In short: a Florida non-profit called EMARKETERSAMERICA.ORG, operated by one Mark Edward Felstein, Esq. (yes, a lawyer) has filed suit in a Federal District Court in Florida against a number of anti-spam organizations and spam fighters. Oh, and a registrar. It is widely believed that Felstein is acting on behalf of several well-known spammers that have been listed by SpamHaus and SPEWS, and that have had their connectivity terminated by their ISPs. It is widely believed that this is a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) and a "fishing expedition" in an attempt to find out who operates SPEWS, a blocklist operated anonymously.

Legal Defense Fund

Wednesday, May 7, 2003

SpamCon Foundation Creates Legal Fund; First case named: EMarketersAmerica v., et al

SpamCon Foundation

The SpamCon Legal Fund is currently collecting tax-deductible donations to support the defendants in this case. You can make a donation at: The SpamCon Foundation Legal Fund

A personal note from the editor of this web page: Word has it that the defendant's legal expenses have far out-stripped what's been collected so far in donations. These good people are fighting to help keep email usable for us all.
Please make a donation today!

SpamCon itself could also really use some direct support. They're not taking a dime for handling the legal fund.

As posted to by Adam Brower...

Subject: SpamCon fund endorsed by defendants
Message-ID: <3EB961EB.DA3CE454-at-faceville-dot-com>
Reply-To: adam-at-faceville-dot-com
Date: Wed, 07 May 2003 14:43:39 -0500
Organization: read by dave null - use my real addy
From: adam brower 

on behalf of the defendants in EMarketersAmerica v., et al,
i would like to express our gratitude to the good people at
SpamCon and to let everybody know that we endorse, encourage,
and are very grateful for any contributions made at:


GoogleTM archive of adam's post to

Random Link To slapp.pdf or "Mirror" Sites

This is the original lawsuit filed by

Here's your random link to slapp.pdf (Adobe Acrobat reader 4 or later required)

Here's a list of the 16 mirror URLs known to me. The currently selected mirror is a link.
If the link you were given above doesn't work, please hit refresh/reload for another.

Straight-Text Transcription of slapp.pdf

If you're "PDF-impaired", here's a hand-entered straight-text transcription of the document, kindly provided by Mark Ferguson. Here's the GoogleTM archive of his post to Thanks, Mark!

Temporary Restraining Order Requested and Denied

Apr. 25, 2003

Felstein/EMARKETERSAMERICA.ORG filed for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). The Court turned them down.

Here are copies of the Court documents:

Emergency Ex-Parte Motion For Temporary Restraining Order And Preliminary Injunction (pdf)
Order Denying Plaintiff's Emergency Motion For Temporary Restraining (pdf)

Both of the above documents will require Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Order Denying Plaintiff's Emergency Motion For Temporary Restraining (straight text transcription)

Spamhaus response to EMarketersAmerica SLAPP Suit

As posted to by Steve Linford...
Subject: Spamhaus response to EMarketersAmerica SLAPP Suit
Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2003 02:28:19 +0100
Organization: The Spamhaus Project
From: Steve Linford 

Since the lawyer for EMarketersAmerica is conveying postings regarding 
EMarketersAmerica in this newsgroup to the court, lawyer Mark Felstein 
will please take note that Spamhaus' answer to case 03-80295 is at the 
following URL:

Mark Felstein is hereby requested to convey this answer to the Florida 

  Steve Linford
  The Spamhaus Project
GoogleTM archive of his post to

Defendants Respond!

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Defendants Response (416K PDF)

A Plea From The Defendants

As posted to to by Steve Linford...
From: Steve Linford <linford-at-spamhaus-dot-org>
Subject: Re: SLAPP update
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 10:41:40 +0100
Organization: The Spamhaus Project
Message-ID: <>

The fun is about to start and it's going to be a ride the spammers 
wished they'd never got on. What we do need however is that as PACER 
documents become available, any defense statements/demands contained in 
them are not discussed on NANAE or any public forum, as Felstein will be 
desperate for a way out and will almost certainly be scouring NANAE for 
hints to save both his ass and his 'members' asses. Hoots and Hollers 
are fine ;-) we just need complete quiet on strategies and statements.
  Steve Linford
  The Spamhaus Project
GoogleTM archive of Steve's post to

Motions To Dismiss

Saturday, Sep. 6, 2003
Defendants Motion To Dismiss (3476K PDF), filed Sep. 3, 2003

The next day, Mark Felstein filed a "Notice of voluntary dismissal with prejudice." You can see the entry in Bruce Pennypacker's mirror of the PACER summary. (dead link as of 2004.09.20) See FelsteinCrysUncle.pdf, just below.

