[X4U] OT: Can we sell stuff on this list?

Randy B. Singer randy at macattorney.com
Sat Jul 7 20:44:14 PDT 2007

On Jul 7, 2007, at 8:00 PM, Linda wrote:

> Are you the Listmom?

Shawn is not the listmom of this list.  Eric Prentice is "The  
Macintosh Guy" and he is a 'hands off' type of listmom.  He is just  
about never present on the list, and it is difficult to gain his  
attention otherwise.  He runs a Macintosh accessory business:

He hosts a bunch of lists:
But I can't find any posted rules for those lists.

As far as posting 'for sale' stuff on a discussion list, I wouldn't  
characterize that as spam automatically unless it is off-topic and/or  
the poster is taking advantage of the list with an annoying volume of  
posts.  Lots of Mac lists allow members to post occasionally about  
Mac stuff that they have for sale.

With respect to what Shawn had to say about freedom of speech, he is  
correct.  Just about every Mac e-mail discussion list is run at the  
will of the listmom.  There is *no* right to free speech.  For folks  
that believe that something about the U.S. Constitution, Bill of  
Rights, or our government, etc. guarantees your right to free speech  
on a Mac e-mail discussion list, you are patently wrong about this.   
The right to free speech in the 1st amendment only guarantees that  
the **government** must not interfere with your right to free  
speech.  Most e-mail discussion lists aren't run by the government.   
(With the possible exception of discussion lists hosted by publicly  
funded universities.)

(Note that even the government has the right to restrict the "time,  
place and manner" or your exercise of free speech.  For instance you  
have no right to yell "fire!" in a crowded theater, as this may cause  
harm to others and interfere with their rights.  As another example,  
you have no right to block the freeway during rush hour with a  
political demonstration.  My educated guess is that the government  
would be reasonable in making laws preventing folks from spamming  
discussion lists; if they haven't already.)

Discussion list rules are made and enforced by the listmom.  If you  
don't like or want to follow the rules, your sole option is to  
unsubscribe and join another list that you might like better.   
Fortunately there are lots of Mac discussion lists to choose from.   
But likening the governance of discussion lists to a "(hopefully)  
benevolent dictatorship" is essentially correct.  That doesn't just  
apply to this list.  It applies to essentially all of them.

Randy B. Singer
Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)

Macintosh OS X Routine Maintenance

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