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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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By Dfere on 2/28/2006 1:10:17 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps someone can help me out here. I thought that at the very least, spamming was shunned by most ISP's and self regulated, if not actually in violation of state(s) and or federal law? If so, aren't Yahoo and AOL in violation?

Also, Yahoo is a very big ISP itself- not free email necessarily. If I have a free email account- I would not have a problem if someone used my name and address or revenue purposes- there is nothing as ficititious as a free lunch.
But if I pay for an ISP and they make money off my name and address.... I would either quit or sue for a share of that revenue. I never authorized its use for Yahoo (who I am as a paying member) and I did not agree in any of the EULA's to allow a discount on my monthly service for their right to license my information.

RE: Illegalities
By masher2 on 2/28/2006 1:14:59 PM , Rating: 2
First of all, they're not selling your address; whoever emails you has to already have it. Secondly, they're not selling the service to arbitrary spammers. The only organizations able to use these tokens are those who can show a prior business arrangement with you or some other proof the email is not unsolicited.

Now, perhaps all the children scurrying around and screaming foul can calm down.

RE: Illegalities
By Wellsoul2 on 2/28/2006 4:01:05 PM , Rating: 2
Seems ok to try the idea on the free accounts.

I like my free Yahoo account right now,
If I don't like it when this happens I'll
move to another mailbox.

Enough people do it and the idea dies.

No big deal..I don't pay anyway.

The magic of the internet is you can get a free
mailbox elsewhere.

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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