LinkedIn has become a joke in the tech world for constantly sending unwarranted emails to accept invitations and paid accounts. Now, the joke is on the company as it finds itself in legal hot water and stands accused of spamming even more users outside of its network.

Reuters reports that Judge Lucy Koh found LinkedIn guilty of violating users' external emails accounts and stealing contacts from their address books.

With this information in tow, LinkedIn allegedly spammed email contacts in users' address books in an attempt to attract more customers to sign up for accounts.

According to the 39-page decision, LinkedIn was still acting within its boundaries to send an initial "endorsement email" to recruit users contacts to join the service. However, the social media company overstepped its privacy policy by sending repeat messages vying for more members to join the LinkedIn network.

Fair justice

In her decision, Koh shamed the act of sending multiple messages, noting it could "injure users' reputations by allowing contacts to think that the users are the types of people who spam their contacts or are unable to take the hint that their contacts do not want to join their LinkedIn network."

As repentance for LinkedIn's actions, Koh's decision also allows customers to pursue a lawsuit against the company for violating a California unfair competition law and users' right of publicity.

The latter protects individuals' names from being used without permission for commercial purposes, such as advertising LinkedIn memberships.

In the future LinkedIn may face a class action lawsuit for damages caused by the company's implied email harvesting and improper marketing.

Previously Koh ruled that Gmail users could purse a lawsuit against Google for its email scanning practices, which the company allegedly used to generate targeted advertisements.