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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 March 2007, 17:18 GMT
Firm 'ordered to pay spam costs'
Computer keyboard and mouse
Despite filter software, spam emails keep on getting through
A British company has been ordered to pay damages for sending spam.

Gordon Dick took Transcom to Edinburgh's Sheriff Court for sending an unwanted advertising email, which he claimed was a breach of anti-spam laws.

He was awarded 750 in damages plus legal costs of 616.66 through a "decree in absence" after Transcom did not appear in court.

But a spokesman for Transcom denied any intentional wrong-doing, and stated: "We are not spammers."

'Clear message'

Mr Dick, of Edinburgh, won the settlement after Transcom failed to appear in court on the 30 January. It is now too late for the company to appeal.

He said: "The courts have now sent a clear message, spam will not be tolerated and individuals' rights to not have their mailbox filled with unsolicited advertising will be upheld.

"It has been clear to me throughout my case and in front of each Sheriff that they have little time for spammers and their anti-social actions."

However, Transcom director William Smith denied his firm, which supplies satellite communication systems, sent out spam emails.

He said the company distributed an annual email to customers as part of its normal marketing activities and that recipients could easily unsubscribe from it.

He claimed Mr Dick had inadvertently appeared on the customer list because Transcom and Mr Dick both belonged to an email group operated by UK domain name registry Nominet.

Mr Smith added that Transcom had not received any notification of the judgement from Edinburgh's Sherrif Court.

It is estimated that over 90% of all emails are spam and the volume is increasing all of the time. In 2003, EU anti-spam laws were incorporated into UK legislation, giving individuals claim damages against the growing tide of unwanted emails.

However, it is often difficult to take spammers to court under this legislation as the bulk of spam originates in countries such as the US and China.

Mr Dick has now set up an internet site called Scotchspam which advises others how to sue the firms that send out junk emails.

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