Felstein Tries To Escape, Doesn't Quite Make It

Posted Thursday, Sep. 25, 2003
FelsteinCrysUncle.pdf (32k PDF) (This is Felstein's "Notice of voluntary dismissal with prejudice.")
FelsteinReturns.pdf (37k PDF)
DemandforLegalFees.pdf (934k PDF)
DefendantsExperts.pdf (79k PDF)

Felstein Pokes Pete Wellborn With A Stick

Posted Friday, Oct. 3, 2003
PorkchopPorkchopPorkchop.pdf (81k PDF)
Felsteinwillnotpay.pdf (366k PDF)

In case you're wondering about the relevance of the filename "PorkchopPorkchopPorkchop.pdf," here's an excerpt from the Usenet news post that inspired it:

From: (Gary S.  Callison)
Subject: Re: Secret Diaries of the FTC conference: Day 3 & wrapup
Message-ID: <jHLsa.1675$>
Date: Sat, 03 May 2003 09:09:35 GMT

                                 ... Pete Wellborn doesn't seem like the
kind of guy you'd like to cross, but holy shit if you ever have to face
this guy across the aisle, I think your only option is to pull the
sandwich out of your briefcase and start beating it against your forehead
and yelling "I CAN'T FIND MY MOUTH! I CAN'T FIND MY MOUTH!". Then, when
the bailiffs take you away somewhere and eventually send in a shrink, just
sit in the middle of the room in the lotus position, twiddling your thumbs
and chanting "PORK CHOP PORK CHOP PORK CHOP" no matter what happens.
Because then they'll find you legally 'apeshit nuts' (it's a legal term) 
and you won't wind up losing a zillion dollars and going to jail for
twelve forevers served consecutively. He's that good. He's like, the
coolest lawyer ever. I am insanely happy to know that he's a spamfighter.
GoogleTM archive of Huey's post, in full, to

I sincerely hope I haven't contravened the defendant's wishes (see "A Plea From The Defendants,") by mentioning this. I must also note that, much as I'd like to take credit for it, the filename was actually the idea of "the anonymous one with the PACER account."

Case Closed!

Posted Friday, Oct. 14, 2003
Well, it looks like it's all over, folks. As posted to to by Bruce Pennypacker...
From: Bruce Pennypacker <abuse-at-directhit-dot-com>
Subject: Re: SLAPP update - case closed!
Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 16:05:11 -0400
Organization: Ask Jeeves, Inc.
Message-ID: <bmf0hn$km2$>

Bruce Pennypacker wrote:
> This just in...  The judge in this case apparently accepted Felsteins 
> motion to dismiss with prejudice.  The updated PACER summary will be on 
> my website shortly.

The site is updated, but for those too impatient to go check it out 
here's the relevent entry from the PACER summary:

granting [35-1] motion to dismiss this case pursuant to
rule 41. This case is DISMISSED with PREJUDICE. The Clerk
of Court shall CLOSE this CASE and DENY all pending motions
as MOOT. (Signed by Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks on
10/9/03) [EOD Date: 10/10/03] (at) [Entry date 10/10/03]

followed by:

CASE CLOSED. Case and Motions no longer referred to
Magistrate. (at) [Entry date 10/10/03]


Yes, the e-mail address in the header is valid, however it goes to
a public folder that other people can read.  If you want to e-mail
me privately use my first name @ my last name . org.

No, I do not speak in any formal way for my company.
GoogleTM archive of Bruce's post to

Despite the fact this case is closed, please, please donate to the The SpamCon Foundation Legal Fund! The defendants are on the hook for some serious legal fees, and the fund needs to be built-up after that, for the next time.

Media Coverage...

