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Stamp It Out

A new proposal aims to bring spam under control

This story appears in the July 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Spam costs you and your employees productivity and computingpower. And that means it costs you money. Now money is at thecenter of a new anti-spam movement. "E-postage" is theconcept of attaching virtual stamps to e-mail to reduce unwantedbulk e-mail. The idea is to create a monetary barrier similar towhat keeps our physical mailboxes from overflowing.

We can hear the collective groan, "Don't make us payfor e-mail!" That attitude, prevalent among growing businessesthat rely on legitimate bulk e-mail, is one block to e-postageproposals. "The only people who seem to be enthusiastic aboute-postage are the people who plan to sell you stamps," saysJohn R. Levine, co-author of Fighting Spam for Dummies and co-chairof the Anti-Spam Research Group (

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