A Weblog About Topics and Issues Discussed in the Book Spam Kings by Brian McWilliams

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December 28, 2005

Site claims $3.5M damages from spam blacklist

COMPLAINT.gifChapter 9 of Spam Kings gets into some of the back story on the 2003 lawsuit against a group of anti-spammers known as the Nanae Nine. Since then, there have been a number of other lawsuits against spam blacklist operators and the like (e.g., Spamcop, Joe Jared, et al.) But the latest litigation seems especially ironic.

Richard M. Scoville, editor of a site called the Free Speech Store, is suing the operators of the Abusive Hosts Block List (AHBL) for $3.525 million.

On December 17, Scoville got a Texas county court to issue a temporary restraining order, forcing the AHBL to remove his site's IP address ( - Road Runner Commercial) from its anti-spam blocklist until the case is litigated.

I haven't seen the complaint yet, but Scoville apparently alleges that the AHBL operators have caused him "emotional distress" and "continuing damages to personal business credit," among other harms.

Scoville has apparently been on a personal vendetta against one of the AHBL operators, Brian Bruns. There are currently some 152 articles at Scoville's site that mention Bruns. Like all the other articles at FreeSpeechStore.com, you'll have to pay to view them. (As Scoville has explained, "Speech is Free, only information or data has a cost.")

Over the years, Scoville has earned lots of detractors in the anti-spam world for his online behavior.

Operators of the AHBL are asking for donations to offset costs of lawyering up. But Scoville has threatened to sue (as a "co-conspirator") anyone who donates to the AHBL legal defense fund.

Scoville certainly posts a lot of messages to Usenet, garnering himself a reputation as a Usenet Kook. And he apparently sends some unsolicited emails to a variety of people. But it's probably a huge stretch to call this guy a spam king.

Posted by brian at December 28, 2005 1:49 PM


Whatever people say about Freespeechstore.com, it has a right to exist.

Posted by: Mr Dave at December 29, 2005 4:17 AM

The nutcase has no right to spam usenet with his "see my site about what 'someone' wrote about you"
messages. If this is what amounts to a "slapp" suit, then it should fail. Else there will be more nutjobs out there opening more sites like this and more usenet spam about them. Abuse is abuse, and AHBL lists exactly on its criteria - to include known net host abusers.

Posted by: Anonymous at December 29, 2005 11:41 AM

Hey Dave - maybe you should have a gander at the freespeechstore website before you make a comment that he has a right to exist. I also have a right to ensure that ONLY true information is posted about me... it's not the case with Scoville. He is a true internet villian and will get what's coming to him some day.

Posted by: Anti Mr Dave at December 29, 2005 3:45 PM

Hey I know Scoville, he hates kids and small animals. Real nutcase.

Posted by: Gordon at December 30, 2005 12:37 AM

Mr. Scoville has an ongoing netkop k00k vendetta with several people in Canada. He goes to the point of Criminal Harrassment. He will contact his targets employers, ISPs, anyone he thinks will assist in his NetNazi censorship campaign. In on case his target is a area firefighter, Dick has been e-mailing the Fire Chief, Town Council, media almost daily since July 2005. The target's sin was to ask for proof on Scoville libelous statements posted to usenet, and archived on his pay-site. My case I am targetted by a nutbar, that I gave evidence against in a cyber-stalking, stalking and Criminal Harrassment case (still pending) the suspect in an attempt to undermine my credibilty forged usenet posts in my name via dizum.com and several other anonymous mail2news gateways, stating I am a gay paedophile and solicitates for sex, while posting my real name, address, e-mail and phone numbers. This suspect clearly pointed Scoville and I became a target of him. The Ottawa Police is communicating with the US and Texas Attorney's Generals to see what if any charges can be laid.

Scoville is a menace, and a simple Google search will reveal his history.

Posted by: Darrell at December 30, 2005 1:29 AM

In my personal opinion, and from my other collegues in various countries, I do believe
private SPAM and Abusive Block Lists are the
problem of the internet electronic mail and
therefore webmasters.
Backlists should be minimized and controled by
the government so rules will be fair and apply
to everyone as law.
There are several private black lists around
the world and there is no reason why to trust
who operates behind them other than having
either your own company blacklist or a
trustworthy federal or governement regulated
To conclude, i add the fact in definition
that Mr. Scoville might not be the first
or the last but until unity arises, we will
never be able to compete against spam or
internet abusers inthe right proper way.
Gates and J

Posted by: Gates at January 9, 2006 12:55 AM

Wow Gates, your an absolute retarded idiot! You have the freedom to use or not use a blocklist, so if you don't trust them, don't use them. That is like saying the Government should regulate the media so we all know it is "fair & balanced" reporting. What a tard!

Posted by: Peter Cornstalk at January 9, 2006 11:18 PM

I proudly use ahbl.org and I have personally spoken with mr. scoville. He is a manipulative abuser that acts like a baby and bully when he doesn't get his way.

As a internet provider I have the right to refuse service to or from anyone. If my customers don't like it they can choose another provider, but you know what my customers thank me everyday from protecting them from leeched like fss.com Speech should be free, but that doesn't mean people HAVE to listen to you.

Posted by: Lawman at February 24, 2006 4:29 PM


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