"New bookstore online! (Internet abuse)" _Not exactly_

Jon Whalen jon at hook.dignet.corp.mot.com
Wed May 12 14:02:04 UTC 1993

In message <43491.D.Wujastyk at ucl.ac.uk>you write:
>In Message Thu, 06 May 93 18:29:41 BST, calibanj at aol.com writes:
>>CALIBAN  Just a short note to introduce ourselves.  We are a
>>rare and antiquarian bookstore specializing in poetry, modern first editions,
>>art, philosophy, religion, Western PA history, and antiquarian travel.
>>Many out of print titles.  Top dollar paid for scholarly books in all
>The rules governing the use of the Internet are very strict in forbidding
>any commercial use of the net, *especially advertising*.  While the above
>message may be interesting and useful, it could get us all into a lot
>of trouble.  INDOLOGY might have to close down.
>So please, be careful about this sort of thing.  There are ways of
>mentioning commercial services and products en passant which let
>everyone know about them without blatantly advertising.
>Dominik Wujastyk                                  d.wujastyk at ucl.ac.uk
>                                                       +44 71 611 8467


Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple, at least here in the U.S.
There _are_ restrictions on commercial traffic over parts of the "Internet",
in particular the NSFnet backbone. However, there are many pieces to the
Internet over which there are no explicit restrictions on commercial use. 

You are correct in that, traditionally, advertising on the net has been
frowned upon. In recent years, though, its use has become accepted in certain
news groups/mailing lists, in groups dedicated to new product announcements,
technology discussion, etc.

More recently there has come a flood of commercial traffic of all kinds, from
commercial (read, 'for profit') Internet access providers, subscription 
news feeds (e.g. Clarinet) and other sources.

About the only way to ensure that advertising won't pop up again in
the future would be to put it's restriction into the list charter (the list
administrator sets the charter) and appoint a moderator (again, the
list administrator does this).

In any case, the list is unlikely to be harassed by the Internet police
from this side of the pond. The most likely scenario would be a mass
signoff if the level of advertising gets out-of-hand.

*Jon S. Whalen                                        Phone: (708) 576-0166*
*Lead Software Engineer, Motorola, Inc.                 Fax: (708) 576-0892*
*Corporate, Computer & Communications R&D                                  *
*Internet:  jon at hook.corp.mot.com / Compuserve: 76665,3043 / AOL:JonSWhalen*

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