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Re: Court challenge to AOL junk-mail blocks
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At 12:27 PM 9/7/96 -0700, Declan McCullagh wrote:
>If AOL wants to stop spammers, let them. They have every right to do so as
>long as their agreement with their customers permits it. It's a matter of
>contract law between AOL and its customers and should not involve the
>spammers and a lawsuit brought by the spammers.
>It seems as though the judge was snookered by the spammers' claim of U.S.
>Mail-like service, free speech, blah. The right to free speech does
>extend to corporations; in that way, it includes the right *not* to speak.
Declan raises a good point. But I'm guessing it's a bit more complex than
that. CyberPromo and AOL lawyers tell me the court slapped down AOL simply
to "keep the status quo." Both sides used those very words, in fact.
What's more, CyberPromo talks a good game on the First Amendment, but used
computer fraud and unfair competition statutes - not the Bill of Rights - in
its original filing against AOL. So what's going on?
It seems Weiner is _very_ aware that this case deals with things never
before argued in court. No one has really sorted out just how much e-mail -
if any - an ISP is obligated to carry against its wishes. What Weiner
decides this fall may not set the kind of precendent that the case of the
Pentagon Papers did, but will be important for a while at least.
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