Does a spam investigator need a license?

Joel "Jay" Fink’s business is at risk – that business being a wonderfully niche endeavor involving a hunt through your spam archive looking for things that may be legally actionable against the spam sender – it sounds like my dream job, honestly. Anyway, the risk comes from the State of California, who said that he needed a private investigator’s license if he’s going to continue to charge people to dig through their spam folders for them.

John Levine wrote about this for CircleID back in January. At that point, Fink had sued the state (with the help of Libertarian public interest law firm Institute for Justice), the state requested dismissal of the case, and the court had said only … hey, wait a minute, let’s pause and take a look at this.

Jump forward to now. Jay hasn’t won the case (yet?) but he was recently granted a preliminary injunction that allows him to continue his spam investigation business while the case proceeds.

Here’s more on that win from law professor and well-known opinionated person Eugene Volokh.

And John Levine posted an update on this topic recently, as well.

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