Re: Spam

Randall Randall (
Wed, 3 Feb 1999 01:06:27 -0500

It's been rumored that on Tue, 02 Feb 1999, NetSurfer wrote:

>presence/speech upon them. Your right to free speech does not give you
>the right to use someones private line to make your calls.

But no one can use your private line, nor spam you, without one of two things: your consent, or a physical breach of your property. One of these is properly illegal, the other may not be yet, and *should* not be.

>If you are such a fan of free speech, how would you like it if someone
>started faxing you 20 page documents every day, eating up your paper, your
>toner, and tying up your fax line?

Obviously, it would be my responsibility, if I was concerned, not to let that person use my fax machine. I would not push for a law regarding what the spammer did with *his* machine. There are ways to deal with this problem other than initiating force.

>Another example: shouldn't your definition of the right to free speech
>mean that you can submit articles to the New York Times and force them to
>print it lest they be infringing on your right to free speech? Or is the
>New York Times a private organization which has the right to decide how
>their resources are used?

....even if it consists of printing advertising which is offensive? After all, you might choose to buy it. If you do, and find an advertisment inside (and this offends you), should you attempt to make it illegal for them to print any more ads, or just choose not to buy any more NY Times?

>Again, spam is NOT a free speech issue - it is about transfer of cost
>of advertising. Spam is like having telemarketers call you collect and
>you not be able to hang up until the telemarketer is done and you not be
>able to refuse the long distance charge. THAT is what spam does. It
>makes everyone *except* the crook/spammer pay for the advertisement.

I dunno about you, but I "hang up" by pressing DEL long before the ad is done. What charge? Are you charged per byte? I agree that the spammer should pay for what he sends, but *everyone* should.

>Right now less an one percent of the businesses on the net spamvertise,
>and you probably see a handful of spam a day or week. Now imagine that
>jumps to 10 percent because of laws passed to *protect* the spammers,

Let me state that I am in favor of no laws to "protect" spam, either.

>The spammers killed usenet and will kill email itself if they are not
>stopped. And if all you do is delete it, you are helping them do so.

This is ridiculous. I read news from usenet every day, and I've not noticed any "death". There may be some groups that are flooded with spam, but this could be solved by the simple expedient of charging to *accept* mail or news. The cost could be trivial by most standards, yet quite high for spammers (at least on a level with junk mail).

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