Friday, October 30, 2009

U.S. v. Kilbride (9th Cir. - Oct. 28, 2009)

There's a lot about Judge Betty Fletcher's opinion in this case that's very good. Including a nice (and accurate) primer about how lower courts properly interpret and apply precedent from a fractured Supreme Court opinion in which there's no majority opinion. Plus a good application of those principles as applied to the present case, which involves (inter alia) obscenity convictions in an internet spam case in which there's a huge fight about what "community" a jury is supposed to use in applying "community standards" when the alleged obscenity is transmitted over the web to a gazillion people.

But what I especially liked, wholly beyond the doctrinal stuff, was the mere fact that these two spammers -- Jeffrey Kilbride and James Schaffer -- get sentenced to do real time (around five to six years each) for their conduct. The dudes sent out unsolicited porn to so many people that the FTC alone received 662,000 complaints. Do you realize how much spam you have to send out to get over half a million people off their butts to complain? Wow. That's a lot of spam.

My in box thanks you, United States. So does my wife. Two less worldwide spammers is a good start. As is the deterrent to others.