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(September 1996)
 

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Subject: Re: Jodge orders AOL to allow junk email...
From: Dave Bigham <dbigham @ cantec . com>
Date: Sat, 07 Sep 1996 18:46:57 -0400
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com

At 12:35 PM 9/7/96 -0700, you wrote:
>Eric Thomas wrote:
>> 

>I haven't read the court papers in the AOL case, but it sounds like the
>trial judge, in granting the TRO or preliminary injunction, has badly
>misunderstood how the Internet works and it looks like he or she has
>been bamboozled into thinking that AOL's inbound blocking somehow cuts
>off the spammers' general Internet access.  As a matter of law, AOL
>should prevail on the merits.  
>
>Having said that, I don't think blanket inbound blocking by ISPs is a
>good policy, except with prior notice to and consent of the customer. 
>Providing tools for users to block messages by origin or content is a
>much better solution, and apparently it is in the works. 
>
>-- 
>Michael C. Berch
>mcb @
 postmodern .
 com / mcb @
 greatcircle .
 com
>

I can't agree with you in all of the above.  AOL should prevail in this suit
if, and only if, they have, as part of their subscriber agreement, a section
which specifically states that they can filter out mail at their whim and
without prior permission. The spammers are upset and cry "rights
violation!", but it's the users rights which are being violated - whether
they want to exercise them or not.  If mail is addressed to me, it should go
to me and not be subject to removal from the delivery stream before I have
any say in the matter. If I request that a filter be put in place, fine.

All kinds of "rights" are being discussed in this thread.  None of them
apply really. The entire situation arose because AOL wants to reduce costs.
It costs connectivity resources (bigger data pipes) to handle all the
spammers' mail. It costs personnel resources (more customer service reps) to
handle the complaints. It costs revenue resources (lost customers) because
of the aggravation.

AOL is taking this course in pursuit of filthy lucre - period!

Dave Bigham



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