Microsoft Corp. will be giving $5 million of its recent settlement back to the spam-fighting community, and America Online Inc. will be giving away loot gathered from a spam settlement.
Earlier this week, Microsoft posted an open letter from Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith, which explained that the self-dubbed "Spam King" Scott Richter had agreed to pay the company $7 million in damages.
The letter said that after Microsoft used that money to cover the legal expenses, the company would "reinvest almost every [remaining] penny from this settlement."
"Well dedicate $5 million dollars to increase our Internet enforcement efforts and expand technical and investigative support to help law enforcement address computer-related crimes," the letter said.
Also as part of the settlement, Richter has agreed to comply with federal and state anti-spam laws, only sending e-mail to those whove requested it.
Before the lawsuit, the letter said, Richter sent, and helped others send, more than 38 billion e-mails per year.
The lawsuit began in 2003 after Richter told Microsoft to "stick it" when the company approached him and offered him a $100,000 settlement.
"Spam has grown from an annoyance to a threat," the letter added. "Through new laws and enforcement actions here and around the globe, spammers are getting the message: Illegal spam is a riskier way to make a living."