This is new...

From: Jack Peacock <>
Date: Tue Apr 14 18:50:57 1998

> From: Wirehead Prime []
> Not all of us ISPs are evil and unconcerned with the
> Internet. I run a
> good, solid business with a 95% customer retention rate
> calculated over 4
> years. I don't do business with spammers or pornographers and have
> written my contracts so that I can immediately terminate any customer
> that violates Netiquette. I've been yelled at about that...that I'm
> ...
> Some of us who started in the early days of commercialization
> wanted the
> Internet to be like we were used to it being when we used it
> from college
> or businesses in the late 80s and early 90s. You can thank
> CompuServe,
> AOL, and hordes of know-nothing little ISPs with wads of cash to
> substitute for business sense for the current situation.

It's easy to blame novice users and get rich quick spammers, but I can't
agree with you. I look on the 'Net as evolution in action. Right now
we have the feeding frenzy of spammers drowning us in unwanted email.
The easy, and wrong, solution is to force them to stop. The right way
is to make it uneconomical for them to send spam. How? I don't really
know, I just ignore it, sort of like background static noise on a
shortwave radio.

But consider, what kind of response rate do spammers get? Now junk
snail mailers have to actually pay per piece, although at a reduced
rate. They have to make the junk mail attractive to readers so they can
get a high enough response rate to justify the mailing. Maybe we need
the same mechanism for mass commercial postings. In other words, the
ISP specifies in the terms of service that mass commercial mailings (aka
spam) are charged at the same mailing rates as the local post office,
something around 20 cents per item. Now you have a legal means to get
back if the ISP catches a spammer, because they are liable for the
contracted costs.

And just to bring it back on topic...when consumer PCs came out (IBM,
PET, Atari, Apple, etc.) those of us who built and used "real" micros
(S-100s of course) lamented that fact that the microcomputer market was
being overrun by large corporations bent on destroying the laissez-faire
market of the mid 70s. Sound familiar?
        Jack "I use an IMSAI, not those toy computers" Peacock
Received on Tue Apr 14 1998 - 18:50:57 BST

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