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AOL's email "tax" and how it affects small mailing lists

Here's a discussion we had last February:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Is AOL engaged in extortion?
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2007 06:19:36 -0700
From: Mark Saks <msaks@surveyguy.com>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
References: <45A5C985.9060304@well.com>


Don't know if this is appropriate for Politech, but here it is:

I have not seen this discussed much, but I run a small community mailing
list - only about 200 recipients, 40 on AOL -and AOL has dubbed me as a
spammer, even though the only people I send to on AOL are those who want to
get the community announcements I send. Apparently this is a common 
While the solution is for those recipients to get another email, for some
strange reason they seem reluctant to do so. But that is another issue.

Then I found the website http://www.dearaol.com where 500 organizations and
individuals are protesting AOL's new email "tax." It seems that if you pay
them enough money, they will let you bypass their spam filters. In other
words, their subscribers are prevented from getting the mail they want, but
those who are willing to pay can spam them.

Seems like extortion and racketeering to me, but I'm not an attorney. 
here think they might be prosecuted under the R.I.C.O. statutes??  Does
anyone know anything further on this? Maybe it just needs to have the light
of day shed on it on some national TV show to embarrass them enough.

Mark Saks, Tucson AZ

Posted by Declan McCullagh on Jan 24, 2007 in category spam

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