MySpace Wins Against Spammer

Joanne Cachapero
NEW YORK — Web marketing company Media Breakaway and its owner Scott Richter must pay $4.8 million to MySpace and additional $1.2 million in legal fees for bombarding MySpace members with unsolicited advertisements.

An arbitrator has ruled also that the company and its employees are also banned from the MySpace website.

In a statement issued by Media Breakaway, the company touted that the arbitration had yielded "95 percent less than the amount demanded."

MySpace and parent company News Corp., accused the Media Breakaway of sending information from members’ accounts whose sign-on information had been “phished” or hijacked.

Media Breakaway countered that independently contracted affiliates had been responsible for the illegal activities.

"MySpace has essentially declared a war on spam and phishing on our site," MySpace's Chief Security Officer Hemanshu Nigam said, adding that the company hoped that the ruling would serve as a deterrent to other illegal spammers.

Richter has been involved in high profile litigations for illegal spamming before, paying penalties to Microsoft Corp. in 2005, as well as the state of New York in 2004.

Steven Richter, Media Breakaway’s president and father of Scott, said that the company has a team of employees to track legal compliance and increased its efforts to remain lawful. Reportedly, the elder Richter said also that the company had misunderstood MySpace’s policy toward commercial advertising.