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Among other restrictions, the law prohibits companies from sending spam with headers that misleads the recipient into believing the e-mail is noncommercial or comes with offers of “free” products that aren’t true.

The law also requires a way for Internet consumers to “opt out” of receiving any more spam from a sender.

Balsam said he has more than 40 small claims victories and several more in higher courts, mostly alleging the receipt of misleading advertising.

In November, he won a $4,000 judgment against Various Inc., an “adult-oriented” social media company that controls AdultFriendFinder.com.

A judge sided with Balsam, who sued after he received four identical e-mails sent to four different accounts with the identical subject line “Hello my name is Rebecca, I love you.” It’s the fourth time he’s beat Various in court.

The company is appealing the latest ruling and a hearing is scheduled for Jan. 5 in San Francisco Superior Court.

Balsam certainly isn’t the average Internet consumer.

When San Mateo Superior Court Judge Marie Weiner in March ordered Trancos Inc. to pay Balsam $7,000 for sending spam that recipients couldn’t stop, she noted that he has more than 100 e-mail addresses.

Balsam has filed lawsuits and got settlements and judgments from companies small and large.

He has sued the Stockton Asparagus Festival and embroiled himself in contentious litigation with Tagged.com, the country’s third largest social networking site. Balsam noted in his lawsuit that Time magazine dubbed it “the world’s most annoying Web site.”

Tagged.com shot back with a lawsuit of its own, accusing Balsam of threatening to violate terms of an earlier settlement by telling the company he was planning to post terms of the agreement on his website.

Balsam is fighting the lawsuit and a lawyer for Tagged.com didn’t return a phone call seeking comment.

Balsam has also been sued by Valueclick Inc. for allegedly breaching settlement agreements by exposing confidential terms, which he denies.

Balsam, who in his anti-spam zeal frequently views matters in absolutes such that anyone who disagrees with him must be villainous,” lawyers for Valueclick Inc. stated in a 2007 lawsuit accusing Balsam of disclosing terms of a settlement.

The lawsuit was later dismissed in San Francisco Superior Court and Balsam declined to discuss the case other than to say it was “resolved.”

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