[Mailman-Users] MM lists on Gmane

Bretton Vine bretton at hivemind.net
Sun Sep 17 19:50:30 CEST 2006

Brad Knowles said the following on 2006/09/17 07:32 AM:
> By rights, the listowner(s) should have the final say as to who is 
> allowed to see the archives of their list, who is allowed to 
> subscribe to their list, and who is allowed to post.  Period.

In 10 years of being online and being part of list-based communities I've 
gone through all the iterations of questioning the point above from the same 
perspective as the original poster for this thread to Brad's comments above 
and I can say without doubt now that the above is not merely an 
opinion-based point of view but a fundamental standard and policy guide for 
the successful use and growth of list-based communities.

Even the most open of lists require one or more parties to adopt the 
list-owner role and make decisions for the whole of the list that not 
everyone will like or agree with.

But continued use of a list (and associated growth in members) requires some 
semblance of order from a benevolent administrator role. In my experience to 
date what Brad's saying above is by far the most successful means of 
operating a list despite it's unpopularity at times. :-)

> In commercial circles, the kind of thing that they're doing is called 
> piracy -- they take someone else's content and repurpose that for 
> their own benefit and for the benefit of their customers.

And that's different from most newspapers how? <evil grin> Or any media 
enterprise for that matter. Piracy is one freedom you cannot curtail. But at 
the same time as mentioned above there are reasons for controlling who 
contributes and how content is managed.

> Okay, so Lars does not today make a profit running Gmane.  That 
> doesn't mean that tomorrow he won't change his mind, or "sell" the 
> business to someone else who will.

We have a problem here in terms of Data Retention laws. The only privacy 
protection we have is a clause in our constitution. We have no privacy laws 
or regulations to properly protect content or archived information -- 
legally required otherwise.

The only protection we have is the policies implemented by list-owners and 
the abiding by them of list members. In the truest sense, people governing 
themselves, assuming no bad apples involved. Exploitation of the system 
offers no recourse for when things go sour.

Netiquette is covered by some RFCs but list-etiquette is mostly a word of 
mouth exercise. It's best taught by example.

| Bretton Vine | 083 633 8475 | bretton at hivemind.net |
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"It is important to go through the steps to appreciate the impending 
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