MAPS, 24/7 Exactis Trial Postponed Until July

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The trial pitting Mail Abuse Prevention System LLC against 24/7 Exactis has been pushed back two months until late July, giving both sides additional time to prepare their cases.


According to Mark Moran, general counsel for 24/7 Exactis, the postponement was the outcome of a mutual agreement between the two companies. The trial was originally scheduled for May 21.


"We all agreed we couldn't develop our cases in time," Moran said. "May is a very aggressive time schedule."


Anne Mitchell, MAPS' director of legal and public affairs, said she could not comment on the matter.


In late November, MAPS ,Redwood City, CA, was ordered to remove 24/7 Exactis from its Realtime Blackhole List and retract any comments it made to Internet service providers accusing the Denver firm of distributing spam.


The RBL is a list of more than 4,000 networks that MAPS considers to be friendly, or at least neutral, to spammers that use these networks either to originate or to relay spam. The service claims to block about 40 percent of all suspect e-mail.


24/7 Exactis is the e-mail marketing division of online ad network 24/7 Media Inc., New York.


MAPS originally listed 150 24/7 Exactis e-mail servers on its RBL in early November. In a statement at the time, MAPS said: "The decision to list Exactis' mail servers occurred after Exactis repudiated a previously negotiated agreement to implement measures which would have prevented unsolicited bulk and commercial e-mail from being sent through Exactis' mail servers, as well as ensuring that addresses on Exactis' own mailing lists were fully verified."


Shortly thereafter, the U.S. District Court in Denver ruled in favor of a temporary restraining order against MAPS and issued a gag order that prevented both parties from speaking about the case. Judge John Kane also ordered any other parties operating "in concert" with MAPS' RBL to remove 24/7 Exactis from any similar blacklists.


In December, Kane extended and modified the temporary restraining order to clarify the court's position that MAPS and its founder, Paul Vixie, were enjoined from interfering with the delivery of Exactis' e-mail.


MAPS and 24/7 Exactis have been at each other's throats for more than a year over 24/7 Exactis' e-mail policies. MAPS wants 24/7 Exactis to adopt verified opt-in list management practices for its e-mail lists, as well as for those of its clients. Verified opt-in refers to the practice of first asking consumers for permission to send commercial e-mail and then requiring the consumers to respond to a verification of that permission.


24/7 Exactis said it is working toward that goal but noted that its single opt-in policy is the industry norm. The company also said it does not deliver spam and that MAPS was making an issue out of fewer than a dozen complaints it received out of the 4 billion e-mails that 24/7 Exactis sent last year.


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