By Matthew Kalman
Jerusalem—A judge in Tel Aviv’s small-claims court has fined Tel Aviv University because the institution refused to stop sending a student unsolicited promotional e-mails.
Judge Ronen Ilan fined the university 2,000 shekels (approximately $525) plus 300 shekels ($79) in costs for violating an Israeli law that forbids sending promotional e-mails against the wishes of the recipient.
The university had argued that it supplied and owned the e-mail service, and that students checked off a box when they opened their e-mail accounts that said they agreed to receive commercial messages at the discretion of the university. The judge said the agreement was too general and must be reversible.
Guy Mor, a second-year law student and a member of the editorial board of the Tel Aviv University Law Review, received an e-mail in February promoting a course in English language for business and immediately requested in writing that his name be removed from the distribution list. The university refused on the grounds that it owned the e-mail service and that it was technically impossible to delete one student from the list. After receiving three more e-mails and three more refusals, Mr. Mor filed suit.
A person can agree to receive promotional material and afterwards change his mind, said Judge Ilan in his decision.