UnNews:Man quits job, sues spammers
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27 December 2010
Eight years ago, Mr. Balsam was working as a marketeer, in the profession that studies how best to get messages to people who don't want them--in this case, messages on the environmental benefits of Hummer vehicles. Then he got a message he didn't want--a ninth e-mail pitch to enlarge his breasts.
Something snapped. "My breasts are just right," Mr. Balsam says, "pert and supple." He made the obvious decision, quitting his job and going to law school to sue the Bejesus out of the anonymous senders. Now, his web site,
MortimerHatesSpam, tells spam victims how they can eliminate the annoying messages, for just a modest legal fee that can be paid in installments.
He has filed suit in courts from San Francisco's Small Claims Court to the U.S. Ninth Circus, which has also ruled that schoolchildren have the right to be taught how to masturbate. He usually sues companies for violating California's anti-spam law. This law requires all spammers to have a button you can click to make yourself think you are being taken off their list.
Mr. Balsam is not always successful. One suit, against the "Adult Friend Finder" site, filed after it sent e-mails to four different accounts of his with the
Subject: line, "Hello, my name is Rebecca, I love you," was rejected. Superior Court Judge Marie Weiner said, "I know Rebecca. She's such a slut."
And Mr. Balsam sued the Stockton Asparagus Festival, claiming that Time Magazine called it "America's most annoying web site." But the defendant prevailed, discrediting Time by listing off its selections for Man of the Year.
However, Mr. Balsam wins often enough that spammers are enraged. One started a competing web site, leaving off one s for
mortimerhatespam to expose Mr. Balsam's questionable legal tactics. But this site bombed, as a lot of other people hate Pam too.
ClickMeJustOnce, Inc. stated in a 2007 filing that Mr. Balsam "is a zealous lawyer who views matters in absolutes and stiffly relies on the text of the law, without taking into account the numerous relevant nuances." Mr. Balsam simply said, "The matter is resolved. I feel comfortable doing what I'm doing," and flashed his signature smile, briefly showing the diamond stud between his two front teeth.
- Paul Elias "Man quits job, makes living suing e-mail spammers." Associated Press, December 26, 2010