On Tue, Mar 02, 1999 at 09:30:22PM -0700, Randy Cassingham wrote:
> So we're back to the original statement, I think by Michelle
> Dick: "reasonable people disagree on the definition of spam".
It may be true that reasonable people may disagree on the definition of spam;
however, this doesn't mean that some of them are right and that some
of them are wrong. The agreement or disagreement is inconsequential:
the objective reality is what matters.
> Perhaps, but it's not an UNREASONABLE definition.
Yes, it IS an unreasonable defintion. It is unreasonable because it
focuses on the content of the spam, which immediately opens free speech
(First Amendment, in the USA) questions. This is specifically why
the correct definition of spam defines it as conduct, *not* speech.
(Any valid definition of spam *must* be content-free; and conversely, any
definition which makes any comment on the content is fatally flawed.)
> I *do* agree that "spamming" to send out a plea for people to look
> for a missing little girl is not commercial, but it is still the
> wrong thing to do.
No need to quote "spamming"; if it meets the UBE criteria, it *is* spam.
The purpose doesn't matter, the sender doesn't matter, the message doesn't
matter, nothing matters but whether or not it meets the criteria.
> Focussing on the commercial aspect makes it easier to pass legislation,
> which I unfortunately think is necessary.
I remain unconvinced that legislation is an effective tool to fight spam,
but I have decided to withhold my objections and take a wait-and-see
attitude about it.
However, and this is a big HOWEVER -- while specifying commercial content
may make it easier to *pass* legislation (and that is by no means established
to my satisfaction) I don't have the slightest doubt that it makes it
much harder to successfully *use* that legislation, once passed, because
the content-specific criteria allow First Amendment-based challenges.