Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Wanna buy a username?

Mark Phillips at C|net has a rather naif column this week called"Who owns your e-mail address?" Its about spam, the end of email and suing but the title question really set me off. Because nobody "owns" your email address. Its simply an identifier just as any other username (network, web site, database, et al) is. Or your social security number. No one "owns" that, its an identifier which uniquely identifies you. No more, no less. Some things are owned. Some were owned, but no longer are (who owns "aspirin", for example). And some things never were owned and never will be (who owns the Pacific Ocean?).

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