CA Supremes: Spam not Trespass


Link: State's high court upholds right of ex-Intel mass mailer.

One of the arguments against spam is that it represents a trespass of private property. Today, the California Supreme Court rejected that theory.

The case in question involves a disgruntled former Intel employee. This person took to mass mailing complaints about Intel to other employees. Intel blocked the mailings and sued for damages. A lower court supported Intel, but the state Supreme Court overturned that ruling.

The court's ruling appears to be squarely in line with the position put forward by the EFF. I hadn't put much credence in that position, preferring to believe that spam violated the property rights of computer owners. It looks like I may be dining on crow this evening.


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re: CA Supremes: Spam not Trespass

The decision is online.

re: CA Supremes: Spam not Trespass

It's not a total loss, Chip. The problem with Intel's case was that they couldn't demonstrate that thousands of e-mail messages was a significant burden on their e-mail servers. If the amount of mail was a significant burden, the case would have gone the other way.

re: CA Supremes: Spam not Trespass

The trouble is that for recipients of spam, it's not any given spam that clogs mail servers and clients, it's the cumulative effect of spam.