bat?

Where is Vinny? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9211123)

What does it cost to get someones legs broken in the bay area these days?

Re:Where is Vinny? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9211161)

you bring the bat and you drive, oh and buy me a grand slam breakfast on the way (dont want to be clubbing spammers on an empty stomach). Id say its gonna run you about 15 bucks.

Reminds me of today... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9211126)

Today, I was lifting an old carpet, as we have a damp problem. Underneath there were hundreds of slugs and worms. My wife and I picked up about 40 slugs and put them in a pair of my wife's panties. I then put the panties on. The feeling was amazing. I got a huge erection and I could feel them sliding over my glans, and round my balls. Eventually I could feel one going up my bum. I knew I would come soon, so I let my wife tie me up, with my hands and feet speadeagled and attached to some furniture. She then took the panties down and about 15 of the slugs were crawling over my cock and balls. I came, spurting out loads of cum all over the poor things, but still couldn't move. My wife then took the other slugs out of the panties and placed them on my cock. She was careful to put some of them right on the opening of my cock, which was now covered in a mixture of sperm and glistening goo from the slugs. She opened up my arse and tried to put one in there too. I got hard again quite quickly as I thought of these slimy little things crawling over me. I imagined them biting me. One seemed to be trying to enter my uretha and this caused me to come again.
That was 4 hurs ago. My cock is now very itchy, but I am about to give them another "feed".

If by nasty (3, Funny)

LOL WTF OMG!!!!!!!!! (768357) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211130)

you mean Richer is going to get SERVED, then I agree, it's on!

Re:If by nasty (3, Funny)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211138)

Both sides were already served... the lawsuits are much further along than that.

Re:If by nasty (1)

Wavicle (181176) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211353)

They were both served? Then it's on!

Proof of Opt-In (5, Insightful)

fembots (753724) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211131)

I believe it is still legal to send marketing spams as long as the recepients have given consent, no?

How can we, the spam victims, prove that we NEVER gave consent to such-and-such website?

Re:Proof of Opt-In (4, Insightful)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211240)

You can't prove that you didn't opt in like that.

I think the burdon should be on the spammer to prove that you DID opt-in, upon request.

The thing is, even if this guy's business was 100% legit, which everyone know's isn't anyways, it's a moot point for the vast majority of us. We get so much spam, how are we supposed to know that one is opt-outable and other one will put you to the top of the spammer's list?

OptInRealBig is not the problem (2, Interesting)

Theatetus (521747) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211284)

They're annoying, but they're not the problem. I used to get OptInRealBig messages. I clicked on the "unsubscribe" links a few times. They stopped coming.

All of Richter's emails (at least that I've seen) come with contact information for the sending company and unsubscribe instructions as required by law. And as far as I've seen, the unsubscribe instructions work. If anybody here has unsubscribed from OIRB and still gotten mailings, that's different. But as far as I've seen, OIRB uses real reply-to's, real headers, and really only gets addresses that left a "email me" checkbox checked somewhere.

Richter is annoying, but he's not the main spam problem. He runs a real company that complies with the letter if not the spirit of the law. The real problem is hijacked boxes and east Asian server farms sending billions of fraudulant, forged, difficult-to-trace messages every day. Shutting down Richter and easing the burdens on people too stupid to uncheck the "let partners email me" checkbox won't solve that.

Re:OptInRealBig is not the problem (4, Insightful)

gravyfaucet (759255) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211505)

How the hell is it going to help to have even a legitimate "opt-out" link at the bottom of an email I refuse to open? Deleting it wastes enough time, eh?

Re:Proof of Opt-In (2, Insightful)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211366)

I believe it is still legal to send marketing spams as long as the recepients have given consent, no?

Actually, that's impossible.

If the recipients have given consent, it's not spam by definition.

How can we, the spam victims, prove that we NEVER gave consent to such-and-such website?

You can't prove a negative except by exhaustion. It should be up to them to prove you gave consent.

Thinking Big (3, Funny)

illuminata (668963) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211132)

I don't think SpamCop is going to be winning this one, because OptInRealBig has all of those email addresses at their disposal. Just a few mass mailings is all it takes to get public opinion on their side.

