The problem with email spam is that businesses think of it as something-for-nothing. They get advertising, and the marginal cost of each email is zero. So they hardly care if it is annoying or fails to work most of the time. But some victims of spam have decided to fight back – by successfully taking the spammers to court. Taking advantage of the EU’s love of arcane and ill-publicised regulations, they have identified a repetable formula for winning damages when sent unsolicited marketing; see here. The references in this story are to UK statute, but presumably most other EU countries have their own version of this law. In another great example of internet consumer activism, there is now the Scotch Spam website, dedicated to explaining how to take the spammers to court. It gives useful resources and explains the most recent court case where damages of £750, plus interest and costs, were awarded. So next time you find your inbox overflowing, make the spammers pay!
Thanks to Neil Hay for telling me about this story, through an unsolicited email ;)