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(February 1995)
 

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Subject: Re: our friends at cyber.sell.com
From: Mark . R . Horton @ att . com
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 1995 09:26:02 -0500
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com, lstown-l%searn . BITNET @ uunet . uu . net, moderators @ uunet . uu . net
In-reply-to: morgan@engr.uky.edu (Wes Morgan) "Re: our friends at cyber.sell.com" (Feb 10, 7:39am)
Original-from: mark@clipper.cb.att.com
References: <9502101239.AA13979@s.ecc.engr.uky.edu>

Here is another thought on the subject.

Right now there is no legal remedy against a spammer.  Even though I am
the moderator of a newsgroup with a published policy, I cannot prosecute
because no law has been broken.

If Usenet were to become the private property of some entity, that entity
would have legal recourse against unauthorized appropriation of its property.
One way to accomplish this would be to form an organization, "Usenet Inc"
or "The Usenet Society" or something (or align under some existing org
such as Usenix or The Internet Society) and solicit people to join the
organization for a token fee to cover administrative expenses (a few dollars.)
Elections among the members could be held to elect a board to run Usenet.
The elected officials would have power to set rules for use of Usenet,
which would presumably be the same as the existing rules.  Periodic elections
would ensure that the officials are accountable to the members, and membership
would be open to anyone.  C&S could join and have a vote, but would not
be able to generate enough votes to affect anything.  There might also be
a membership category for sites carrying Usenet, who are contributing
their resources (disk space, net bandwidth, admin time) and for moderators.

Then if someone posts contrary to policy, the organization has the option
to either ignore it (for random clueless idiots posting off-topic) or to
initiate legal action for theft of resources (for spammers.)

Personally, I've received several complaints from readers of my newsgroup
(news.announce.important) about the posting, many of them think I approved
or posted it.  I'll bet I'm not alone.  A few kind souls have even undertaken
to cancel the posting on their own - I sent out a cancel (the one from Panix
came to me for approval, which I did) but it looks like there are places
where the spam article is posted intact.

	Mark


Follow-Ups:
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From: clewis@ferret.ocunix.on.ca (Chris Lewis)
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From: merchant@anuxv.att.com (s.merchant)
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From: morgan@engr.uky.edu (Wes Morgan)
Next: Re: our friends at cyber.sell.com
From: David Casti <disc@casti.com>

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