Re:Thinking Big (1, Funny)

Grrr (16449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211361)

ADV: Spam is good for you
ADV: Sp4m is good for you
ADV: Spam 1s good for you
ADV: Spam is gOod for Uou
ADV: S-p-a-m is goode for you
ADV: Spam is goof for yow
ADV: Spam ees good 4 you
ADV: SpA m is go od for y o u
ADV: varnish Spam is good for you loftier ...


<grrr>

funny guy (1, Funny)

mcguyver (589810) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211134)

Scott Richter seems like a funny guy. He appeared on the Jon Stewart show a while back. I'm sure the debate would be entertaining to watch.

In Soviet Russia... (0, Troll)

falcon9x (618587) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211141)

In Soviet Russia, spammers sue you!

oh... wait.

Re:In Soviet Russia... (-1, Offtopic)

gandalphthegreen (751209) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211657)

You must be new here.

Lemmee lone!! (4, Insightful)

malia8888 (646496) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211142)

"Spammers say they are protected by the right to free speech, but people also have the right to be free of speech," said Haight. "I think it's pretty clear that people have the right to be left alone."

IMHO the debate between these two should end right there. This is like a "do not call" list. People are bombarded with advertising at every turn. We should have a right to be left alone.

Re:Lemmee lone!! (2, Funny)

real_smiff (611054) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211178)

"Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose."
I believe the saying goes. No prize for guessing which side of the debate i'm on. I just got my first penis enlargement spam! "Hahahha, Little Pe-nis U Have scup docket view" it said. After ~7 years online, I feel like a real internet user at last! ;)

Re:Lemmee lone!! (1)

supmylO (773375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211297)

I agree with you that we have the right to be left alone. I think if we are watching TV or listening to the radio, we do not OWN these things (the tv/radio we do, but not the stations) and therefore 'agree' to see advertising. I think the difference is that we do own our inbox and that should protect us from getting spam.

Regulation of Blacklists? (5, Insightful)

vyrus128 (747164) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211145)

Blacklist operators like to say they just provide a service to the sysadmins; it's the owners of the recipient servers who do the blocking. But by the same logic, credit reporting agencies just provide a service to merchants and lenders; it's those lenders who refuse your application. Yet Congress has seen fit to pass the Fair Credit Reporting Act to stop abuses by the credit bureaus; despite the fact that they don't actually deny you a loan, it is obvious the power they have over individuals and the ways they can abuse it, EVEN IF that power is granted to them indirectly by lenders. I would argue that the same could be said of blacklists; arguably, they could (and perhaps should) be regulated for the same reasons that credit bureaus are.

Re:Regulation of Blacklists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9211244)

you are dealing with a persons ability to exist in society whne it comes to credit.

i think an indivuduals ability to send advertisements in email is a bit different.

your analogy falls flat.

Re:Regulation of Blacklists? (3, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211247)

Credit Reporting services don't have any opinion about you. They don't judge you, they just keep track about facts about you which are reported by other credit-based companies you do business with. Basically, as an industry, credit-givers use this as a conversation point to share their experiences with colleagues so that they can know who is more likely to pay back loans and who is not.

What the various federal and state laws about such companies do is require them to provide individuals with reports about themselves upon request, and follow a specific despute resolution process should you ever claim that something they are reporting about you is inaccurate.

Re:Regulation of Blacklists? (2, Insightful)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211394)

But do the credit reporting agencies bother with the accuracy of the info they keep about you?

NO

They only start to "care" after you have filed a complaint about the accuracy of your "credit history"; and by then, the damage can already have been done.

Imagine this: You applied for a car loan, you were approved. However, your credit wasn't "good enough" so your interest on your car loan is higher.

You thought all was fine and dandy until 2 years later, you try to buy a house. Lending company turns you down because of bad credit.

By the time you find out about your "bad credit", the damage had been done because you are paying too much for the car loan.

-Grump

Re:Regulation of Blacklists? (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211767)

Which is why you should check your credit reports before getting any major loans, such as a car loan.

