A Coup de Grace for the Internet Free Lunch
March 2, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 17
IN THE NEWS
Diverse Groups Team Up to Fight E-Mail Fee
WASHINGTON (AP)—A variety of interest groups have joined forces to fight a proposed bulk e-mailing fee they claim strikes at the heart of online communication—a level playing field for rich and poor. America Online plans to introduce a service that would charge businesses and other bulk e-mailers a fee to route their e-mail directly to a user’s mailbox without first passing through junk mail filters.
—Will Lester, Associated Press, Feb. 27, 2006
Goodmail and AOL have figured out a way to charge a wee bit of postage in return for a guarantee that your e-mail will be delivered.
From MoveOn to its members:
The very existence of online civic participation and the free Internet as we know it are under attack by America Online.
AOL recently announced what amounts to an “email tax.” Under this pay-to-send system, large emailers willing to pay an “email tax” can bypass spam filters and get guaranteed access to people’s inboxes—with their messages having a preferential high-priority designation.
Charities, small businesses, civic organizing groups, and even families with mailing lists will inevitably be left with inferior Internet service unless they are willing to pay the “email tax” to AOL. We need to stop AOL immediately so other email hosts know that following AOL’s lead would be a mistake.
I am not interested in a level playing field for rich and poor.
When I buy a car, I have to pay for gas. When I have a phone, I have to pay for calls. When I send a letter, the postage is not free. And if I want that letter to be certified, registered, or have a delivery guarantee, I pay more.