Wow. As a law student, I'm just amazed by this Wired post reporting that a judge dismissed an anti-slam lawsuit because the message was written as if by a real person. Here's the email:
Dear Webmaster, My name is Roderick Eash, and I run the web site Work At Home Business Opportunities | Online Career Training: http://www.theeashblahblah.com/ The other day I wrote you to let you know I'm very interested in exchanging links. I'm sending this reminder in case you didn't receive my first letter.
And so on ...
Judge Judith Eiler ruled that this is not spam because the sender identifies himself.
"These are anti-spam laws, which imply that they are mail just sent out in huge bulks, which would be the antithesis of a personal e-mail. And here he puts his name, in fact this is the person that you directly sued rather than somebody that's in a corporation or a company. The court does think that there's some indication that this is a personal-type e-mail. While it may have gone out to a number of people, it doesn't have quite the earmarks."
Even giving the good judge some slack for presumably not being tech-savvy, this makes zero sense. Under this ruling, it is possible to avoid liability for violating anti-spam laws just by using a name? Don't all spams include a purported name? Apparently, this spammer was actually named Roderick Eash. So if you use a real name, it's OK, no matter the "number of people" you send to? As Wired's Rob Beschizza wrote:
This twit sits at the business end of the whole "legal spam" fiasco, wherein this nation "banned" unsolicited bulk email by outlining how it may legally be sent. Lawmakers are bought and paid for, but the ignorance and stupidity of judges like Eiler is far more reliable.