Re:Regulation of Blacklists? (2, Interesting)

vyrus128 (747164) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211993)

But that's exactly the point. Blacklisting services don't have any opinion about you. They don't judge you, they just keep track about facts about you which are reported by spamtraps, annoyed mailserver owners, and the like. Email-server administrators use this as a conversation point to share their experienced with colleages so they can know who is more likely to spam and who is not. Blacklists do typically provide you with a report about yourself on request, but there is no dispute-resolution process which works universally. All I'm saying is perhaps there SHOULD BE a regulated way for you to dispute information that the blacklists are reporting about you.

Re:Regulation of Blacklists? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211274)

Yet the FCRA doesn't stop car insurance companies from charging more if you have less than perfect credit (even if you prepay the policy so they are at no risk of nonpayment)

Re:Regulation of Blacklists? (1)

Rahga (13479) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211300)

EVEN IF that power is granted to them indirectly by lenders.

Close... It's "granted" directly by the lenders, who are working within the agreement made between the lender and the borrower. It's indirect only to the borrower. It could be argued that the Fair Credit Reporting Act was needed probably because credit reporting agencies and loan institutions have probably been regulated in the US to the point where problems that would normally be fixed within the marketplace were no longer fixable.

OK Fine (4, Insightful)

nate nice (672391) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211150)

As a marketer you have the right to send out ad's. As a consumer, I have the right to block your shit. Fuck off, excuse the language.

Re:OK Fine (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211196)

You most defnitely have the right to block what they're sending.

The problem is with over SpamCOP's public claim that Richter sends e-mails to people who have never opted-in.

Richter claims that any recipient claiming that they never opted-in is wrong. He'd refute SpamCOP's claim, but SpamCOP refuses to turn over the e-mail addresses of the people complaining to them, so he can't check his records to find out how the address got there.

You most definitely have a right to publish an opinion, but when you accuse somebody of something, it turns into a matter of fact. If you're publishing facts that aren't true, that's where libel starts...

Re:OK Fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9211252)

If you're publishing facts that aren't true...

umm, maybe you should recheck your definition of "fact" there, skippy...

Re:OK Fine (1)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211369)

The problem is with over SpamCOP's public claim that Richter sends e-mails to people who have never opted-in.

Where is this public claim, I would like to read it.

Richter's claim is semantic. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9211576)

It doesn't matter whether they opted in or not. Those people feel his spam is unwelcome, and somehow illegitimately obtained their email address.

It doesn't matter what hoops he jumped through. All that matters as that in the eyes of consumers his company was in error, and cannot be trusted with what is normally benign personal information.

Spam is a statement about the unwelcomness of the email, not whether someone might have left a "I hate puppies" checkbox unchecked. If the people recieving the mail say it is spam. It's spam. End of story. SpamCop collects these opinions and merges them into a fact. Many people consider Scott Richter to be willingly, misleadingly, and habbitually sending vast quantities of undesirable email, and generally being a nuisance. That many people have this opinion is a fact. Now it may be true, or untrue. But over a large number of iterations it is probably an accurate predictor of what is true.

The only thing shaky is SpamCop is making an argument ad populum. And knowing who those people are doesn't change that. However, this is more than mitigated by the fact that sysadmins use this to make a likely better experience for their users. Other people would wish this to go away, my users might too, people being mostly similar.

That all these people think Scott Richter is a spammer is not libel. In fact it's accurate, particularly in light of a The Daily Show interview. Why even his government officials think he's a spammer. Were I to claim, "I have pictures of Scott Richter raping an underage goat in Tijauna. The goat was "pitching," but man you should see the smile on Scott's face!" and not have such pictures. That would be libel. I for one doubt the existance of such pictures, I was just using that as a possible example. And if someone does have such pictures, I would appreciate it if they were never sent to me. In fact it might just be better to burn them, the internet is awful enough as it is.

Scott doesn't have a God given right to make sure everyone gets his mail. Sorry. He doesn't. Just like anyone can refuse him entry into their place of business or home for any reason based on his actions, or their thoughts on him as a terribly flawed and failed human being. That's all people who are using spamcop are doing. No dice Scott, your business isn't welcome here, we don't like you, people don't like you, go sell your penis enhancements in China.

