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MMD > Archives > May 2003 > 2003.05.14 > 06Prev  Next

Junk E-mail Problem
By John A. Tuttle

[ In 030513 MMDigest, "", I remarked:
 [ "The junk email is an international problem which I believe will be
 [  eventually controlled by charging fees for introducing email into
 [  the system, just like the fees the postal services charge.  Tell
 [  your government representative to take action!"
 [ -- Robbie

Hi All,  Since Robbie Rhodes made what I believe to be a strong
statement with regards to email and spam, I feel it's only fair that
others should be given the opportunity to respond.

Robbie suggested that people to contact their government representatives
and tell them to take action.  I believe this is a horrible mistake.
It's a proven fact that our government is incapable of taking care of
their own business, let alone world business.  Let's look at this

While our government 'might' be able to come up with a plan that would
end up costing US citizens (or those working in the US) a small fee for
each email they send, there will always be some country in the world
that refuses to submit to any outside pressure.  The bottom line is
that some government agency and the company they hire to create a
monitoring and payment system will get rich at our expense.  But that's
just the tip of the iceberg.

Instituting such a system will also mean that every email that gets
sent will be 'routed' through the government agency.  This can only
delay the delivery of email and it creates the possibility of a
catastrophic failure of the entire system should the governments system
fail for any reason.

Instituting such a system will also mean that every email will be
'read' by a government computer.  And while George Orwell might have
been off by a couple dozen years, "Big Brother" will be watching.

As one who receives more than 1500 emails a day, I can assure you that
I don't like SPAM.  However, there are two points that I would like
everybody to consider before picking up the phone to call some
government representative:

One, there are numerous publicly owned and operated companies
producing sophisticated anti-SPAM programs.  That's good for our
economy and it inspires others to _think_ of even better ways to
discourage spammers.

Two, if the government only charged one penny for each email that
I send, I would owe them around $50.00 a year.  My anti-spam program
only cost me $19.95 and the filters are automatically updated every
single day.

Unlike my friends and family members, who live in these United States
and feel that their personal lives are better controlled by some
government agency, I would encourage people to take control of their
own lives and handle their own problems by themselves.  Free enterprise
thrives on the abilities of individuals to come up with new ideas.
Taxing those who engage in free enterprise simply because they become
a nuisance is, in my opinion, wrong and it discourages growth.

And let's also consider what it would do to the MMD!  Using the same
example as above, i.e., one penny for each email, it will cost about
$5000.00 a year to send the Digest to all of the members.  That will
necessitate a "pay-to-play" situation that will certainly discourage
many members from contributing information that is desperately needed
to keep the mechanical music industry alive and growing.

In closing, while this letter might sound politically motivated to a
degree, I can assure you that it is not.  I just want people to look
beyond the nuisance of spam and consider what might happen if the
government becomes even further engrained in our lives.  I wrote this
letter because of the possible negative economic ramifications of
charging people for sending email.

Please -- _Don't_ call your elected officials.  Let the system take
care of itself!  As many of you already know, companies like AOL,
Hotmail, Juno, MSN and others are already addressing the problems of
spam.  Let them do their job!  Others will follow and our economy will
keep growing.

Musically opinionated,

John A. Tuttle
Brick, NJ, USA

P.S. I don't send unsolicited email!  Read my Privacy Policy at

 [ We currently have about 1100 subscribers, so MMDigest might cost
 [ about $5 per year to transmit -- still a bargain price compared
 [ to mailing via the postal service!  :-)  -- Robbie

(Message sent Wed 14 May 2003, 10:28:59 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  E-mail, Junk, Problem

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