Spammer On AOL's 10 Most Wanted List Backs Down

March 11, 1998

And in another case, spam software developer held in contempt of court DULLES, VA, March 11, 1998 -- After being targeted by America Online as one of the 10 Most Wanted Spammers, Springdale Publications of Glendale, California agreed yesterday to permanently end its practice of sending junk e-mail to AOL members. While the terms of the agreement are confidential, America Online said that Springdale Publications had agreed to pay an undisclosed amount of money to avoid being sued by AOL. "When we began our campaign against junk e-mail, we had one goal -- to protect our members from the nuisance of spam," said George Vradenburg, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of America Online. "AOL's 10 Most Wanted Spammers List, which was released only a week ago, is intended bring more pressure to bear on spammers and expose their practices to the public. And it's working." AOL had received many complaints from its members about unsolicited junk e-mail from Springdale Publications. Springdale Publications was also engaged in the practice of forging the AOL.com domain name on its junk e-mail, a tactic designed to mislead the e-mail recipient into believing that the solicitations were sponsored or approved by AOL. Floodgate Author Held in Contempt of Court Neil Albala, the author of some of the most commonly used junk e-mailing software, was found to be in contempt of a federal court in Arizona this week after failing to provide records detailing the sales of his software. Albala, who claims to have developed Gold Rush and Floodgate spamming software, was ordered by the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona to turn over his sales records immediately to AOL. The court ordered Albala to pay AOL's court costs and indicated it would impose further penalties if he failed provide the records to AOL. AOL issued a subpoena to Albala in connection with AOL's suit against Prime Data Worldnet Systems, Inc. That suit, filed October 17, 1997, charged that Prime Data Worldnet violated federal and Virginia state law by sending AOL members unsolicited e-mails promoting "get-rich" schemes. The e-mails, which drew the complaints of AOL members, hawked the spamming software. A federal court recently entered a judgement for AOL in this case after Prime Data Worldnet and its founder, Vernon Hale, failed to contest AOL's charges.

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