An American court has made a landmark ruling in favour of MySpace in a case that will send shivers through the spamming community.
US District Judge Audrey Collins has awarded MySpace a record $230m in a case against two US-based spammers.
Sanford (or "Spamford" as he is frequently called) Wallace and his partner Walter Rines were not there in court as the judge handed down what is claimed to be the largest ever judgement in an anti-spam case.
The judge found the duo guilty of orchestrating a phishing scam, which was designed to harvest MySpace login credentials.
They then bombarded members with messages advertising gambling and porn websites.
According to Associated Press, as many as 730,000 bogus messages were sent to MySpace members - many of whom were fooled because they were designed to look like MySpace messages from friends.
MySpace claimed that there were hundreds of complaints and it also had to foot some "delivery-related costs".
In the meanwhile, the spammers apparently netted around $555,850 from the start of the campaign in late-2006.
The judge has now, however, fined the pair the maximum amount - $160.4m jointly for violations of CAN-SPAM act, and Rines was also fined an additional $63.4m.
In addition, they fined $1.5m for violations of California's anti-phishing law and ordered to pay $4.7m in legal fees.
But MySpace's actual chances of getting its money are pretty slim as no one actually knows where Wallace is.
Another case against a third spammer, Scott Richter, is pending.
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