MySpace Wins Verdict Against Alleged Spammer

LOS ANGELES - Social networking website MySpace can collect $6 million from an alleged spammer accused of blasting members with unsolicited advertisements, an arbitrator ruled.


The arbitrator ruled that Scott Richter and his marketing company Media Breakaway LLC, which is based in Westminster, Colo., must pay MySpace $4.8 million in damages and $1.2 million in legal fees. In addition to the settlement, the company and its employees are banned from MySpace.


In the initial complaint, MySpace claimed that Media Breakaway sent messages from accounts with information hijacked by "phishing." Media Breakaway said independent contractors hired by the company were to blame.


The judgment is not the first against Richter. Microsoft Corp. was awarded a $7 million settlement against him in 2005, and the state of New York was awarded $50,000 from him in 2004.


In May, MySpace was awarded $230 million in a U.S. District Court judgment against Internet marketers Sanford Wallace and Walter Rines.