Facebook awarded $873 million in damages after spam lawsuit

There is spam in the world everywhere you look, whether it be in newspapers in the form of adverts or in your inbox as emails offering enhancements to your body or cheap priced software. But the last place you should expect spam is in your Facebook inbox.

It seems that Facebook didn't like their users getting bombarded with stupid messages either, and they took the issue to court. On Friday, the courts ruled and now the offending spammers, Adam Guerbuez and Atlantis Blue Capital, must pay Facebook a total of $873 million. This breaks the previous record, $234 million, that MySpace received in a similar spamming case.

Most spamming companies turn a big profit each year, but nowhere near as much as they have been ordered to pay Facebook, so the chances of Facebook ever seeing their money is pretty slim. In addition, no one in the company will face jail time meaning the verdict is really more of a warning to other potential spammers, of what could happen if they try it.

The company was charged under a law called CAN-SPAM Act which was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2003.

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It will now be up to Facebook to pursue the payment and take them to court again if they do not comply to the judgment. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and if it sets any real precedent with regard to spamming and fines.

Unfortunately, I hate to say because I hat litigiousness, what needs to happen is to just grind them down in the courts with expensive trial after trial. Hopefully criminal ones that they'll be compelled to fight, not just settle. That's what it will take to make it not worth it for these b-tards. Saying this however, I know the courts have BETTER uses for their time and resources.

From google news afp:

Facebook welcomed on Monday a US court ruling against a Canadian spammer ordered to pay 873 million dollars in damages for sending unwanted messages to users of the popular social network.

So, extraterritorial talking, US court have not a legal status inside Canada, then those spammers can decide to return back to Canada and void the verdict or to pay the fine.

For the case, CAN-SPAM only can be applied for us citizen and or companies and individual inside USA, outside USA, the spammers are unextraditable.

Erm, why can't they jail the spammers? Or at least force them to pay the fine? This would ruin them if they can't afford it and that's what they deserve! :evil:

So what do you think... The two sides got together and said hmmm if we sue you for $873 million but you dont really have to pay it. Oh yep Ill be a good little boy. Oh and also I won't press for you to get any jail time either. You know you did something wrong. Your sorry.. That big number is really just to make the consumers think we did something for them today. No biggie.. Now stick out your wrist..

To be honest, this may be a blow for that company, but I don't see it as a deterrent. The big verdict has a nice ring to it, but as the author pointed out, Facebook will never see the money, or perhaps just a tiny amount of it. There's no REAL deterrent in place (No jail time).

However, jail time doesn't exactly work either, because if you're going to classify a spammer as a crime, you're going to have to arrest all those who deliver flyers around your neighborhood.

Without SERIOUS punishment (i.e. jail time) they will just do it again under a new name.
What little money does get recovered by FaceBook was not these guys' in the first place.

WTF kind of name is "Guerbuez" anyway? Just try to pronounce it!