UK spam-fighting company Spamhaus has said it will ignore a $11.7 million judgement (PDF) found against it in the US.
Spamhaus failed to show at a hearing in Illinois where it had been accused by one David Linhardt, of causing significant harm to his e360insight business, by putting it on an email blacklist widely used across the Internet, including by Microsoft.
Since Spamhaus didn't turn up, the judge returned a default judgment, which Linhardt then claimed "clearly establishes the validity of e360insight's legitimate business practices as a responsible, opt-in marketer."
The reality is somewhat different however. Spamhaus is heaquartered in London, outside the US courts' jurisdiction and decided not to fight the case, even informing Linhardt that it would ignore the case and he would have to sue the company in the UK. That is unlikely to happen because under UK law, Linhardt's bulk email business is illegal.
It is not the first time Spamhaus has been sued by what it claims are spammers, says the company's CEO Steven Linford. Linford said the plaintiffs mislead US judges by claiming it is headquartered in the US. "It's every spammer's dream to be able to sue us," he added.
No US bulk mailer has filed a case in the UK since under British law foreigners who file lawsuits are responsible for the defendants' legal fees if they lose, Linford said.
Spam comprises up to 90 percent of all email, and its senders have shown increasing technical proficiency at evading measures to block unsolicited messages, Linford said. The Spamhaus Project blocks some eight billion to 10 billion spam messages a day, he said.