In what Microsoft is hailing as "a victory for consumers," former self-proclaimed "spam king," Scott Richter has agreed to pay the software giant $7 million to settle its lawsuit alleging that he and his company, OptInRealBig.com illegally spammed consumers.
"The goal remains for us to separate spammers from their money," Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith told Reuters. "This is simply not going to be a profitable activity for people who engage in it."
Under terms of the settlement, Richter and his affiliated businesses also agreed to comply with federal and state laws, including CAN-SPAM, and have agreed not to send email to anyone who has not consented to receive it. The settlement is contingent upon dismissal of Richter's bankruptcy petitions before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver. In addition, Richter has agreed to submit to three years' oversight of his company's activities.
Richter, who was removed last month from the Register of Known Spam Operators maintained by the Spamhaus Project, an anti-spam and consumer advocacy group, did not admit wrongdoing, but said he had changed the way he does business.
"In response to Microsoft's and the New York attorney general's lawsuits, we made significant changes to OptInRealBig.com's emailing practices and have paid a heavy price," he said. "I am committed to sending email only to those who have requested it and to complying fully with all federal and state anti-spam laws," he said.