Brian Hartsfield <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> On Sat, 11 Feb 1995 PMDAtropos@aol.com wrote:
> > It helps list owners by
> > minimizing the errors members might otherwise have made, and it helps expose
> > them to another two million or so potential clients.
> Clients?? I run a large role-playing list and I do not consider the
> members of the list clients or anything of that nature.
> The vast majority of mailing lists do not have paying clients, but are
> for the benfit of the net at large for free.
I've run into this attitude before. Usually when someone like a sysadmin
writes and asks me to subscribe a gateway to the list. When I tell them
that I don't allow gateways on my list, I've often gotten back what a
terrible person I must be to deny this service to their users.
But you know, I'm not a service. If you get down to it, the main reason
I have my list is for selfish reasons, because it pleases me.
The most extreme case was this one time I received a nasty note from the
owner of a small local BBS that charged for access. Oh, a little background.
The ranger-list is really three lists running in parallel: one list is for
regular list traffic, the second is a digested version and the third is
called ranger-maniacs and is for large files like binaries. Of the 135
current members of the list, about 100 are subscribed to maniacs (which
has infrequent traffic).
So this sysop wrote me very angry because a gif just went through the
list (note that at no time did I correspond with the user that orignally
subscribed to the list). He was mad because he paid for his newsfeed and
didn't I know that there were rules about mailing large files through the
I explained to him about maniacs and how users were given a choice to
unsubscribe to it. He said I never gave any indication of this, so I
sent him the intro file I send to all new users which explains all the
administrative stuff. About this time is when he mentioned the users (!)
on his system that read the list which is what clued me into the gateway,
since only one person on his system was subscribed. So I told him that
gateways weren't allowed on my list and I was dropping that user from
The next letter I got from him was on the order of "how dare you and you
have no right as I use your list as a service for my paying users". I
was pretty disgusted with him by this time and told him that I didn't
appreciate him abusing my creative handiwork and stopped responding to
him after that. It wasn't until that he realized that I did drop the
user and that I wasn't responding to his demands that he even began to
get conciliatory. But by that time, as far as I was concerned, it was