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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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