CLBR Seg 2: Karl Kronenberger Discusses Important Spam Ruling



Karl Kronenberger returns to our show to discuss his summary judgment victory in Timothy Dewitt v. Devry University, Inc. 

As discussed in the firm Press Release:

On June 11, 2014, the firm prevailed on behalf of its client on its summary judgment motion in Alameda Superior Court in the case of Timothy Dewitt v. Devry University, Inc., et al., No. RG12638207. In granting summary judgment to the defendants, the Court clarified how the California spam law applies to email “From” names. All of the 700-750 emails at issue contained a defendant’s brand name in the “From” name for each email. However, the plaintiff argued that the sending email addresses themselves were not “traceable” to a sender and as a result violated the California spam statute at Business & Professions Code §17529.5, under the case of Balsam v. Trancos, 203 Cal.App.4th 1083 (2012). The court disagreed, holding “that a header that identifies the businesses on whose behalf the email was sent falls within the exception to liability under sec. 17529.5(a)(2) even if the actual sender’s domain name is not traceable.”

The plaintiff also argued that the “From” name must identify the actual sender of the email, and not just the company being advertised. However, the court again disagreed, holding, “to the extent Plaintiff seeks to require email headers to identify both the business which authorized the email and the domain name of the third party authorized to transmit the email, his claim is subject to preemption [under the federal CAN-SPAM Act, 15 U.S.C. §7701, et seq.].” The Court also noted that “state law requiring an email’s ‘from’ field to include the name of the person or entity who actually sent the email or who hired the sender constitutes a ‘content or labeling requirement’ that is clearly subject to preemption.”

“This summary judgment victory is important because it shuts down an argument that spam plaintiffs’ have been making for years,” commented attorney Karl Kronenberger. “Now we have a decision that clearly states that ‘From’ names that identify the advertiser do not violate the California spam statute, even if the actual sending domain names are untraceable.”

A copy of the summary judgment decision is here.

The Internet Law Center also recently won a dismissal of case brought by DeWitt.  The order from that case is available here: 04368057-Page0-3-2

Karl - headshotABOUT KARL

On issues relating to Internet law, media & technology, Karl Kronenberger is an indispensable asset and trusted advisor for his clients. Karl has spoken as an Internet law expert on national television news programs and on industry panels, and he dedicates his entire practice to legal issues relating to the Internet. This former prosecutor and Army JAG Corps officer is both aggressive and creative in solving problems, while maintaining the highest of ethical standards.

Karl is a seasoned litigator of Internet-related legal issues. Among the many types of cases he has litigated, he has filed a multitude of Internet domain name cases in the tech-heavy Northern District of California as well as in other states. Karl has also litigated a variety of trademark infringement, trade secret and defamation cases relating to Internet matters in both state and federal courts. Karl thrives on litigating matters where the legal terrain is uncharted, as is often the case in the realm of Internet disputes.

Karl has also handled many types of transactions and business disputes for services, technology and media companies. Also, as a former general counsel to several companies, Karl has handled many of the day-to-day legal issues that both technology and non-technology companies face, from intellectual property issues, to licensing and distribution agreements, to employee matters, to vendor agreements, to domain name disputes.

Karl is a top rated attorney according to his peers and industry organizations. Karl has achieved Martindale-Hubbell’s “AV Preeminent” rating by his peers, which is a testament to the fact that a Karl’s peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence. The AV Preeminent rating is the highest rating available in the Martindale-Hubbell peer rating system. Karl has also achieved the highest AVVO rating of 10.0 out of 10.0, based on his professional achievements and industry recognition. Karl was also named a Northern California Super Lawyer in 2011.

His philosophy: “I will work diligently on every aspect of your case and keep you informed of all significant developments. Representing clients zealously, maintaining the highest ethical standards, and communicating well with clients are the foundations of my practice.”

Karl is a member of the State Bars of California, New York, Georgia and Ohio, the District Courts for the Northern, Central and Southern Districts of California, District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and a member of the American Bar Association and the Bar Association of San Francisco.

He is graduate of the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

(415) 955-1155, ext. 114


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