Perhaps I an now spoiled by the open and free nature of the Internet but I am pretty annoyed that Yahoo and AOL are considering taxing e-mail by charging money to ensure messages are not marked as spam. Sure the service they say is optional but it is to the advantage of both these companies that control over a hundred million e-mail addresses to err on the side of sending legitimate e-mail to the spam filter. After all, the more mistakes they make the more often legitimate companies will be forced to pay this tax.
A lot has been made of the concept of Web 2.0 but I am wondering if a more apt description of it is the web with taxes. After all SBC and BellSouth are looking to charge content providers for access to high quality connections to their customers and e-mail companies will charge businesses to send e-mail.
It seems anywhere you turn someone with control is leveraging it to make a buck. What remains to be seen is how Google’s Gmail sides on this matter. Does their corporate motto, “Don’t Be Evil’,” mean they won’t look to make a buck where their e-mail competitors are? We’ll see.