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DATE News (chronologically)
11/04/12
f1
F1 circuit sues former web host over Hellmund video
Almost two weeks ago, thousands of Circuit of the Americas email subscribers received a message touting “Must See — Circuit of the Americas History Video!”

Those curious enough to click on the link — perhaps as many as 12,000, according to the circuit — saw what looked like a mistake: a 12-minute YouTube video of former circuit partner Tavo Hellmund talking during several press conferences and interviews.

Now, Circuit of the Americas organizers are suing Dallas-based Rocket Red in district court in Travis County about that email, claiming its subscriber list was compromised. Circuit officials said that the unauthorized message, from F1 COTA News, was sent to a subscriber list that existed in January 2011, which is about the time the circuit’s contract with Rocket Red to manage its website was terminated.

The circuit also claims that Rocket Red registered the domain www.f1cotanews.com two weeks ago.

Circuit officials are demanding that Rocket Red cease using the circuit’s mailing list and identify anyone who might possess that list.

“The unauthorized email has caused COTA’s subscribers to believe that COTA is violating the law, the terms of its privacy policy and the express representations on its website,” the circuit contends. “The inference is extremely damaging to COTA’s reputation and goodwill and will likely reduce the effectiveness of subsequent COTA mailings using its subscriber list.”

In a response, Rocket Red’s attorney Maricela Moore said the company did not retain the circuit’s client list and was not at liberty to provide any information about its clients.

Circuit officials claim to have more than 130,000 email subscribers and said access to that list is limited to certain senior employees and the web host.

They said the video of Hellmund had been viewed 371 times before the email was released and 12,780 times one week after it was sent.

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