[Mailman-Users] The economics of spam

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Thu Dec 25 04:41:00 CET 2008

Lindsay Haisley writes:

 > Perhaps the payment-autentication system could be developed in the
 > context of a distributed database resembling that used for DNS, or more
 > like DNSSEC, perhaps.

I don't deny that technologically you could do this, but the question
remains: who would actually pay?

Again, assuming that traffic patterns stay the same, this is all very
nice for AOL, which would have a substantial positive balance of
payments.  But it would suck rotten eggs for open source projects,
whose primary interaction with the mail system is to host mailing
lists that on average must have tiny inward flow and significant
outward flow.

Will traffic patterns stay the same?  I think not.  If AOL refuses
mail without postage, delivery from my lists (not to mention from
listmaster) to @aol.com addresses will stop.  They can try to bill me,
in which case they have no legal way to enforce since I haven't
negotiated a contract with them.  And I will simply unsubscribe all
existing AOL addresses and bar them from subscribing in the future.

I don't know what will happen to Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, and other
freemail services.

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