> 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
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."
ca | -Dr. SNMP, The Simple Times, v2n3