Beyond Systems v. Kraft Foods, No. 13-2137 (4th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Beyond Systems, an internet service provider, filed suit against Kraft and Connexus seeking damages under California's and Maryland's anti-spam statutes based upon several hundred e-mails which it alleges were unlawful spam. As a preliminary matter, the court concluded that Beyond Systems had Article III standing by claiming a harm: receiving spam e-mail. On the merits, the court agreed with the district court that Beyond Systems is barred from recovery because it consented to the harm underpinning its anti-spam claims. In this case, Beyond Systems created fake e-mail addresses, solely for the purpose of gathering spam; it embedded these addresses in websites so that they were undiscoverable except to computer programs that serve no other function than to find e-mail accounts to spam; it increased its e-mail storage capacity to retain a huge volume of spam; and it intentionally participated in routing spam e-mail between California and Maryland to increase its exposure to spam and thereby allow it to sue under both states' laws. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.