Villa Hosting to Use Habeas Haiku to Fight Spam

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Dutch-owned Villa Hosting has become the first Internet service provider in the Netherlands to support Habeas Inc.'s use of Japanese Haiku poetry to fight spam, the ISP said yesterday.


Palo Alto, CA-based Habeas' service trademarks and copyrights a unique set of lines, called the warrant mark, which is embedded in the subject headers of outgoing mail. A Haiku poem is included within these lines.


Villa is an Amsterdam-based ISP specializing in anti-virus and anti-spam hosting. It manages several thousand domains.


"We've been filtering spam for more than three years," John Caspers, a spokesman for Villa, said in a statement. "However, our extensive filters have increasingly been tagging opt-in mailing lists and commercial e-mails as spam due to the fact that these e-mails contain a lot of the characteristics that are also present in spam messages.


"Obviously," he said, "we do not want to decrease the effectiveness of legitimate commercial e-mail. With Habeas, we hope to have found a way to effectively distinguish spam from legitimate commercial e-mail and mailing lists."


According to Villa, copyright offers legal protection to the poetry, while the trademark allows legal protection to other parts of the e-mail's subject header. ISPs and spam filters can use this information to distinguish legitimate commercial e-mail from spam, the company said.


Called Habeas Sender Warranted Email, the service is supported by Microsoft/WebTV, Mail-Filters.com, Outblaze and a number of ISPs. EuropePR, a company that sends press releases to journalists mostly in Europe, will be the first European customer to use Habeas on a wide scale.


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