Businessman wins e-mail spam case

Interesting story from the BBC:

Businessman wins e-mail spam caseA businessman has won what is believed to be the first victory of its kind by claiming damages from a company which sent him e-mail spam.

Nigel Roberts, who lives in Alderney in the Channel Islands, took action against Media Logistics UK over junk e-mails in his personal account.

Under new European laws, companies can be sued for sending unwanted e-mails.

The Stirlingshire-based firm has agreed to pay £270 compensation to Mr Roberts, who runs an internet business.

‘Tiny victory’

Three years ago the EU passed an anti-spam law, the directive on privacy and telecommunications, which gave individuals the right to fight the growing tide of unwanted e-mail by allowing them to claim damages.

Mr Roberts received unwanted e-mail adverts for a contract car firm and a fax broadcasting business and decided to take action against the company.

The company filed an acknowledgement of the claim at Colchester County Court but did not defend it and a judge ruled in favour of Mr Roberts.

In an out-of-court agreement Media Logistics agreed to pay Mr Roberts damages of £270 plus his £30 filing fee.

Mr Roberts said he had limited his claim to a maximum of £300 in order to qualify to file it as a small claim.

He said: “This may be a tiny victory but perhaps now spammers will begin to realise that people don’t have to put up with their e-mail inboxes being filled with unwanted junk.”

No-one from Media Logistics UK was available for comment.

A spokesman for the Information Commissioner’s Office, the watchdog who oversees the Data Protection Act, said it was the first case of its kind he had heard of.

He said: “What I can say is that I haven’t heard of anyone doing so and we haven’t taken a case under that legislation.”

Japan ‘groper’ dies after beating

From BBC News:

A Japanese man has died after being tackled by fellow train passengers who believed he had molested a woman during the morning rush hour.
The man fled the train at a station in the city of Osaka after a 20-year-old student accused him of groping her.

The 40-year-old was brought to the ground by four male passengers, who included at least one off-duty police officer. He died later in hospital.

Women-only carriages run on some trains in Japan because of groping complaints.

The college student accused the man of groping her on Tuesday, shortly after the train they were travelling in stopped at JR Tennoji Station in Osaka, Mainichi newspaper reported.

He ran away but was chased by four other passengers, who tackled him on the platform. “We are looking into the cause of death and details about how he was overpowered by the passengers,” a police spokesman told the French news agency AFP.

Despite the introduction of penalties and women-only carriages, Tokyo police reported more than 2,000 groping incidents on the city’s trains last year.

Delightful!