EarthLink ( ELNK) said it won a $16.4 million judgment against a man the company accuses of sending more than 825 million spam emails over the past year.

But don't go rewriting your EarthLink financial estimates just yet.

On Wednesday, a U.S. District Court judge granted the Internet service provider's requests for monetary damages and injunctive relief against Howard Carmack, of Buffalo, N.Y. EarthLink has dubbed him the "Buffalo Spammer."

EarthLink says the court's order forbids Carmack from illegally spamming any user on the Internet, and empowers private individuals and other ISPs to bring legal action against Carmack.

Whether EarthLink will collect any money, however, is unclear. "In our view, the monetary award isn't the most important thing," says an EarthLink spokesman, who acknowledges the company doesn't know whether Carmack will pay up or even stop spamming. "We don't have any guarantee that he won't do that again," says the spokesman, "but he would be breaking the law if he were to do so."

EarthLink's shares fell 12 cents Wednesday to close at $6.08.

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