Compuserve v. Cyber Promotions Inc

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					                       Compuserve, Inc. v. Cyber Promotions Inc.

                           962 F.Supp. 1015 (S.D. Ohio 1997)

                Plaintiff – Compuserve Inc – Company that provides internet access
                and email services to its subscribers
                Defendant –Cyber Promotions Inc. – Company that sends spam emails
                to email users, many being customers of P’s company.

        P an Internet service provider who provides email services to its customers
had asked D’s company to stop sending spam messages to its subscribers. P received
many complaints from its customers threatening to stop their service if P didn’t
limit the amount of spam messages sent to their inbox. In an effort to prevent D
from sending more spam messages, P used software designed to screen out
messages, which didn’t work. D modified their equipment and messages in order to
send messages to bypass P’s email filtering. P claimed that the spam message puts a
significant strain on the possessing and storage capacity of their equipment.

Procedural Posture:
       P is trying get an injunction which would extend the length of the temporary
restraining order granted by the court on October 24th 1996, which would prevent
the D from ending unsolicited spam messages to its subscribers

       Did the D commit a trespass to chattels when it sent spam messages to P’s



       The court found that the Plaintiff had a valid claim for trespass to chattels
and that the plaintiff was entitled to injunctive relief.

        One who commits a trespass to chattel is subject to liability to the po ssessor
of the chattel if, but only if:
         (a)    he dispossesses the other of the chattel, OR
       (b)    the chattel is impaired as to its condition, quality, or value, OR,
       (c)    the possessor is deprived of the use of the chattel for a substantial
              time, OR
       (d)    bodily harm is caused to the possessor, or harm is caused to some
              person of thing in which the possessor has a legally protected interest.

Legal Reasoning:
      The court reasoned that by trying to bypass P’s software filter for the spam
messages, D acted with intent. The spam messages placed a strain on the plaintiffs
computers which took away resources that could have been used for by paying
customers, which lowered the value of the Plaintiff’s computers.

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