DCC on Windows

Vernon Schryver vjs@calcite.rhyolite.com
Sat Jan 10 00:02:12 UTC 2004

> From: Carl Stehle <webmaster@instantservers.com>

> ...
> > My main worry with Windows clients is how to fund support for users
> > who would never consider typing `make install`.
> Well, if the Spampal release with DCC happens, then I guess this
> starts to become a problem sooner rather than later.

Have the copyleft licensing problems in the Spampal-DCC interface
been solved?  If so, I'm not sure a Spampal release would qualify
as raising that problem.  For one thing, the last time I knew,
Spampal had fewer than 100K users.  The difference between 10M and
100K users is enormouse.

> To support the added load caused by our mail server application 
> (however miniscule at first), we were thinking of either setting
> up a DCC server or finding someone who has already done so to 
> work with, the latter probably being preferable due to our
> general lack of experience with DCC.

As I've often written, there is a very large difference between reselling
code that has a freely distributable (or even FSF style) license and
selling the CPU cycles, bandwidth, and disk space of other people.
The public DCC servers have ready defenses against the latter should
that become a problem.  Those defenses have been used to deal with a
problematic commercial product or two that cause problems with the
public DCC servers.

> I am not sure which way you want to see this go, but it seems to me
> that long-term, DCC either needs a volunteer funding base in order
> to remain free (like e.g. Spamhaus), or needs to partition into
> free vs. fee services (Spamcop), or become entirely fee-based
> (Cloudmark).

There are already a bunch of fee-based DCC services and products.  There
are also the volunteer funded free code and the public DCC servers.

If you want to make a substantial donation to the people running the
free servers or the source of the code, something can be arranged.
However, a few dozen or even few hundred contributions of the fungible
eqivalent of a case of beer would not be worth the accounting and tax
problems they would cause.  Getting more than a few dozen contributions
would be difficult.  I view Spamcop, SpamaAssassin, MAPS, and especially
MAPS's "volunteer task force" as members of a long line of object
lessons on usually overall negative effects of passing the alms bowl.
Once you accept their money, people view you as a servant subject to
their orders.  As long as no money changes hands, the participants in
the free side of the DCC can resist compulsion by anything but good sense
and their own self-interest.

Vernon Schryver    vjs@rhyolite.com

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