The Market Solution to Email Spam

A COMPANY called Goodmail Systems thinks it has come up with a potential (and partial) solution to the problem of spam and fraud on the Internet. According to Goodmail, market forces are the answer, rather than the kinds of ineffective regulations that have so far failed to solve the problems.
. . .
What shocks me most about the opposition to Goodmail is that people who claim to believe in the free and open Internet, with its welcome attitude to innovation, want to shut down an idea. That’s wrong.
If people like those little stamps that mark their mail as safe and wanted or as commercial transactions, then let the customers have them. And let other companies compete with Goodmail to offer better and less expensive service.
Goodmail isn’t good because it’s new, but neither is it bad because it’s new. If it’s a good model, it will succeed and improve over time. If it’s a bad model, it will fail. Why not let the customers decide?

For the full commentary, see:
ESTHER DYSON. “You’ve Got Goodmail. The New York Times (Fri., March 17, 2006): A23.

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