December 27, 2010, 10:57 AM — Everyone in the world who isn't a spammer hates email spam. But whereas most of us suffer our spam silently, or make feeble attempts to filter it out of our inbox, Daniel Balsam has transformed himself into a Spam Warrior.
From the Associated Press:
Eight years ago, Balsam was working as a marketer when he received one too many e-mail pitches to enlarge his breasts.
Enraged, he launched a Web site called Danhatesspam.com, quit a career in marketing to go to law school and is making a decent living suing companies who flood his e-mail inboxes with offers of cheap drugs, free sex and unbelievable vacations.
Since changing careers, Balsam has filed numerous lawsuits against spammers in San Francisco area courts. He says he's forced more than $1 million in court judgments and settlements with alleged spammers.
"I feel like I'm doing a little bit of good cleaning up the Internet," Balsam said.
The spammer attorneys he routinely faces in court have a different opinion. They claim Balsam is cynically exploiting unfair stereotypes of email spammers and making a mockery of the "law" by, you know, trying to enforce these so-called "laws" against spammers. Which leads to our latest contender for Most Ironic Comment of All Time By An Attorney:
"He really seems to be trying to twist things for a buck," said Bennet Kelley, a defense lawyer who has become Balsam's arch nemesis over the years in the rough-and-tumble litigation niche that has sprung up around spam.
And if there's anything a defense attorney for an email spammer can't abide, it's another attorney trying to twist things for a buck.
Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.