What is a 'commercial' post?

Steve Firth steve at firthcom.demon.co.uk
Tue Mar 7 10:38:16 EST 1995

In article <rawlings-0603951432200001 at node139.silcom.com>, Jeff Rawlings 

> I believe I understand the rationale, which is similar to the
> reasoning behind all newsgroup charters: the desire to restrict
> off-topic posts, which contribute to noise in the group. What is
> still unclear to me are the details about what constitutes
> "commercial use" or a "commercial" post

Thanks to Jeff for raising a subject that has puzzled me for some time. 
I raised this issue with bionet administration when I first subscribed 
to the bionet.* newsgroups and received what I thought was a clear and 
unequivocal reply, ie Any commercial use of the bionet.* newsgroups was 

I have been surprised to see that academic sites can make commercial use 
of these groups without a complaint being raised. Research workers 
mercilessly plug their own books (very commercial), advertise shareware 
(also commercial, shareware is profit-generating) and advertise 
conferences (many have a registration fee and several are arranged by 
commercial, profit making, organisations).

Surely, the anti advertising policy should be administered 
even-handedly, with commercial posts from all organisations being 
banned? At present the bionet.* groups, effectively moderated by peer 
pressure, exclude advertising from commercial sites while encouraging 
advertising from non-commercial sites.

Failing this approach, I would support Jeff's suggestion made elsewhere 
that bionet might find room for a moderated advertising group, where 
advertising related to biotechnology is permitted but the "spam" is 
rejected. At present, with the exception of the experimental biz-biotech 
list, there is no place on the internet for issues related to commercial 
development of biotech or for promotion of commercial biotech services.

Stephen Firth                       .  Firth Consulting
steve at firthcom.demon.co.uk          .    Support Services for 
CIS: 100023,3414                    .      Biotechnology & Diagnostics

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