It turns out that there is justice. This just in from California via Slashdot: spammers who send out false and deceptive spam will pay liquidated damages to the extent of $1,000 per email.
“In the first case brought by a spam recipient to actually go to trial in California, the Superior Court of California held that people who receive false and deceptive spam emails are entitled to liquidated damages of $1,000 per email under California Business & Professions Code Section 17529.5. In the California Superior Court ruling (PDF), Judge Marie S. Weiner made many references to the fact that Defendants used anonymous domain name registration and used unregistered business names in her ruling. This is different from the Gordon case, where one only had to perform a simple whois lookup to identify the sender; here, Defendants used ‘from’ lines of ‘Paid Survey’ and ‘Your Promotion’ with anonymously registered domain names. Judge Weiner’s decision makes it clear that the California law is not preempted by the I CAN-SPAM Act. This has been determined in a few prior cases, including my own. (See http://www.barbieslapp.com/spam for some of those cases.)”
Naturally, the guy who filed the law suit is sanguine about winning. The question in my mind is: how do you prove that you were sent a false and deceptive email? Is it worth the time to get the $1,000 in damages?