This is a question to bionet.software, commercial issue.

jasper at molbiol.ox.ac.uk jasper at molbiol.ox.ac.uk
Thu Jan 7 16:31:29 EST 1993


In article <1993Jan7.072233.9124 at comp.bioz.unibas.ch>, doelz at comp.bioz.unibas.ch (Reinhard Doelz) writes:
> With respect to the discussion going on about Maspar's posting on 
> the nicety of the BLAZE program, I would like to ask whether companies 
> like GCG woudln't have the same rights? 

We read INFO-GCG here as bit.listserv.info-gcg, though it can have a time
delay of about 24 hours compared with the Listserver at U Toronto. It's not
necessarily the obvious place to look for it perhaps, though I think this is
widely known to be the UseNet (I'm sure Reinhard reads it there, I just don't
know who else does). 

Personally I don't see why there shouldn't be a group for IG and for GCG and
any other package that gets voted for. The companies just have to be
reasonable about how they post to these groups. After all the group won't get
created if there are not enough people who want it, and it doesn't belong to
the companies. INFO-GCG is a good example of how it can work, where if
anything I get the feeling than many people would like them to be (more)
active in posting. But perhaps their caution is on the right side?

> Despite the full appreciation of the 
> beauty and beneficious nature of BIONET I start to worry whether there 
> isn't some bias coming in in interpreting the rules. There are hundreds 
> of postings in comp.sys which permanently reflect commercial issues. 

There is, after all, a position somewhere between a blatant commercial plug
and a genuine factual post from a company about a product. comp.sys.* is a
good example where a lot of information comes out that informs the group about
the appropriate (sometimes new) product in response to requests for help with
a problem. It doesn't always come from a company source. (of course it's not
always polite either :) and people usually complain if the commercial plug is 
too much of a free advert. There is a stong element of give and take with it.

> So why not have the policy adopted for BIONET also? 

Get my vote.

> In USENET terminology, 
> BIONET still does behave a little different (just remember voting, email gw 
> etc), but wouldn't it be time to revise this fear of being commercial and 
> afterwards filter (other would call it censor) at the justice of 
> administrators? 

I think it is wholly a question of balance. There has to be a common ground as 
to what is reasonable. For the most part that means that commercial posting 
have to be scrupulously within what the community feel is OK. Otherwise we 
should have a bionet.advertisment group where everyone can post whatever they 
like! (No I know this isn't within NSFnet guidelines, I'm just being 
provocative, though there could be an email serive, and the Gopher option 
looks good too).

Anyway, I hope I am not viewed as anti-commercial, my ranting and raving is 
largely because of the soap-powder/breakfast-cereal standard of the posting in 
question.

regards,    jasper

Jasper Rees

jasper at molbiol.ox.ac.uk  (coming to a nameserver near you soon :)




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