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The decision by AOL and Yahoo to charge a bulk e-mailing fee has not been well received by many

Several public interest groups and nonprofit organizations, including Gun Owners of America, Association of Cancer Online Resources and MoveOn.org, are joining together to battle the decision by America Online and Yahoo to charge a bulk e-mailing fee.  The "certified e-mail" service would attach "tokens" to some e-mails in which senders would have to pay between one-quarter of 1 cent and 1 cent for each message sent.  These e-mails will bypass spam filters and be sent directly into a user's inbox. 

The fee will be a disadvantage to "charities, small businesses and even families with mailing lists that will have no guarantee their e-mail will be delivered," said Adam Green, a spokesman for MoveOn.org Civic Action, the group's nonpolitical arm. "The magic of the Internet is that it is free and open to everybody so small ideas can become big ideas."

AOL users can look forward to these certified e-mails in the next 30 days or so.  It is not currently known when Yahoo will begin offering certified e-mails to its users.

Update 02/28/2006: Since publication of this article, Yahoo! representatives have contacted us with more information.

"Companies can continue to send e-mail to Yahoo! Mail users at no cost in exactly the same way they always have, and we are not planning to require payment to ensure delivery to our users. In the coming months, Yahoo! will test an optional certified e-mail program based on 'transactional' messages only, such as bank statements and purchase receipts, as an additional layer of protection against e-mail identity theft scams known as phishing attacks," said Karen Mahon, Yahoo! spokesperson.


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RE: Drop AOL and Yahoo!
By RandomFool on 2/28/2006 10:33:40 AM , Rating: 2
The charge isn't going to stop spammers from sending mail at all. It's just going to allow spammers with money, ie advertisments, to get around the filters and go right into your inbox. Spammers are still going to be able to send emails they'll just have to deal with the filters.

As for charities, some people acually want to get the emails from charities hence they signed up for the news letter so it's not always spam.


RE: Drop AOL and Yahoo!
By masher2 (blog) on 2/28/2006 12:09:51 PM , Rating: 2
One cent per email will most certainly shut down most spammers. At a million emails a day, that'll run them $3.5 million/year. They'll have to switch...either to another mail provider, or to significantly smaller and more targetted mailings (i.e. you're far more likely to actually be interested in what they're mailing you).

As for a charity sending a monthly email to its subscribers...they're not going to see a large charge.


RE: Drop AOL and Yahoo!
By on 2/28/2006 2:21:22 PM , Rating: 2
The base problem with these e-stamp type fees is that he worst spam offenders will simply use their Russian lists of stolen credit cards to "pay" the bypass fee. In this scenario, spam still gets through, AOL gets paid a binus , and the users are victimized by their own ISP.

Anyone dishonest enough to send a million emails per day is also dishonest enough to avoid paying with their own money.

This is why Google's attempt for 'certified' email peers is a far better and fair solution.


RE: Drop AOL and Yahoo!
By dev0lution on 2/28/2006 10:58:41 PM , Rating: 2
Another greedy move by Yahoo. Good thing my old Yahoo account is my junkmail account I use for registering with sites & for promo offers anyway. I suppose I'll just be getting a bit more junk now.

Seriously, as a "free" service I don't really miss the yahoo ads attached to every email or the lack of "free" POP forwarding. Gmail ads are much more unobtrusive and don't turn every email I send into a free corporate advertisement.


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