Re:OK Fine (3, Insightful)

ca1v1n (135902) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211813)

Indeed. The problem we run into is when spammers try to circumvent our filters, and then have the gall to claim first amendment protection. It's like poking every inch of a mile long fence to find a hole big enough to slip through, and then claiming it wasn't trespassing because you didn't climb over. This is exactly why "trespass to chattels" is a commonly-used and often successful claim in spam litigation.

Merger with SCO? (2, Funny)

thedillybar (677116) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211152)

Please...someone...tell me they are merging with SCO soon. I'd really rather focus all my angers at one company instead of two.

Re:Merger with SCO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9211409)

In other news, ScoOptinBigAOLRealMicrosoft has settled one of the 1,632 lawsuits against them and expects to have fully cleared their name by 2076.

Re:Merger with SCO? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9211465)

Even better: Claria, OptinRealBig, SCO *AND* Microsoft are all merging into one company: CORBSCOMS (pronounced 'corbs coms'). Their mission statement:

We exist to provide the world with one central point point at which to focus the entirety of their hatred, while simultaneously financially assfucking them when they are forced to buy the products they need but don't want. And then spamming them with ads for newer versions. And then tracking them to make sure they buy said newer versions. And then SUING THEM!!!!!!!

Meh... it's a work in progress.

- GNU/Anonymous Coward

Pay Per View (0, Redundant)

IgD (232964) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211153)

Where is Pay Per View when you need them? I would gather all my friends, order lots of pizza and pay $50 for this event. We need a Geek Pay Per View!

Re:Pay Per View (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9211343)

No need for PPV. This is low budget porn. Scott whips his out, fat girl with pimples measures him at 3-5/16 inches. Julian Haight whips his out, another fat girl with a nasty cold sore on her lips measures him at 4-1/4 inches. Then they wait in their e-mail program until they get an offer to fix the problem. Here, Julian is probably at a disadvantage because he has better filters.

hrmm (2, Insightful)

Naikrovek (667) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211155)

sending out 'marketing messages.' (in lay terms, spam)

marketing messages do not always equal spam. For example, Apple sends me marketing messages all the time, and they're not spam.

also, in 'lay terms' (think you mean "layman's terms") 'spam' would be "sending you mail you don't ask for", and 'marketing messages' are not always 'spam'.

i don't mean to get on a rant here, but also:

if you have to explain 'marketing messages' also explain 'spamcop' and 'blacklist' and 'OptInRealBig'. explaining what marketing messages (a plain english term) are, and not explaining other terms the readers might not know about portrays you as a zealot, which you may or may not be. if portraying yourself as a zealot is what you were after, i should say that zealots have ZERO credibility because they are (by definition) fanatical and unreasoning.

anyway, thanks for the links, and please put a little bit more thought into your blurbs.

Re:hrmm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9211212)

learn to capitalize. too bad im outta mod points, i hate this overatted bullshit.

Re:hrmm (2, Insightful)

justforaday (560408) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211288)

marketing messages do not always equal spam. For example, Apple sends me marketing messages all the time, and they're not spam.

also, in 'lay terms' (think you mean "layman's terms") 'spam' would be "sending you mail you don't ask for", and 'marketing messages' are not always 'spam'.


This can't be emphasized enough! I've seen plenty of people call emails from companies that they have a business relationship with "spam." Yet, these are the same people who don't bother to uncheck the "I do not wish to receive product information" checkboxes. In fact, I've watched a few people order things online and I've mentioned to them that they may want to uncheck that box. A few weeks later when I'm at their desk and they're complaining about receiving "spam" from LLBean or whoever, I remind them that they chose to receive those emails! Of course, there's real spam mixed in there too, but a lot of it is because of those little opt-out checkboxes that they decided they didn't want to uncheck...

Re:hrmm (1)

Tony (765) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211349)

... i should say that zealots have ZERO credibility because they are (by definition) fanatical and unreasoning.

Doesn't mean they are wrong. Some zealots are quite correct.

Credibility should be given to the message, not the messenger, and only after careful consideration. People are more often misled by people they trust than people they don't trust.

Re:hrmm (1)

Batou (532120) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211748)

Someone mod parent up. Very well put.

Re:hrmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9211382)

For example, Apple sends me marketing messages all the time, and they're not spam.

