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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, 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 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: Jesus Christ, stop your whining...
By SNM on 2/28/2006 11:23:27 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but we do have a right to bitch and whine at them as their customers and source of income.

And we should...since when is it good for companies to stratify the internet?

RE: Jesus Christ, stop your whining...
By masher2 on 2/28/2006 12:04:27 PM , Rating: 2
In Yahoo's case at least, you're not their customer...their advertisers are their customers and the source of their income-- you're just someone receiving a free service.

And I still fail to see how charging high-volume users of email a small surcharge is going to lead to the ruin of the Internet. Sounds like a pretty fair model to me.

RE: Jesus Christ, stop your whining...
By nomagic on 2/28/2006 1:27:15 PM , Rating: 2
Yet customers we are. Without our using of the "FREE" service, Yahoo wont be receiving any advertisement income. Furthermore, this income is indirectly paid by us because we are the source of income for the advertisers. Therefore, one must understand that we pay Yahoo through the advertisements we receive, and the service is not free.

Charging bulk emailing fee does not ruin the internet. I wonder where you read that. Please quote that for me because I do not find it anywhere.

By masher2 on 2/28/2006 1:38:55 PM , Rating: 1
> "Without our using of the "FREE" service, Yahoo wont be receiving any advertisement income. "

The point is its a free service, and therefore you have no right to complain about how its provided. If you don't like it, vote with your feet and go elsewhere.

Yahoo and AOL are offering an extra service here. Current spam filters occasionally block legitimate emails. With this service, you can avoid that. End result-- a better user experience both for email sender and recipient. Certainly something worth paying for...and if you disagree, why then don't pay for it! Freedom is a wonderful thing.

> "Charging bulk emailing fee does not ruin the internet. I wonder where you read that" says the "magic of the Internet" derives from free emails...implying that "magic" will be removed by these fees. And the prior poster claimed this would "stratify the internet", which certainly sounds as if he thinks it will go a long way to ruining it.

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