By the way, "Precedence" headers are not mentioned in any of the Internet
RFC's regarding email, by the way, not in RFC 821, nor 822, nor 1123. Like
"return-receipt-to" they are a temporary nonstandard hack in some programs
(e.g. Sendmail). Other implementors of RFC-compliant mail transfer agents,
SMTP gateways to LAN-mail-from-hell systems, are free to completely ignore
"Precedence" headers as if they were "X-foobar" headers (correct me if I'm
wrong of course, but I just did a "grep -i precedence rfc821.txt rfc822.txt
rfc1123.txt" and got nothing)
Remember, before we get into what Majordomo should or shouldn't do in response
(ask not what Majordomo should do for you, rather ask what ... :-), several
things can be happening here:
A clueless user (Pegasus is particularly offensive here :-) may be generating
"Return-Receipt-To:" headers, with random addresses in them, maybe including
the list itself (hopefully not! :-). Other receiving sendmails out there may
be returning confirmation receipts.
Good news: Sendmail 8.7.X no longer honors Return-Receipt-To headers, and
hopefully other legacy mail systems will gradually forget about them too.
(they are replaced by Delivery Status Notification, a new ESMTP parameter)
Sounds, however, like your problem is a wayward system which ack's incoming
mail WITHOUT being "asked" to. Could be that there's some error it's trying to
note in its broken way, or even worse, it could be just plain sloppy friendly
maddeningly stupid like a big drooling shedding dog, ack'ing ALL incoming mail.
And the worstest of all the bad things about its behavior is that if it DOES
need to send any commentary like a non-delivery error notice, this needs to go
to the SMTP envelope MAIL FROM field, which presumably is your
"owner-listname" alias. I assume that it is incorrectly returning these
delivery notifications to either the "Cc:" or the "Reply-To:" or "From:"
headers, where your listname address is named?
(pause to consider, you ARE sending out your list messages with
"owner-listname" as the envelope sender to catch properly addressed
non-delivery error reports, aren't you?)
(pause again, exactly which header IS your listname appearing in, which this
stupid mailer is ack'ing to? Ahah, does your list have "Reply-To: <listname>"
now you see why we say this is not always a wise thing to do, because of those
stupid broken mailers out there.....)
I have gotten insanely annoying ack's, returned to me the original sender in
the "From:" header (not to the whole list fortunately, since the list didn't
add a "Reply-To: <listname>" :-), from something I sent to a list, where some
subscriber out there in wazooland had such an inane mail system (even worse,
I've gotten ack's from Usenet news postings! where they were gatewayed onto
some sick mail system out there :-)
Remember, in the end, the list owner has the power to do something: they can
unsubscribe with zero tolerance, or threaten to unsubscribe, with mercy for
repentance :-) any user who generates "return-receipt-to" headers on messages
sent to the list, and more importantly for your case, any user whose stupid
mail system ack's incoming mail like that!
U. of Chicago Academic Computing Services