PARIS--Setting a French legal precedent, a local court in Paris ordered an ISP subscriber to pay $1,000 (1,254 Euros) to his access provider, Free and Liberty Surf (now Tiscali). The subscriber was found to have carried out frequent spamming, or the sending of bulk unsolicited commercial e-mail.
Judge Jean-Jacques Gomez said that the spam had overwhelmed the ISP's network and had sparked complaints from people that their mailboxes had been flooded, according to ASP. The ISP then had had to bear the cost of removing the messages. In his decision, the judge said that this spamming was an abuse of the terms of the contract between the subscriber and his access provider.
The legal dispute was initiated by the subscriber, who filed a claim in November 2001 for $13,000 (15,000 Euros) in damages against Free and Liberty Surf after the ISP cut off his Internet access. He claimed that the ISP had broken its contract with him because of the opinions he had expressed online, in particular his religious opinions. --Christophe Guillemin, ZDNet France and Karen Said, ZDNet News