Spam king Scott Richter has cleaned up his act and turned his back on spam.
The media-friendly subject of many a lawsuit has not sent any spam since the start of the year, and has been removed from the internet's most comprehensive list of known spammers (lobby group Spamhaus's Register of Known Spam Operations (ROKSO).
The move has been greeted with some delight by industry watchers but with the gloomy caveat that spam is not likely to stop any time soon.
"It's great to see that legislation is having some effect, but one spammer going straight isn't going to have too much impact on our inboxes," said Alyn Hockey, director of research at email filtering company Clearswift. "We'd obviously be delighted if his peers followed suit, but I can't see it happening. There'll always others more than willing to pick up his mantle."
Richter was one of the more colourful and visible members of the spam community. He sold t-shirts with 'Spam-King' on them, was sued by both Microsoft and the New York attorney general and filed his company Optinrealbig for bankruptcy in March this year.
Richter's father and lawyer Steven bemoaned the situation claiming the company was proftable, if it were not for all the lawsuits. Richter's Spam-King clothing line was also closed down when Hormel foods, makers of processed meat, complained about trademark infringement.