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Canceled spammer sues ISP

Cyber Promotions charges that WorldCom is breaching a three-year agreement by canceling service to the online marketer.

On April 15, spam purveyor Cyber Promotions issued a press release saying it had signed a three-year contract with WorldCom, a provider that would allow it to spam the Net with relative impunity.

But before Cyber Promotions could send out a single piece of junk email, WorldCom, the giant telecommunications company, canceled the contract, the marketer alleges.

Now Cyber Promotions is suing with the intent of sending a message to the community: Even spammers expect contracts to be upheld, according to Sanford Wallace, embattled president of Cyber Promotions. "If you sign a contract, you have to adhere to your contract," he said.

WorldCom would not comment in light of the litigation, a spokeswoman said.

But judging from the dark climate for spam out on the Web, the decision to pull out of the contract--if that's what proves to be the case--may have been a financial one..

Wallace estimates that Cyber Promotions would have paid WorldCom about $150,000 for the life of the contract.

But as soon as Cyber Promotions announced the contract on April 15, Netizens threatened to abandon WorldCom's ship, which not only included newly acquired Internet access provider UUNet but also other telecommunications companies.

"We weren't even online," Wallace contended. "They kicked us off when we announced that we cut a deal with them and UUNet refused to partake in that deal."