March 27 2002 - France Cabinet Caprioli Avocats
Court affirms ISPs' right to cut off spammers

The Superior Court of Paris has issued an interesting ruling in Monsieur P V v Société Liberty Surf et Société Free, in which the plaintiff alleged "abusive termination" after his two internet service providers (ISPs) cut off his service in response to his spamming.

Free and Liberty Surf had asked the plaintiff on several occasions to stop sending bulk unsolicited commercial email, but the plaintiff refused. The ISPs then terminated his access to the Internet and the plaintiff sued.

The court ruled that spamming is regarded by the internet community as a disloyal and highly disruptive practice which is contrary to 'netiquette'. The court went on to say that because the plaintiff breached his contractual obligations with the ISPs, they were right to block his access to the Internet.

This is the second time a French court has made such a ruling. In 2001, in the case of Monsieur Christophe G v SA France Télécom Interactive, another superior court held that an ISP could block the access of a person who had been spamming a newsgroup.

Cédric Manara, Cabinet Caprioli Avocats, Nice