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Bigfoot sues defunct spammer

The free email firm sues notorious junk emailer Sanford Wallace and Cyber Promotions, even though he is out of business for now.

Sanford Wallace and his junk emailing company Cyber Promotions may be out of business, but that doesn't mean he can hide from his enemies.

Bigfoot, a company that provides free email addresses, today announced that it won a "broad injunction" prohibiting Wallace and his company from sending--or helping its customers send--unsolicited email to either Bigfoot's customers or those of Bigfoot's partners.

The settlement of the October lawsuit also calls for the removal of Bigfoot-related addresses from mailing lists used or sold by Cyber Promotions or any of its customers. It also prohibits Wallace and his company from using the Bigfoot domain in the headers of any of its messages.

It imposes a $10,000 per day fine for noncompliance.

Although Cyber Promotions has been virtually out of business as a junk emailing company since October when it lost its last service provider, Bigfoot chief executive Lenny Barshack called the victory an important step in the battle against spam.

"It's not only a statement against Wallace and Cyber Promotions, but it's also a statement against the spamming community in general that says Bigfoot will put resources behind protecting its members and also its partners from spam," he said.

Bigfoot is not alone in this endeavor, however.

Netizens, by and large, do not like spam, although apparently enough of them respond to it to make it profitable, since spammers persist. Because email is cheap--and the cost generally does not rise with increasing amounts of email--only a tiny fraction of recipients need to respond for it to make money

Companies trying to protect both their networks and their images have taken aim against spammers on many occasions.

Several Web-based companies, including Internet access providers such as online giant America Online, have sued Cyber Promotions for the same reason. Virtually all of them have won.

In fact, AOL has made it practically a cottage industry to sue spammers who plague its members with junk email. But just as quickly as AOL can swat down one spammer, another rises in its place.

Still, companies such as Bigfoot continue using the court system, one of the few proven methods of getting rid of individual spammers.

Meanwhile, Wallace is still plotting to get back into the spamming business by building his own backbone network from which he and all others could spam the Internet.

But, Wallace has said, the company would not send spam to anyone who does not want it. (See related story)