Report: Plan for e-mail fees draws boos
Yahoo! and America Online's plan to charge businesses for commercial messages triggers protest, newspaper says.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Yahoo! and America Online's plan to start charging businesses to send commercial e-mail messages has spurred a protest, according to a report Tuesday.
A campaign is being organized by MoveOn.org, a liberal advocacy group, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an Internet civil liberties group, The New York Times reported.
The groups set up a Web site (www.dearaol.com) with an online petition for users to sign.
The fees 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," Adam Green, a spokesman for MoveOn.org Civic Action, the group's nonpolitical arm, told the Times. "The magic of the Internet is that it is free and open to everybody so small ideas can become big ideas."
AOL and Yahoo! (Research) have both agreed to deploy a certified e-mail system designed by technology firm Goodmail Systems that will charge between a quarter-cent and a cent for each message sent. The two Internet companies will get the bulk of the fees that Goodmail collects.
A spokesman for AOL said the company would continue to deliver mail from political and charitable groups as it has in the past, the newspaper said.
AOL will start using the Goodmail system within a month. Yahoo! will begin testing the service several months later and will charge fees only to deliver messages related to purchases or financial transactions, the newspaper said.
For more on the plan to charge businesses for e-mail, click here.