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Re: Proposed EU Directive on Electronic Commerce

  • To: Carl Moberg < >
  • From: Ragnar Lonn < >
  • Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 18:54:50 +0100 (MET)

On Tue, 19 Jan 1999, Carl Moberg wrote:

>  Ok, what you're saying here is that we let advertisers come up
>  with headerfield content syntax. Then we let customers find
>  the syntax picked by the company he actually wants info
>  from and give this info to his ISP. The ISP updates the customers
>  filter and then we all wait for the company to flood all customers
>  with spam. This particular mail from this particular company will
>  actually get through the filters and reach the customer ?

Yes, something like that. Maybe a few things like "X-UCE: Yes"
and "X-UCE: No" needs defining and perhaps a few recommendations
to people writing software that looks at this header would be a
good idea but otherwise I'd vote to leave the keywords to be
decided by the advertisers and the end users themselves. 

*And* - let's not forget that ISPs need not implement anything unless 
they want to. They can choose to reject all mails with an "X-UCE:" header
that says anything different than "X-UCE: No". They can also choose to
let users decide whether they want UCE or not and not bother about
helping the user by doing keyword-based filtering for him/her - the
user can do that him/herself, after all. Or they can implement full
keyword filtering. If they like. The header in itself just gives the ISP
and everyone else handling the mail message various options - it doesn't
dictate any of them.

> >>  We could of course try to fight _unsolicited_ commercial e-mail and
> >>  actually go for opt-in and mailinglists based on subscriptions instead.
> >> 
> >Yeah well that has its drawbacks too. Mostly for the advertisers and
> >the people who do want advertisements.
>  I'm having a hard time finding the problem here;
>  For users:
>   If you want info, go signal you want it and be prepared to pay for it.
>   If you don't want it, don't expect to receive or pay for it.

The problem lies in finding your target audience or your preferred
advertiser. Opt-in subscriptions means you have to know where to
subscribe and give advertisers less means to reach people who would
like their advertisements but don't know of the advertiser's existence.

Don't get me wrong - I would prefer opt-in advertising too. I'm just
being realistic.

> >Yeah... I'm not in any way saying it will be effective. It might not
> >even work. But then again it might work a little and that makes it
> >justified to let people put keywords in the header if they like. The
> >important thing, however, is the header itself which defines a message
> >as UCE and lets anyone act upon that information.
>  Going for schemes that probably won't be effective and might even
>  not work, does not sound like a good thing to me.

The content-based keywords aren't the key issue here. They're a possible
added bonus, if they work. That's why they're being considered. 


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