Facebook Wins $3 Million from Spammer

A federal judge in San Jose awarded Facebook Inc. $3 million in damages Wednesday against a company accused of sending over 60,000 spam messages to Facebook users in violation of anti-spamming law.

Power Ventures Inc. and its founder Steven Vachani were also permanently enjoined from sending unsolicited commercial electronic text messages to the Facebook website and making false statements when promoting or selling any service.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh said the injunction “would serve the public interest by preventing defendants from impermissibly spamming Facebook users again and setting an example to members of the public who may consider violating these various statutes as well.”

She found Vachani’s actions violated the CAN-SPAM Act.

Facebook had argued that money damages was not enough to ensure that Vachani and Power Ventures would not resume sending spam to Facebook users, so it sought the injunction as well.

It had originally sought $18 million in damages.  Koh said $3 million, along with the injunction, “will adequately serve the purpose of punishment and deterrence in this case.”

Power Ventures was accused of sending unsolicited and deceptive emails to Facebook users that promised a chance to win $100 if they signed up the most new users to Power Ventures website.  They gave their users a list of users’ Facebook friends they could pick to send an invitation, increasing the access to ever more Facebook users.

Case: Facebook, Inc. v. Power Ventures, Inc., No 08-cv-5780LHK





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