When Apple sent me a marketing message, it was spam. I never agreed to get the message. I'm not even sure how they got my e-mail address.

I find it hard to believe anyone is defending OptInRealBig. Really hard to believe. I doubt even 1% of the poeple on Richter's e-mail list every legally agreed to get "marketing messages". I guess I'm just a zealot.

SpamCop needs a lot of help (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9211163)

I'm posting anonymously for obvious reasons. I'm a teaching fellow at Harvard Law school, and I think that SpamCop is going to have a hard time against Richter. This is sad, as SpamCop does not have the resources of Richter to help battle spam.

One of the first things I do in my LAW 101 class is download "The People vs Larry Flynt" DivX off KaZaa and show it in class. I do this to teach students that free speech means we cannot restrict the speech of the spammers no matter how vile their penis enlargement pill speech may be. The lesson from this movie applies to us as much as Larry Flynt.

I've been thinking of ways that SpamCop might raise a legal defense fund. I think their best bet might be to send targeted email to their users asking for a tip.

If all of SpamCop's users donated a dollar, they'd have millions to spend.

Free Speech (5, Insightful)

Tony (765) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211334)

Just as people have a right to speak, others have a right to not listen.

If the spammers were civil and provided a way to honestly opt-out, I don't think there'd be much debate. As it is, "opt-out" options are used to verify legitimate mail addresses to which more spam is sent.

The essence of fairness is respect. If spammers were to respect the wishes of email participants, these drastic blacklist measures would not be necessary.

Just as a person may not be allowed to speak at a public forum with no curtailment of free speech, so an ISP may filter spam with no curtailment of free speech. Plus, as SpamCop merely provides a service (the identification of spam black-hole lists), they are not themselves curtailing free speech. If I (as an individual) decide to pre-filter my email by using SpamCop, I have also not curtailed the free speech rights of spammers; I have merely invoked my right to not listen.

If SpamCop is inhibited in any way by first amendment arguments, justice has been subverted. Since SpamCop itself is opt-in, they are providing more free speech than the spammers themselves.

Granted, I am not a lawyer, one of the many things of which I am glad. (I don't see how many lawyers sleep at night, but then again, I fret when I realize I only left a 15% tip instead of a 20% tip.)

let the public decide (1)

chaos421 (531619) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211164)

they should put these two guys head to head on prime time tv. after a (much heated, i'm sure) debate, the public could act. call 1-800-555-SPAM and vote... i'm thinking it'd be 50,000,000 SpamCop, 2 spammer...

Re:let the public decide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9211241)

up the stakes.. the loser gets executed.

It's not called spam (2, Funny)

MavEtJu (241979) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211166)

from sending out 'marketing messages.' (in lay terms, spam)

That's called High Volume Email Deployment, not spam.

And Julian Haight is not Anti High Volume Email Deployment, he's anti-spam.

Re:It's not called spam (1)

achurch (201270) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211356)

That's called High Volume Email Deployment, not spam.

Really? I thought the technical term was Strategic High Importance Telecommunications . . .

How many people? (3, Interesting)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211175)

How many people will file lawsuits against Richter and serve him at the debate?

I hope the line to serve him will not be too long.

Spitzer: Not someone to mess with (5, Informative)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211179)

There's an excellent explanation [legalaffairs.org] in Legal Affairs of the legal powers Spitzer wields. His primary tool is the Martin Act, which gives him frighteningly wide-ranging authority to go after a wide range of targets.

Re:Spitzer: Not someone to mess with (1)

Maserati (8679) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211279)

Good link ! Pity I'm out of mod points. I just forwarded it to a friend working on his MBA (he's one of the few I'd trust to wield the Martin Act).

Re:Spitzer: Not someone to mess with (0, Flamebait)

Mycroft_VIII (572950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211333)

Frightening is right. The Martin act shure looks unconstitutional on the basis of that article. Still I'd have to read it for myself and think a bit to have a solid opinion. IANAL, but then I think if you need a lawyer to figure out wether someone can forced to secretly tesitfy against himself, without counsel, (as the article seems to indicate) then eigther your stupid, or the system is FUBAR.
I'm not betting on stupidity here. (wait did I really say that?!?)

