In my view, it's time to charge a small amount to send an email. This is not a new idea, or my idea, it's one that's been raised since the invasion of spam.
See a recent opinion piece in The Prospect, We need and email tax which argues, in part, that:
Over at techdirt, similar views:Some 200bn junk emails are sent daily. More than 40bn come from the US and Canada, and about 6bn from Britain. Estimates vary, but the best guess is that more than 90 per cent of all email is spam.
What causes this stupefying supply for which there is no apparent demand? The answer is simple: sending an email is free. ... Spam is used to spread viruses and sell fake or fraudulent goods. Moreover, there is an increasing risk that spam will make legitimate email a form of second-class post.
And lastly, an ecological rationale for charging for email and purging the Internet of spam: Stop spam and save planet from greenhouse gases...frustrating spammers by disrupting their services and raising costs, as well as trying to hold down responses even more, could diminish the profitability of spam to the point where it's no longer attractive.
I am in favor of charging for email. It seems ludicrous to me that email is free, or that a service is the same price for someone who sends one email per month or sends 100 million. A one cent or half cent charge would eliminate most spam, and give legitimate email direct marketing companies a more responsive group to email to.Charging for each email, even less than one cent per message, would quickly make most spam unviable, according to Coroneos, but consumers have shown little willingness to pay for a service they have always considered free.
Is there any practical or rational or legitimate economic reason for not charging to send an email? I don't think so.