> On Fri, 16 Aug 2002, JC Dill wrote:
> > So, my question to list-managers: Do you support the suggestion
> > that list managers/owners have some responsibility (ala
> > robots.txt) for telling those who wish to mirror or archive the
> > list what the list rules are?
Actually I believe that such a responsibility exists only where
the list-owners want the situation to be different from the default
that is implied by copyright law, namely:
* Without explicit permission, no-one is allowed to mirror the list,
or create public archives.
* Just telling people about the existence of the list (by mentioning
it in a directory of lists) is ok even without explicit permission.
I support the idea of creating an RFC about a simple and yet
sufficiently powerful and machine-parseable format for communicating
whatever rules the list-owner wants to be applicable to any given
> > If so, do you support the idea of this file being made available 1, 2, or
> > all 3 of the following ways:
> > A) As a separate file that can be requested from the list server
> > (like an info file) via email;
> > B) A file to be found on the list server's website (like robots.txt)
> > if there is a website; and
> > C) Included in the welcome message.
Thomas Gramstad <email@example.com> replied:
> I support it in all 3 ways at the same time (redundancy is often a good
> thing, and certainly in this case).
Hmm... a requirement to put it on the list server's website could in
some cases make things hellishly complicated. But for those lists
which have a subscribe page on the website, it's easily possible. The
URL for the rpolicy.txt or whatever file can be included in a META tag
on the subscribe page.
For those lists where people are invited to subscribe via email,
it will work to have a special autoresponder address, which would be
determined by appending -rpolicy to the localpart of the email
address. For example, for the list firstname.lastname@example.org the autoresponder
address would be email@example.com
In addition, I think it should included at the end of the subscription
confirmation message and the welcome message. With legacy mailing
list software installations, the welcome message may very well be the
only place where the list-owner is actually able to put the information.
> I don't volunteer to write the RFC, but I volunteer to proofread and
> comment on it. Or, how about using this list as a forum to produce
> and refine it.
I'm willing to serve as editor for this RFC.
I think that the discussions of minor details should be moved to a
separate list, while the discussions for getting a rough consensus on
all potentially controversial points would be quite on topic here.
> One thing that should be discussed (on this list and perhaps in the
> RFC), is the default setting in the listservers. Since 95 % of
> today's list owners never deviate from default settings, the
> default settings will have a profound effect on how this will work.
I think that will naturally vary from listserver to listserver,
depending on the views of whoever gets to make that decision.
Founder & Steering Committee member of http://gnu.org/projects/dotgnu/
Norbert Bollow, Weidlistr.18, CH-8624 Gruet (near Zurich, Switzerland)
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