Mycroft

Re:Spitzer: Not someone to mess with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9211345)

think if you need a lawyer to figure out wether someone can forced to secretly tesitfy against himself, without counsel, (as the article seems to indicate) then eigther your stupid, or the system is FUBAR.

I guess you've never heard of a Grand Jury. You are forced to testify and have no right to have a lawyer present.

Re:Spitzer: Not someone to mess with (1)

Mycroft_VIII (572950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211554)

Yes, but a) nothing in a grand jury investigation can be used as evidence in court.
and b) I have issues with grand juries as well. If I may be brought to trial because of a grand jury, and I am being forced to testify before them, then my testimony is being used against me in violation of the 5th IMNHO. and I should have the right to a lawyer.
The article states that originally anyone testifying, etc. under the statute pretty much had automatic immunity from prosecution, but that was largely removed later.

Mycroft

Debate vs Shouting Match (1)

ThesQuid (86789) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211193)

I would be astonished if there was any civility at all at this event. Given the level of vitriol any spam story on /. generates, I just don't see it happening. Perhaps the pompous self-righteous guys from Spamhaus will be a good match for the ueberspammer. Just make sure they're tethered or there'll be blood. But that's what we want, hmmm?
Can we mark this whole thread flamebait/flamewar?

Re:Debate vs Shouting Match (1)

ThesQuid (86789) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211214)

correction: spamcop not spamhaus. even better.
that's what I get for posting from an XDA2 with a stamp-sized screen

You guys are slipping.... (4, Funny)

rune2 (547599) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211201)

It's been a whole 20 minutes and we don't have aerial photos of this guy's house and his home address for our snail-mail DDOS attack yet.

Re:You guys are slipping.... (1)

Nuclear Elephant (700938) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211371)

Isn't this the part where we have a jet fighter scrambled to fry up a huge vat of popcorn in the middle of his living room?

It's probably already dead but.... (1)

HFactor_UM (678556) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211208)

...for those who watch the Daily Show this is old news

scott_richter422@yahoo.com

Tell him how you feel!

Next in line to bend over! (1)

graveyardduckx (735761) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211283)

Microsoft too will soon bend over for Mr Sphrncter because people are able to use that devious "Rules Wizard" in Outlook to delete unwanted spam by searching for keywords! Does anyone else hear those banjos?

Same comment as I made to the Chinese spammers! (1)

xmas2003 (739875) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211314)

I was tempted to simply cut-n-paste the comment I made in the "71% of Spam Servers are Located in China" article earlier today, but I'll simply provide a link here to my Slashdot comment which got modded up as Funny. [slashdot.org]

Lets just say those of you who are NRA members will appreciate it ... ;-)

ROWAN v. U. S. POST OFFICE DEPT (5, Informative)

keraneuology (760918) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211367)

Spam is not protected speech. One of the most relevant cases ever heard by the US Supreme Court (which is rarely, if ever, mentioned in spam debates) is Rowan v U.S. Post Office Dept, 397 U.S. 728 (1970)

Appellants challenge the constitutionality of Title III of the Postal Revenue and Federal Salary Act of 1967, 81 Stat. 645, 39 U.S.C. 4009 ( 1964 ed., Supp. IV), under which a person may require that a mailer remove his name from its mailing lists and stop all future mailings to the householder. The appellants are publishers, distributors, owners, and operators of mail order houses, mailing list brokers, and owners and operators of mail service organizations whose business activities are affected by the challenged statute.

A new law had recently been passed whereby people could demand that unsolicited pr0n no longer be mailed to their houses. The homeowners didn't want free samples mailed to their kids. The pr0n magazines wanted to show everybody what they were missing and claimed absolute right to do so under the guise of the First Amendment. (Sound like a familiar battle?) The Supreme Court found against the postal spammers.

Some very relevant passages from the decision:

"the right of every person 'to be let alone' must be placed in the scales with the right of others to communicate."

