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Second Round of Dispute over `Online Stamp System`

Posted March. 07, 2002 09:30,   


The Internet world is in the midst of intense dispute over the `online stamp system`.

The reason is that on the 26th, Daum Communication has taken measures to limit unregistered Internet Protocol (IP) addresses from sending more than 1,000 e-mails to members. Daum is to take a further step of charging 10 won per mail during April, even for registered IP addresses. It is called the online stamp system.

However, other Internet business enterprises, which had been sending commercials through a massive quantity of mails, are strongly opposing against the decision. `Federation for Free E-mails` (FFE), which consists of 20 enterprises like Lettee, Interpark, and Lotte.com, opened an `anti-Daum` site, and is insisting on an online protest.

Even Commercial Mails Are Too Much-

Daum said that the number of registered enterprises by the 4th reached up to 1,705 with 2,308 IP addresses.

“We expected about 1,300 to 1,500 enterprises to send mass e-mails, but we are very much surprised because the number was way above that. The online stamp system will be put into active practice during April, after discussing with the registered enterprises about the distinction between information mails and commercial mails and the price level.” , said the Public Information director of Daum, Lee Su-Jin.

The reason for Daum’s action despite strong opposition is due to the enormous cost. Daum pointed out that over 80 Per Cent of average 56 million e-mails per day are mass e-mails, and the number exceeds 45 million. Daum authorities also explained that 29 billion won was spent only for server investments, as mass e-mails rapidly grew in number from the 40 Per Cent line in last March.

Their point, therefore, is to classify mass e-mails into Spam, commercial, information mails, and to charge all except for information mails. Daum expects to determine only between commercial and information mails, because if IP registration is done on real names, Spam mails are automatically filtered.

Lee Su-Jin insisted, “Not everything is free just because it’s online. If somebody has to pay for the expenses, it is right to charge enterprises that do the marketing.”

“Internet Should Be Free”-

FFE feels as if they were `tricked`, because when controversy of the issue became public last year, the agreement said the dispute `be resolved through negotiations`.

Lettee president Kim Kyeong-Ik, who is also the leader of FFE, pointed out that “Daum is treating mass e-mails as Spam mails. It is contradicting itself by willing to deliver mails upon payment after it said that Spam mails should be disappeared.” He also said, “When Daum wants to allow mass mails only from the registered IP addresses, it means that Daum is trying to take control of communication through the Internet.”

Internet enterprises’ such strong opposition is due to the fact that they are heavily depending on the e-mail marketing, and 10 won per mail would cause critical damage.

FFE is to hold an open discussion session about legal systematization for eradication of Spam mails on the 13th in Yeoksam-dong, Kangnam-gu, Seoul.

Im-Sook Ha artemes@donga.com