Spammer coughs up after court battle - TechCentral

Spammer coughs up after court battle

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Training company Ketler Presentations has agreed to cough up R65 000 in full and final settlement costs incurred by the Internet Service Providers’ Association (Ispa) following a failed action brought against the industry body at the high court in 2012.

In June last year, the high court in Johannesburg dismissed a defamation case brought by Ketler after it was listed in the “hall of shame” run by Ispa. The case was dismissed with costs.

Ispa’s hall of shame lists South African companies that engage in bulk e-mail spamming, which is against the association’s code of conduct.

The Internet body says it has accepted the offer of R65 000 from Ketler in full and final settlement of costs incurred as a result of the court action.

“The court agreed with Ispa that Ketler Presentations had contravened section 45 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act of 2002 through the sending of unsolicited commercial communications, even after undertaking to Ispa that it would not do so after originally being listed in the Ispa hall of shame in 2009 as a repeat offender,” the association said in a statement.

“As Ketler Presentations and others have found to their cost, Ispa will defend its rights to take action against spammers in South Africa and, if necessary, pursue litigation aimed at protecting the rights of South African Internet consumers and ensuring a safe, accessible and equitable local Web,” said the association’s regulatory adviser, Dominic Cull, in the statement.

Ispa has received a signed undertaking from Ketler to cease spamming, Cull said. “The undertaking to observe best practice in the sending of commercial e-mail commits Ketler to ensuring that it has properly obtained the consent of any consumer to which it sends commercial e-mail.”

The company confirmed that all purchased e-mail addresses in respect of which it did not have proof of consent had been deleted from its systems, Ispa added.

“This is probably the first substantial penalty paid by a local sender of unsolicited commercial e-mail communications, even if it is indirectly,” said Cull.  — © 2014 NewsCentral Media

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