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What do you do when someone refuses to pay you? Is there anything you can do to pursue or otherwise make a company pay you for their work? After all, you are performing a valuable marketing service for the Internet. Do you have any legal rights?
The truth is you can do very little. When a spammer willingly agrees to any contract or terms and conditions before an account is created, they are at the mercy of the company they are working for, and they are forced to remain within the boundaries of the set contract. But just what are these boundaries? Let’s take a close look at the “Terms and Conditions” of USA Prescriptions, a large popular online pharmacy:
USA Prescription, Inc. policy applies to all orders: Every customer who buys a product through this program is deemed to be a customer of USA Prescription, Inc. The Participant does not have the authority to make or accept any offer on behalf of USA Prescription, Inc. All USA Prescription, Inc. policies regarding customer orders, including product availability, pricing and problem resolution, will apply to these customers. USA Prescription, Inc. is not responsible for any representations made by the Participant that contradict our policies.
No SPAM: SPAM (in any way, shape or form, including e-mail and newsgroup spamming) will result in immediate account termination. All referral fees owed up to termination date will be paid. THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING.”
USA Prescriptions will at least pay back any money owed to a spammer once their account has been terminated. This is a very generous offer since the majority of companies don’t and simply keep the money. If you agree to these terms and conditions you are agreeing to almost no legal rights, at the end of the day a spammer has no legal rights and very little to ensure that they are paid. (The legalities of spam are examined later in this book.).
Can a spammer who is loathed and hated sue a company who refuses to pay him because he sent spam? If the spam claim was missing credible evidence, maybe you could overturn the company’s decision to disable your account—after all, the only evidence a company usually receives is a complaint from another user , and is heresy. However, spammers never try to get money through the legal system. There is too much of a stigma attached to spam that no one wants to be associated with it. I often feel that companies take advantage of that fact and use it against spammers whenever possible. They know that the chances of a spammer taking them to court is very slim, so they treat them any way they want to. However, since the CAN-SPAM Act was passed, there is legal definition of what spam is and what it isn’t. I would like to see a spammer stand up to a large sales company and sue them for lost revenue.
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