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Re: Per message costs of email (was: Re: anybody else been spammed by
> So far, other than Jared Mauch <jared@puck.Nether.net>'s calculation where > he neither confirmed nor disputed $.02/email, I've yet to see *one* > quantified per-message price bandied about.. I didn't even try. As a matter of principle, I reject the possibility that others ought to be allowed to shift their "cost of goods sold" to me without my permission. And as a matter of scale, spam is something that everyone on the net can't do -- and I'm not interested in learning the equilibrium where adding one more spammer would not increase the total profitability of spam because noone anywhere can stand the stench of their own inbox any more. > Are you also unsure of the per-message costs of email? I'd thought I'd > find *someone* who could quantify a cost.... I certainly don't know and > I want enlightenment too! > > I'm surprised you can't quantify the per-message costs either. Because it makes no difference to the argument at hand, I just don't care. I'll pay whatever it costs to make personal messaging work for me. I will not sit quietly and have stolen from me what it costs to make spam work for others. The amount does not matter unless it's provably zero. > > on the other hand, that doesn't disprove the case, since even in your > > example it would merely cause people to become a LOT more careful about > > they mail they sent. that CAN'T be a bad thing. > > Apart from the balkanization of the lifeblood of the internet's > communication systes, there's things like viruses, worms, zombie > computers, etc. Then, folks will be more careful about what mail client they use, right? > There's also the transactional cost.. If a computer gets infected by a > worm, who pays for the email it sends out? Who pays for the argument of > who's responsible for the costs? Who's responsible for the tech support? Then, folks will be more careful about what mail client they use, right? > What if the user can't pay... Will ISP's have to insure themselves against > email worms? Will people with insecure email clients be subsidized by > those with more secure clients? Is that theft too? Then, folks will be more careful about what mail client they use, right? > But the only way to avoid it is to leave the business entirely. Will you, > like Donald Knuth, be giving up your email address? Once there's a way to provably know that the sender agrees to my terms (which includes forfeiting a guaranteed bond if they send mail in violation of those terms) then I'll be giving up SMTP as it exists today, yes. (Sort of like I had to give up TELNET, and for very similar reasons.) > I'm still hoping somone out there can quantify those per-message costs of > email and spam. Don't hole your breath while you wait, you could turn blue. Because unless the costs are provably zero or unless you intend to pay those costs for the rest of us, then the costs only matter when proving damages against spammers in court. Spam will still be unilateral cost shifting ("theft") no matter what number you calculate.