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Marketing sleaze, revisited

In case my message last week got lost in the storm of duplicates to
comp.lang.lisp.mcl, I'd like to alert MCLers to an unsavory network
practice.  I got email last week from sarah@franz.com that read in part:

: I read your message on the newsgroup regarding Apple's announcement
: to discontinue their support and development of MCL.  As I'm sure
: you realize, your sentiment is shared by most all MCL users.

The rest of the email, in its entirety, was a form letter containing a
marketing survey and an invitation to join a mailing list for Franz, Inc.

I don't think posting an opinion about MCL or Apple should subject the
poster to junk email from Franz and other software providers.
Furthermore, I find the ingratiating platitudes quoted above to be an
insincere ruse to make the form letter appear to be relevant to my
Usenet post.  (In my case that attempt failed hilariously, because my
post didn't even mention MCL or Apple.  That's the sort of clerical
error that is easy to make when you send out form letters in bulk.)

If this practice continues, any time you post to Usenet you may be
subjected to mass mailings from any advertiser who thinks they might
make money on you.  It's as bad as postal junk mail.  Worse, in fact:
the lower cost to the huckster will lead to greater abuse.  And in a
medium where anyone can ask for the information they want, sending
junk email to people who don't ask for information is gratuitously

I call on Franz, Inc. and Sarah Molyneux to discontinue sending form
letters to addresses they cull from Usenet posts, except when the
poster asks for help finding their products.  I think they should make
their policy public so that their current and prospective customers
can determine whether they are dealing with a reputable firm or a
public nuisance.

Dan Hoey