In the "No way, this can't be happening in America" department, we have good citizens David Ritz and Ed Falk being sued for saying the truth about Jerry Reynolds being a spammer on a usenet group over 6 years ago.
You can download a zip of all the legal docs here.
Here's how Mary Hodder explains it:
Posted by Lisa at November 07, 2005 11:13 AM
He's apparently filed (complaint here) SLAPP suits against two people, David Ritz and Ed Falk, who found that in the late 1990's, he was the largest spammer online (email wasn't so big then, but he had the largest porn spam operation on UUnet, with Sexzilla and Netzilla which were registered to Jerry Reynolds). And now he's using C&D's and these lawsuits to get whatever traces of the information that documents his spam and porn operation off of Google including search results and groups. He denies owning the site, btw, even though he was listed as administrative contact.
Reynolds has even gone so far as to subpoena Ritz' and Falk's computers and put a gag order on one, but the other one is out of jurisdiction (the suit is in North Dakota, though Falk lives and does business in CA).
Tomorrow, Ed Falk has to give a copy of all his computer harddrives to lawyers, who are still fighting over the jurisdiction issue. I think though that if this case went before a judge in CA, it would immediately be dismissed. All the evidence shows Reynolds was the SpamKing in 1999. Unfortunately, though, the case won't be resolved before Reynolds costs these guys thousands of dollars, and not before he has stopped at least Ritz from speaking out about the case.
The most recent lawsuits and C&D's have been filed by John Doe's or by Reynold's company, Sierra Corporate Designs.
The thing that is so despicable about this is not that he was once the biggest spammer and has moved on to other sorts of (legitimate?) business, but rather, that he would use the courts to have a few pieces of information about his old spam work removed, as if he were trying to rewrite history and squash people's rights to free speech. He was tracked as a spammer early in the 90's, but hit a peak in 1997 with porn spam, at least as far as UUNet / Usenet was concerned. He actually helped kill that community by turning it into a garbage heap for spam. And now he wants to evade responsibility for it. And in the process, cost Ritz and Falk a lot of money and time, defending the truth. Disgusting!
Read more about the lawsuit here.