If I receive email addresses unsolicited, do they become my property?

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If I receive email addresses unsolicited, do they become my property?

A company sent me an email with 52 other names attached as a cc. This email was sent to me unsolicited. Later, I used that same list to reach out for volunteers for a youth sports event I was running. I made no effort to sell anything to the people on this list. The company wants to charge me for using this list, claiming their by laws prohibit its use without license. Am I under any obligation to pay this company for their list of 53 names?

Asked on May 2, 2012 under Business Law, Virginia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you received out of the blue e mail addresses from some third party you are entitled to use such addresses for your own purposes subject to objections of the people who have such addresses.

As to the company's laws that were sent to you via the electronic transmission out of the blue, you are not bound by them since you are in contract with this company or a member of it. As such, you are under no obligation to pay this company anything for their list of the 53 names sent you.


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