Micapeak.com policy statement
Off-site archiving of mailing list content
December 1, 2000
Micapeak.com is a not-for-profit hobby service. The master server is
wholly owned by H Marc Lewis
and funded by Marc
with several generous donors. It's administered by two old motorcycling
computer geeks in their spare time. Among many other things, at present
we serve over 50 motorcycle-oriented e-mail discussion mailing lists.
Carl Paukstis (AKA
listmaster at micapeak dot com) runs the
mailing list server software and takes care of administrative tasks
for the list server as a whole (e.g. backups, configuration issues,
etc.). With Marc's assent and cooperation, Carl also sets general
administrative rules and policies for the mailing lists and e-mail
operations in general.
But no one person has time to pay attention to and care about 70 active
mailing lists. We run a division-of-labor, division-of-responsibility
practice with each mailing list overseen and administered by a volunteer
"listowner" who has a few special areas of interest. The listowners
cultivate and monitor and care about their individual lists, and set
their own list policies within some VERY general site-wide guidelines.
We brought some of these e-mail virtual communities into being in the
first place; others we gave a home when they were "orphaned" by former
providers. We take some effort and expense to maintain them. We
understandably feel some sense of family and "pride of ownership".
We've had many discussions over the years with operators of other services
who want to provide a "front end" (or a "back end") for mailing lists,
or who want to facilitate anonymous "subscribers by proxy". These folks,
some of them with the best of noble intentions, would like to build their
user/subscriber base (and often build revenues for advertising, etc.) out
of re-processing micapeak.com efforts. Entrepreneurs have often started
up that kind of thing surreptitiously, without our knowledge or consent,
which we find very irritating. Other "repackaging" or "post-processing"
services have been much more straightforward and responsible about
their intent, writing to us and asking permission or offering services.
While we very much appreciate that politeness, we still do not sanction
or give permission for those activities.
It is our policy not to give permission for anyone to archive
micapeak.com mailing lists off-site via commercial, for-profit or
unaffiliated other services. Several listowners maintain their own
archives of their own mailing lists; we have no problem with that. But
we feel it is unfair and inappropriate to do so in other cases. Unfair
of for-profit enterprises to augment their profit-making capacity via
the many volunteers who have donated their time for nearly a decade to
help micapeak.com provide free services. Inappropriate for non-profit
sites to do the same without adding substantial value. It is our opinion
that this dilutes the value of micapeak.com and weakens our efforts to
provide a high-quality, reliable, long-lived free service.
We appreciate your honoring our policy.