** Sometime around 11:33 -0400 04/16/1999, Tom Neff sent everyone:
>There are really three completely separate issues here, although our friends
>at Topica and Liszt seem to treat them interchangeably.
Actually, no -- they are treating them separately, but the lines tend to
be confused by some of the list-managers members.
As I've stated before, I am not a Topica employee and I cannot speak for
Topica (which raises the question of why I'm posting -- hopefully, it is
to clear the waters rather than muddy them, but that remains to be seen...)
>ISSUE #1 - PUBLIC LIST DIRECTORIES
>Topica and Liszt claim (and most list admins would agree) that they're
>entitled to compile directories of publicly accessible mailing lists,
>without being considered rude or evil. If in the course of doing this they
>"harvest" previous directories published others, thereby falling afoul of
>someone's compilation copyright and getting the lawyers interested, that's
>their problem, but it's no skin off the nose of your average list manager.
Since Topica's list directory was compiled with full cooperation from the
nice folks at Liszt, PAML, and Tile.net, I don't think that any lawyers
will be particularly interested.
>ISSUE #2 - SPAMMING LISTOWNERS
>They also seem to think they have the right to conduct unsolicited bulk
No, but I realize that your message was posted prior to Tina Lin's
message on the UBE issue. (I received them grossly out of order, but I
seem to receive most or all of the mail on this list grossly out of
order.) Anyway, I can assure you that the discussion here on
list-managers is being taken very seriously by Topica, and has spawned a
good deal of internal discussion over there -- which I see as A Good Thing.
Please see Tina's message, and join the discussion group that she has set
up for this; it is an opportunity to provide your POV directly into
Topica management on this subject, and hopefully work out a course of
action that will make everyone happy. (Well, okay, you can't make
*everyone* happy, but you can try to make the majority happy, and give $5
gift certificates to everyone else.)
(For anyone who isn't *really* clueless, but just plays a clueless person
on the Internet: That last comment was just a joke. Please don't try to
collect your $5 gift certificate from Topica if you're not happy with the
solution. But also don't complain if you didn't bother participating in
the discussion group that Tina has set up.)
>to the registered owners of the lists they find, alerting them to
>the joys of yet-another list service, inviting them to opt in or out of
>yet-another directory, and so forth. They are DEAD WRONG about this, and
>their persistence in doing it anyway (with or without self-serving essays
>here) makes them SPAMMERS. Note that it does not matter whether the CONTENT
>of the spam refers to the non-evil directory from Issue #1; it would still
>be spam if it were about a bake sale for the children's choir. Therefore it
>will not wash for Topica and Liszt to respond to "you are spamming, it is
>wrong, stop it!" messages by saying "What's so bad about a directory of
But that is not what they were saying, unless we were reading very different
messages. But previous statements (and my own personal views on all of this)
aside, Topica really *is* hearing you. Yes, you can say that it has taken a
while to be heard, but it is happening, and if you want to help harbor the
anti-UBE position, then you should join the discussion and present it.
And the first person who says, "Why should I have to take the time to
explain to them ..." gets smacked. ;-)
>Nope-nope-nope. If they persist in spamming, they will be
>listed with the abuse organizations and find themselves subject to anti-spam
>measures, which can take months to clear away even after complete reform.
>That's not a threat, just a statement of the way the Net works and a
>heads-up while they still have the chance.
They are listening -- and a window of opportunity has opened wherein we
can provide feedback directly to Topica, and try to work out a solution
that is acceptable to [there goes that word again] everyone.
>ISSUE #3 - UNSOLICITED ARCHIVING
No need to respond on this one, since Topica is not doing unsolicited
>I am not "against" Liszt or Topica or Egroups or the other free market list
>resources - I think they're an important component of the future of email
>forums. Precisely BECAUSE they are important, it's vital that they do it
>right, and not poison the well by misbehaving and giving their business a
Vince Sabio Boy & His Sabre: <http://www.insane.net/tsc/Vince/>
firstname.lastname@example.org Stop Internet Spam! <http://www.cauce.org/>