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Company Hopes Spam Lawsuit Sends A Message

October 17, 2011, 7:06 AM by Austin Hoffman

Company Hopes Spam Lawsuit Sends A Message
SIOUX FALLS, SD - People who have an email account know how easily spam can take over an inbox. Now, a Sioux Falls company is trying to change all that.

Gage E-Services is an enterprise company that provides everything from e-mails to websites. And after spending time and money on the battle against spam, the company decided to take it to court.

Matt Gage with Gage E-Services says sending e-mail spam, or unsolicited bulk email, is no different than someone stealing a candy bar from the store, except in the case of spam, it's bandwidth, disk space and processors instead.

"All those things that go into supplying those services to our end users are taken up and can't be used somewhere else for that time and it's a time killer for hundreds and hundreds of clients a day," Gage said.

So, Gage decided to take a stand. After receiving a few junk mails from Absolute Performance out of Boulder, Colorado, Gage took it to the courts. And the law might be on his side. In 2007, the state of South Dakota passed a law protecting people against spam.

"It doesn't outlaw spam, it just says if you're going to send e-mail advertisements out, you have to start it off with the three letters ADV and then colon," attorney Patrick Glover said.

Glover, who's with Meierhenry Sargent in Sioux Falls, is prosecuting the case.

"The statues allow for, on the civil side, damages of your actual damages for the e-mail, having received it, liquated damaged, which are just essentially, this is an amount that you get of $1000 per email with a million dollar cap," Glover said.

Gage says it's now about the bigger picture.

"It's about what it does to me as an enterprise provider, providing services to hundreds and hundreds of companies in their regions. And if you look at my spam logs, I'll delete half a million e-mails this month that will never hit my clients inbox,"

And he says if that doesn't stop, it won't be junk mail but higher prices passed on to those clients.

Gage E-Services is suing Absolute Performance for a total of $24,000.

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