[Mailman-Users] GMane?

Brad Knowles brad at stop.mail-abuse.org
Fri Feb 17 21:36:45 CET 2006

At 1:35 AM -0500 2006-02-17, John A. Martin wrote:

>  Gmane offers a public service, available to anyone, not just to some
>  "private community".

	It's the community of their users.  It doesn't matter that anyone 
could theoretically join this community, the fact of the matter is 
that most people do not currently belong to this community, and 
therefore the benefit in question is being provided to a very small 
group and the risk is being paid by someone else.

	If you read much in the way of Bruce Schneier's work, you will 
note that this is a "cost externality", which is the same factor 
which leads to the current situation with spam.

>  The fact that folks subscribe lists and use Gmane suggests that folks
>  find it to be a service there that they prefer enough to take the
>  trouble to use it.

	Fair enough.

>                      You may not prefer to read mail as if it were news
>  but there are those that do.


>  List owners may appreciate that Gmane makes their list more attractive
>  but it also provides redundancy and diversity making the list archives
>  mare robust.  Gmane gathers statistics and makes charts that can be
>  displayed on a list's web pages.

	We already have plenty of diversity.  I'm not worried about that.

	If anything, there is a bit too much diversity, which helps to 
guarantee that the community stays fractured and isolated into 
multiple different groups, each focused around their own personal 
gateway/archive/forum site, and there is a resulting cost that is 
paid to the potential greater community which could only be realized 
if it were more organized and centralized.

>  It would seem undeniable that Gmane provides a service that by some
>  measure enhances the mailing lists that it carries.

	In the view of some, yes.

	But I see lots of potential risks here, and I see that most of 
those risks will be paid by us and our members and not Gmane.  As 
such, I don't see an overall benefit being given to us or the greater 
Mailman community, and I am opposed to this so-called "service" that 
Gmane offers.

>  I fail to understand how Gmane can have taken your content without
>  your permission.  Gmane must have complied with whatever you required
>  for subscription to your lists, and their subscription would seem to
>  entitle them to "take" exactly the same content that you send, or make
>  available, to them or any other subscriber.  You speak as if you view
>  what you give any other subscriber as theft when you give it to Gmane.

	We give individuals the right to read messages posted to the 
list, and to post their own questions to the list, along being able 
to read the FAQ and all the associated documentation, but we don't 
give them a right to redistribute this content.

	If this is not made clear in your subscription notice, then I 
will work with the other listowners to try to clarify this.

>  According to Lars, <http://article.gmane.org/gmane.discuss/9291>, he
>  must have made a mistake.  Where did he say he had fixed a procedural
>  problem?

	That would be the procedural problem that he supposedly fixed 
something like a year ago, the last time we ran into this problem 
with Gmane.

>  Have you been as uneasy that Altavista and Google and everyone
>  between might turn a profit in part because they facilitate access to
>  your "not-for profit" material?

	No, because they're simply pointing at the content which I make 
freely available.  They may have cached a local copy, but my copy on 
my site is the one that is primarily referenced.

	As for the rest, the more I discuss this subject, and the more I 
look at what they did to us last time, and what they've done to us 
this time, the more opposed I am to the way that Gmane operates, and 
the more opposed I am to having them gateway or archive any mailing 
lists that I am associated with anywhere.

	You're not likely to convince as a result of continuing to 
harangue me on this topic.

Brad Knowles, <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org>

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little
temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

     -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), reply of the Pennsylvania
     Assembly to the Governor, November 11, 1755

  LOPSA member since December 2005.  See <http://www.lopsa.org/>.

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