(In more-or-less chronological order)
Florida spammers sue anti-spam group (The Register)
Spammers Sue Anti-Spam Groups (Slashdot)
E-Mail Marketers Sue Antispammers (PCWorld)
Blacklisted E-Mailers Sue Anti-Spam Groups (Washington Post)
Spammers Sue Spam Fighters (AVN Online)
E-mail marketers sue antispammers (MacCentral)
Block our Viagra ads will you!!!?? (
Anti-Spammers Served With Court Papers at Forum (DMNews)
(Note that DMNews is a direct marketers' industry publication.)
Antispam fund aids blacklist (C|Net's News.Com)
Antispam fund aids blacklist (ZDNet)
Marketers serve up suit against spam blockers (South Florida Business Journal)
Spamhaus Responds To Spammers' Lawsuit (Slashdot)
A deluge of e-mailed spam seems to spring from Boca (Sun-Sentinel: South Florida)
Boca stamping itself spam capital (Palm Beach Post)
So Far, Spam Suit More Sideshow Than Substance (DMNews)
Spammers Fight Back in Court (Wired)
Anti-spam activists get legalled by marketeers (the inquirer)
Damn spam! (Creative Loafing Atlanta)
Spammed if You Do, Spammed if you don't! (Eugene Weekly)
Spammed If You Do, Spammed If You Don't (Reno News & Review)
Spam Slayer: Spam Fighters Battered (PCWorld)
No Truce in the Spam Wars (Wired)
Mystery Marketing Group Caves on Spam Suit (DMNews)
Anti-Spam Forces Forge Ahead in Court (lexisONE)
Anti-Spam Forces Forge Ahead in Court (Newsday)
Anti-Anti-Spam Group Gets Self in Legal Trouble (Marketing Wonk)
Anti-Spammers Win Major Court Battle (Slashdot)
Spam fighters defeat nuisance junk mail lawsuit (The Register)

Other Links

LawMeme at the Yale Law School analyzes's lawsuit in Now It's the Spammers Who're Suing
Florida spammers sue anti-spam groups (HW Support)

Bruce Pennypacker is providing updates from PACER information at (dead link as of 2004.09.20)


Mostly humorous stuff related to the lawsuit. Or not.

What about's own page? Well, it seems GoDaddy, their registrar and the folks they chose to host it, apparently doesn't think much of, as evidenced by
Update: As of Tuesday, 29 Apr., 2003, that URL doesn't even resolve anymore. In the words of one poster to "It's dead, Jim."
Update: As of Sunday, 11 May, 2003, nearly three weeks after Steve Linford reported being served, it appears that EMarketersAmerica finally managed to get it up. Congratulations are in order!

You'll see why this one's listed here, rather than under "Media Coverage" soon enough... Fights for Free Speech in the Nation's Capital Against ( via P.R. Newswire)

Against what? Yes, that appears to be the full title of the press release. (That's what it is, an un-edited press release from Mark Felstein.)

Mark Felstein at the FTC spam conference in Washington, D.C.:
"This man's assaulting me!" yelled Mark Felstein, director and chief counsel of Inc., as the roughly 300 people at the Federal Trade Commission's first spam conference broke for lunch yesterday.
One eyewitness account has it that Felstein "bumped into" somebody else as the room was emptying for lunch. (The Washington Post TechNews article, link below, has a different take.)
Felstein, who was shouted down during a panel session when he tried to question a panelist he has sued, ...
It seems Felstein tried to question one of the panelists "on the record" regarding his personal involvement, or lack thereof, with one of the DNS blocklists. He was instructed by the panel moderator to sit down. He persisted. He was finally larted by FTC Commissioner Orson Swindle.

Story at Spam Issue a Meaty One (NewsDay) (dead link - however the Defendants Motion To Dismiss PDF contains a copy in the Exhibits) and Spam and a Case of Dyspepsia (Washington Post TechNews)


May 3, 2003

I had a chance to "talk" with adam this morning, and naturally I asked him about the "assault incident" right off. Here's the inside skinny:

  Me: So, adam, give us the skinny: what *really* happened with
      that "assault" thing?
adam: bupkis
      in fact, it wasn't even me
      i had my back to the mope, and he ran into me, not knowing
      it was me
      i turned and fixed him with my dreaded steely stare and said
      "you do NOT want to run into me"
      he quavered, then started shouting
      at that point the commish (6'3", appx. 250 lb.) grabbed him
      by the shoulders and propelled him toward the egress

A Certain Lawyer has his petition to be admitted to the N.Y. Bar denied, June 6, 2003.

Would you hire this man to be your lawyer? (From Mark Felstein, lawyer? at

Admittedly, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the case at hand, but one may find reading JOHN W. BRADSHAW v. UNITY MARINE CORPORATION, INC., and PHILLIPS PETROLEUM COMPANY an amusing diversion. I know I did :).

Here's another link to a copy of that decision.

This page was just a quick hack. I'll add more content related to this suit as time allows.

Page Created: 23 Apr., 2003 / Last updated: 20 Sep., 2004

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