Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(July 1994)

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Subject: Re: Attitudes, Service, and Mailing Lists
From: "C. Harald Koch" <harald @ enfm . utcc . utoronto . ca>
Organization: UTCC Network & Operations Services, External Network Fac. Mgmt.
Date: Thu, 7 Jul 1994 16:27:09 -0400
To: gwalker @ rtfm . mlb . fl . us (Grayson Walker)
Cc: lefebvre @ athens . dis . anl . gov, gwalker @ rtfm . mlb . fl . us, artemis @ rahul . net, list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <Pine . 3 . 03 . 9407071507 . A15381-c100000 @ rtfm> from "Grayson Walker" at Jul 7, 94 03:32:08 pm
Phone: +1 416 978 0992

> I recognize this as mildly polemic. Your position may have been defensible
> in the Arpanet and early Internet days, but not today. Today we have lots
> of mailing list members who pay for access to our 'Net. Some of them
> pay non-trivial fees -- I've seen some who pay on a per message basis --
> they get excited when a list upchucks hundreds of null messages -- as the
> Commercial Real Estate list did last weekend. YOU and I may not receive
> financial compensation, but there are lots of paying customers. Just one
> more piece of a complex and flawed process. They are customers.

I'm sorry, I still think you're wrong. Someone else suggested a 'guest'
metaphor; this is perfect, as far as I'm concerned.

The people you are referring to are paying a network access provider for
network access. They are *not* paying *me* for my mailing list. You are
thinking along the lines of monolithic information service providers like
Compu$erve; this model does not hold for the Internet.

I don't have the right to abuse your hospitality just because I paid tolls
on the roads I used to drive to your house; similarly, I don't have the
right to abuse you or your mailing list just because I'm paying a network
service provider for access.

There *are* organisations out there that run 'commercial' information
services over the Internet; you subscribe to their publication, and they use
the Internet to deliver it to you. An excellent example of this is ClariNet,
which delivers news-wire information over NetNews. *They* have customers; I
do not.

C. Harald Koch, Network Analyst | "It is fruitless to attempt to indoctrinate
University of Toronto           |  a super-annuated canine with innovative
External Networking Fac. Mgmt.  |  maneuvers."
chk @
 utcc .
 utoronto .
 ca            |            -Dr. SNMP, The Simple Times, v2n3

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