The Spam Diaries

News and musings about the fight against spam.
 by Edward Falk

Monday, November 27, 2006

About the Mumagraphics case

Not having all the facts at hand, I'm inclined to reserve judgement on this one, but here are a few relevant links to peruse.

In short, Mark Mumma, owner of Mummagraphics, threatened to sue, aka Omega World Travel, for spamming. Cruise responded by suing Mumma for defamation. The court has refused to grant Mumma summary judgement dismissing the case. The court's decision (pdf, 17 pages) in short was that Cruise did not violate the CAN-SPAM act as Mumma had claimed. In addition, the court ruled that CAN-SPAM preempts the stricter Oklahoma law. Finally, the court ruled that although CAN-SPAM states that headers must not contain false information, the particular false information contained in's headers was not significant enough for the headers to be "materially false or materially misleading." In other words, the intent of congress when it passed the law was to prevent fraud, and not to allow spammers to be nailed on a technicality. Mumma will now likely face a costly defamation case.

Relavent links:
Mumma's page about the lawsuit
Currently 404, probably for the duration of the case.

Turning the Tables on Spammers (Wired News, Jan 2005)
Discussion on "Project Honeypot", including the Mumma case.

Spammer Sues Spam Victim, Continues Spamming Him (PrWeb, March 2005)
Mumma's press release about the lawsuit.

Cruisin' for a legal bruisin' (Spam Kings, March 2005)
Discusses the filing of the lawsuit, including warnings about jumping into lawsuits.

Spammer sues spammed (Spamroll, March 2005)
Discussion of the case, suggestions that Mumma may have gotten in deeper than he'd like.
Scroll down to read Mumma's response, including the fact that Cruise spammed a role account at Mumma's ISP which never opted in.
More Mumma, more money (Spamroll, April 2005)
Mumma has hired Pete Wellborn to defend him.

4th Circuit Beats Back Anti-Spam Plaintiff (Spam Notes, Nov 2006)
More legal analysis plus comments from Mark Mumma.


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