Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(December 1995)

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Subject: Questions for Mailing List Owners or Managers
From: Robert Kapela <Robert_Kapela @ spencer-davis . com>
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 11:59:59 -0800
To: "'list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM'" <list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM>
Cc: "'listown-l @ SEARN . SUNET . SE'" <listown-l @ SEARN . SUNET . SE>


More and more companies want to start a mailing lists to 'broadcast e-mail' information to large groups of people.  Often times they will already have a list of names and e-mail addresses that they will provide to us to populate their mailing list.  Before we will broadcast anything we ask if the address list they have supplied are from people who have asked to receive information from them. So far we have gone on the honor system, however, we are becoming more and more concerned about potential abuse of our mailing list hosting service by companies/individuals using mailing lists to spam unsolicited e-mail addressees.  

It is a difficult issue because businesses need to be able to advertise to potential consumers who have e-mail addresses, yet on the Internet consumers (for the most part) do not want to receive junk e-mail and get spammed.  At least with mailing list/list server technology if you do receive unsolicited e-mail you can, (in theory) un-subscribe yourself from the mailing list and stop receiving information (take your name of the mailing list) or simply delete the message.

My question for other mailing list managers/owners/hosting services is;

1.  How do you balance the need of businesses to advertise or communicate to Internet consumers using 'Broadcast E-Mail' or 'Mailing Lists' while not infringing on the rights of  consumers?

2. 	Should we as a mailing list host, but not owner try to police what businesses and individuals are sending and to whom they are sending it? If we do we could be legally liable?

3.    Does anyone have any policies or procedures they use?

Spencer-Davis Group

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