Yesterday's press carried stories about Microsoft's $7 million settlement in one of its suits against a spammer. I believe the way to reduce spam is to make the risk/reward ratio unattractive to spammers.
So the big question is whether actions like this increase the risk and create enough publicity to deter other spammers.
Techdirt has a post that questions whether such amounts are a drop in the bucket, and whether it just alerts potential spammers as to how lucrative it can be.
Only time will tell - but we should applaud the efforts of those that at least try to combat spam.