"In today's complex society we are inescapably captive audiences for many purposes, but a sufficient measure of individual autonomy must survive to permit every householder to exercise control over unwanted mail. To make the householder the exclusive and final judge of what will cross his threshold undoubtedly has the effect of impeding the flow of ideas, information, and arguments that, ideally, he should receive and consider. Today's merchandising methods, the plethora of mass mailings subsidized by low postal rates, and the growth of the sale of large mailing lists as an industry in itself have changed the mailman from a carrier of primarily private communications, as he was in a more leisurely day, and have made him an adjunct of the mass mailer who sends unsolicited and often unwanted mail into every home. It places no strain on the doctrine of judicial notice to observe that whether measured by pieces or pounds, Everyman's mail today is made up overwhelmingly of material he did not seek from persons he does not know. And all too often it is matter he finds offensive."

"Weighing the highly important right to communicate, but without trying to determine where it fits into constitutional imperatives, against the very basic right to be free from sights, sounds, and tangible matter we do not want, it seems to us that a mailer's [397 U.S. 728 , 737] right to communicate must stop at the mailbox of an unreceptive addressee.

The Court has traditionally respected the right of a householder to bar, by order or notice, solicitors, hawkers, and peddlers from his property. See Martin v. City of Struthers, supra; cf. Hall v. Commonwealth, 188 Va. 72, 49 S.E.2d 369, appeal dismissed, 335 U.S. 875 (1948). In this case the mailer's right to communicate is circumscribed only by an affirmative act of the addressee giving notice that he wishes no further mailings from that mailer.

To hold less would tend to license a form of trespass and would make hardly more sense than to say that a radio or television viewer may not twist the dial to cut off an offensive or boring communication and thus bar its entering his home. Nothing in the Constitution compels us to listen to or view any unwanted communication, whatever its merit; we see no basis for according the printed word or pictures a different or more preferred status because they are sent by mail. The ancient concept that 'a man's home is his castle' into which 'not even the king may enter' has lost none of its vitality, and none of the recognized exceptions includes any right to communicate offensively with another. See Camara v. Municipal Court, 387 U.S. 523 (1967)."

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?c ourt=US&vol=397&invol=728

Re:ROWAN v. U. S. POST OFFICE DEPT (0)

Kanasta (70274) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211564)

Interesting. Can I stop religious mailouts with this too? One can only dream.

Why attack OptInBig? (1, Interesting)

Rick and Roll (672077) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211439)

I looked at OptInBig's website, and it's very professional. It has an unsubscribe link on every page, that allows you to unsubscribe from *every* OptInBig message. Their leaders don't brag about how rich they are. As far as I can tell, they are better than most telemarketing customers.

They also don't make and distribute spyware, as far as I know. Clicking a simple unsubscribe link is much better than deleting spyware.

Plus, I always make sure to uncheck the special offers checkboxes. I'd say it's the websites that are the problem, this guy is just providing a business service. I am sick of the silly website subscription games.

It's a debate, not an attack (1)

Anders Andersson (863) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211577)

I looked at OptInBig's website, and it's very professional. It has an unsubscribe link on every page, that allows you to unsubscribe from *every* OptInBig message.

Their website may be painted by Michelangelo and their ads written by Shakespeare; what counts is whether they send unsolicited advertising or not. If that unsubscribe link is useful for anything besides unsubscribing from something you voluntarily and knowingly subscribed to, they are spammers. Do they have a corresponding subscribe link on every page too, allowing you to subscribe to every OptInBig message, before you unsubscribe from them?

Spyware!=Spam (1)

Felinoid (16872) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211637)

Spyware (or as they prefer adware) isn't Spam (or as prefered e-mail marketting)

Adware slips into your system and slips ads directly into your system. It's software that permits someone to have some control over the way your computer works.

Spam is just bombbarding your e-mail with garbage.

Adware is worse in this reguards but that's like the diffrence between reckless driving and outright murder.
There ARE people who get angry for being ticketed and fined for reckless driving.

However spam and adware are both wrong in much the same way as reckless driving and murder is wrong. One is just more sereous than the other.

As far as the opt out links go.
Most spammers have opt out links. Most anyone familure with spam will tell you DON'T CLICK as most spammers aren't even about selling anything more that spam lists of people who opted out. It's a quick way to get you even more spam.

I opt out all the time... Building a spam filter is a hobby. I'm already up to 100 spam a day.

