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Porn lands spammer heavy fine

Henderson, Nevada- A US porn outfit has been fined $465,000 fine for sending explicit e-mail, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced.

The settlement with TJ Web Productions LLC is the fifth after the FTC announced a crackdown on sexually explicit spam in July 2005, when the agency charged seven companies with violating a U.S. law requiring warning labels on sexually explicit e-mail.

Including the TJ Web settlement, the FTC has collected more than $1.6 million in civil penalties from the five companies, the FTC said.

The FTC’s Adult Labelling Rule and the CAN-SPAM Act, passed by Congress in late 2003, required commercial e-mailers of sexually explicit material to use the phrase, “sexually explicit,” in the subject line, and to ensure that the initially viewable area of the message did not contain graphic sexual images. The rule and the law also required that unsolicited commercial e-mail gave recipients a way to opt out of receiving future e-mail.

Under the proposed settlement, TJ Web is permanently prohibited from violating the FTC’s Adult Labeling Rule. The company also is permanently prohibited from violating the CAN-SPAM Act by initiating commercial e-mail without clearly and conspicuously displaying a physical postal address without also including an opt-out mechanism.

TJ Web, based in Henderson, Nevada, did not send e-mail directly to consumers, but it operated an affiliate marketing program and paid others to send e-mail on its behalf, the FTC said. TJ Web operates “dozens” of adult Web sites containing sexually explicit photographs and videos, according to the FTC complaint.

The proposed settlement, which requires court approval, also forces TJ Web to obtain agreement from affiliates that they will comply with the terms of the court order.

Although TJ Web has a Web site, there is no contact information listed nor does the company have a published telephone number, so no one there could be reached for comment.

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