SEATTLE — Microsoft Corp. has won a $7 million settlement from a man once billed as one of the world’s most prolific spammers.
The software maker heralded the deal as a coup in the ongoing fight against unsolicited commercial e-mails, known as spam. Microsoft said the money from Scott Richter and his company, OptInRealBig.com, will be used to boost efforts to combat spam and other computer misuse.
“People engage in spam to make money,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s chief counsel, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “We have now proven that we can take one of the most profitable spammers in the world and separate him from his money. And I think that sends a powerful message to other people who might be tempted to engage in illegal spam.”
In the settlement announced Tuesday, Richter and his company agreed to comply with federal and state laws, including CAN-SPAM, the federal Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act. He pledged not to send spam to anyone who has not confirmed a willingness to receive it.
He also agreed to let authorities monitor the business for three years.
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