Is OptInRealBig a victom of spam? (3, Interesting)

Felinoid (16872) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211440)

By the actions of Scott I'd say he actually believes his system is a true opt in system.
However I've receaved spam from this guy and I know I never opted in.

So the question is how come Scott believes his actions are lagit?
Answer:
I do get a lot of "Welcome" messages from marketting lists. Most of them say something like "Please click on the link below to conferm". Eather spammers are being creative and trying to trick me into opting in to stuff I don't have any intrest in or someone spammed my e-mail address to them.

How dose ReallyBig work? Could a jerk spammer stuff the box?
How dose Scott get a large opt in e-mail database?

It would make sense that he would have some program set up where third partys do the opt in for him. If so is there any screening for "stuffing the box"?

This presumes Scott isn't putting on a show. We can never forget that spammers are at least in part con artists. They take the PT Barnem school of marketting tactic. A sucker born every min and the real trick is to find em.

However I'm reminded of some research done a while back. Someone said that most spammers are just looking for valid e-mail addresses and don't actually sell anything.
Hence the mark isn't the spam targets but the spammers who actually try to sell stuff.
Thies people buy e-mail addresses.

And I just did conclude that this is probably where Scott got his marketting list.

In short...
Scott is this minuts sucker ...
Or the modern PT Barnum.

Sadly you can never know for sure.

Unfortunately, SpamCop sucks (4, Insightful)

realmolo (574068) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211447)

They're not EVIL, but of all the big blacklists, SpamCop is the least regulated. The whole idea of letting people submit addresses/domains to a blacklist with little or no verification is crazy.

I'd be happier if Spamhaus was doing this debate. They run things the right way.

It's pertinent to remember ... (0, Troll)

chris_sawtell (10326) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211803)

that by opening the Internet to the likes of one Scott Richter, it is Al Gore [google.com] who is responsible for the e-mail spam avalanche.

Vigilantism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9211895)

Some day, some person will find his inbox filled with 1002 spam messages and crack, sure hope he stumbles on this page [spamhaus.org] - [ROKSO] ;-)

hmmmmmmmm, sounds like a good time for.... (1)

Indy1 (99447) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211904)

me to introduce Snotty Scotty to a little friend [barrettrifles.com] .

Spamcop is almost worse then the spammers... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9211918)

As much as I hate to support Spamers, orginizations like Spamcop can be just as bad or worse then those who send the spam.
They have no true higherarchy, no way to get your e-mail off the list if one of your compeditors has "reported" you, they often send reports of Spam to incorect administrators, and lie to their supporters about results.
All I can say is atleast they dont flood inboxes with herbal viagra and crap. Still they show how easy anti-spam orginizations can become useless and more harmfull then their good.

Spamcop is least of Richter's worries (1)

bigberk (547360) | more than 10 years ago | (#9211963)

I think it's kind of stupid for Richter to sue Spamcop. Scott Richter's "WholesaleBandwidth, Inc." is responsible for a ton of spamming, and he's being appropriately blocked for it. For example, look up 69.6.21.150 at OpenRBL [openrbl.org] to see just how fscked Richter is. You don't appear on 14 blocklists unless you are a spammer.

Maybe they're thinking he'll be assasinated. (1)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 10 years ago | (#9212064)

Honestly, I can't think of any reason to "debate" a spammer. These people don't care about anything save their pocketbooks. Whats next, are we going to debate murders and rapists?

Will there be a webcast? (1)

tisme (414989) | more than 10 years ago | (#9212146)

Debates like this seem no brainers for many of us, but it is amazing how the free speech argument can be used to rally people behind a stupid cause. It was only a few years ago that there were university students being sucked into the Holocaust denial movement all over the world because some of the head honchos were preaching "free speech" and then pulled uninformed people in deeper with a one sided view after they had their attention. Have a look at: Free Speech Articles on Holocaust Denial [google.ca]

My point is that it is amazing how often seemingley rational people can be fooled by a convincing argument... Don't be suprised if the spammer pulls out a blocked website with a certain political viewpoint and claims that it is being blocked for reasons other than spamming, or that blocking mail is somehow equal to what is happening in China... Here's hoping that our guy has some debating skills.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...