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Court challenge to AOL junk-mail blocks
I wouldn't personally use AOL in any event, but their use of
their computers is their business. I do have some doubts as to whether
AOL subscribers necessarily signed on for this - as noted on the
list-managers list, a consent arrangement would thus be preferable. The
other argument of the Cyber Promotions jerks is nonsense - how does AOL
blocking affect the rest of the Internet?
>PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sep 6, 1996 12:23 p.m. EDT) -- A federal judge has =
>ordered America Online to stop blocking up to 1.8 million "junk" e-mail =
>files flooding subscribers' electronic mailboxes daily from a =
>Philadelphia marketing firm.
>Pending a trial tentatively scheduled for Nov. 12, U.S. District Judge =
>Charles R. Weiner ordered AOL Thursday to lift the block on Cyber =
>Promotions' mailings. Weiner is presiding over a suit Cyber Promotions =
>Inc. filed accusing AOL of trying to drive it out of business.
>Cyber Promotions controls three of the five sites blocked by AOL. The =
>others -- one that distributes software to create bulk e-mail lists and =
>one that had sent out ads for Internet video porn -- were not affected =
>by Weiner's order.
>AOL attorney David Phillips said the company was considering an appeal. =
>He said AOL customers had been "complaining vociferously about Cyber =
>Promotions' junk mail."
>Sanford A. Wallace, the president of Cyber Promotions, was pleased about =
>"We feel that America Online has violated the civil rights of their =
>members and has violated our rights to send e-mail through the Internet, =
>which AOL does not own," he said.
>Although unsolicited mail sent through the post office in the United =
>States is not considered illegal, the rules have yet to be defined in =
>cyberspace. The larger services -- AOL, Prodigy and Compuserve -- all =
>have policies forbidding mass junk mailings