MAPS Wins First-Round in Spam Case

A judge Tuesday denied Harris Interactive’s request for a temporary restraining order that would have forced anti-spam organization Mail Abuse Prevention System to remove the online researcher from its “Realtime Blackhole List.”

The RBL enables clients of MAPS to block the email of companies that do not follow its anti-spam policies.

“This is an important first-round victory for us,” said MAPS spokesperson Kelly Thompson.

“The judge realized that Harris’ claim of irreparable harm to their business from being placed in the RBL wasn’t as strong as they had claimed.”

The ruling comes less than a week after Harris filed suit alleging that it was unfairly placed onto the RBL. The Harris lawsuit, which originally named America Online , Microsoft, Qwest and other ISPs along with MAPS, sought injunctive relief and monetary damages to stop ISPs from using the RBL list to block its email. The company earlier this week removed America Online’s name from the lawsuit. Interestingly, Harris said that it “believes that it is now able to fully communicate with all of its registered respondents who have AOL email addresses,” but it didn’t indicate whether the ISP giant had assisted it in getting around the MAPS list restrictions. Litigation against the other defendants will continue.

MAPS also announced Tuesday that it has retained the Internet litigation department of law firm Arent Fox. Arent Fox attorney Michael Grow, who successfully litigated the AOL v. Cyberpromo case, will be working on the case.

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