Hammer timeApril 22, 2005
Successful anti-spam attorney Pete Wellborn has offered to come on board as co-counsel in the case of an alleged spammer suing the spammee.
Case No. 05-CV-122 was filed against Mark Mumma in the U.S. District Court's Eastern District of Virginia for defamation, trademark infringement, copyright infringement and unauthorized use of the likenesses of the Bohans. It is suspected the lawsuit was intended to silence Mumma, an anti-spammer and electronic mail service provider, who has profiled cruise.com's spamming activities on several of his anti-spam web sites.
"I was overjoyed when I received an e-mail from attorney Pete Wellborn, the Spammer Hammer, offering to assist me in this lawsuit, Mumma said. "I've been a huge fan of him for several years now. I mean, after all, he's the attorney who brought down Sanford Wallace of Cyber Promotions all those years ago. It is ironic that during a recent telephone call, Omega General Counsel John Lawless facetiously remarked that he 'bet my attorneys were real winners.' Pete Wellborn is probably the most successful spam attorney in all history. I guess it's hammer time for cruise.com."
In July 2002, Wellborn obtained a $25 million judgment against a Tennessee spammer engaged in massive identity theft and credit card fraud. More than three fourths of Wellborn's practice relates to the prosecution of civil cases against parties involved in spamming, spoofing, and/or Internet fraud. Wellborn has had a primary practice focus on Internet Law since 1996. He represented EarthLink against Howard Carmack, the "Buffalo Spammer," in a $16.4 million case and won.
Wellborn has been suing spammers since 1998, and has never lost a spam case.
This story has sparked much controversy over who is right and who is wrong. Most anti-spammers have sided with Mumma, while a handful of others have actually called Mumma a scammer. There is a small minority, including Omega's attorneys, who believe that perhaps Mumma is asking for these e-mails and then turning around and threatening innocent companies with a spam lawsuit.
According to Mumma, there is no reason for him to invent spam violations that do not exist when he already receives, processes and stores more than 300,000 spam messages per month. Even if he did ask for the e-mails in question, federal law stipulates that commercial e-mails cannot contain false or misleading headers.
"The fact that each cruise.com email header contains the bogus domain name, FL-Broadcast.net, makes the e-mails illegal, regardless," he said.
"I'm a small, one man shop that is literally drowning in spam. It slays me how some people can accuse me of not focusing on real offenders and going after innocent companies," Mumma added. "There are not enough hours in the day to sue all of the verified spam offenders that have dumped their junk e-mail in my inbox, yet this company in Virginia is actually accusing me of making up the entire ordeal. I just thank God fellow internet users have contributed to my defense fund. I have no budget for legal fees, since all of my other cases are contingency based. This trial could end up costing me a lot of money."
For more information on the site and lawsuits against spammers, contact Mark W. Mumma, MummaGraphics, Inc. in Oklahoma City at 405.949.2999, or by visiting the web site www.SUEDbySPAMMERS.com.