[JDEV] Thoughts on AOL Time Warner (and a legal solution)

Emswiler, Mike MEmswiler at protrader.com
Fri Jun 8 00:07:03 CDT 2001

Sorry to have brought it up, I didn't mean to imply there should be any
lawsuits - I'm not a litigious person by nature.  I was really just curious
if someone actually had attempted to or not already.

This really belongs on a different list.


-----Original Message-----
From: Adam Theo [mailto:adamtheo at theoretic.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2001 10:54 PM
To: jdev at jabber.org
Cc: jdev at jabber.org
Subject: Re: [JDEV] Thoughts on AOL Time Warner (and a legal solution)

"Emswiler, Mike" <MEmswiler at protrader.com>
    Has anyone tried to actually sue AOL Time Warner for monopolistic
    practices with respect to their Instant Messaging products and

    I mean, with AOL *and* ICQ, and their constant changing of AIM
    protocol to defeat interoperability, it sounds like it would be a
    sure win.

hmm.. i'm sure it's something that many people would like to do. AOL's
constant manipulations and run-arounds in a narrow-minded attempt to
expand their market share not through fair competition with better
products and services, but instead through bullying and control of
it's users, is a thing almost every one of us would like to stop in
any way possible.

but my personal view is that a lawsuit would do much more harm to us
than to them, even if we won. first, a long, drwan out court room
fight, spending LOTS of $$$ (AOL Time Warner will always have
exponential amounts more cash at hand than us, no matter what). at the
end, we are victorious, but left weak and seriously injured, while
they loose yet remain strong and powerful. *then* they appeal...

no, if we are to open up AOL Time Warners IM systems, it will most
definately *not* be through lawsuits or even threats.

i am pleased to see the creation of the Jabber Foundation, and see it
on very democratic, open principles. i was too late to get in on the
first round of applications for membership, but will work very hard to
get in as oon as they start taking applications. i would like to
propose and enact an effort to take a very unconventional, yet most
effective, method to get what we want.

i feel the best way is to present AOL Time Warner and the mass media
with a surprising and table-turning list of pledges. pledges stating
something along the lines of "i, ### ###, recognize AOL Time Warner's
assertion that opening their IM systems at this point could put their
entrustsed users at grave security and privacy risks. security and
privacy are very serious issues, and compliment AOL Time Warner on
their care for their users and their great efforts to not put them at
risk. I believe that a very secure solution can be found that
would enable the Jabber messaging system and AOL's AIM and ICQ systems
to interact and communicate, one that protects AOL's many users. At
little or absolutely no cost to AOL Time Warner, such a method can be
developed, benefitting both Jabber and AOL, by us, open source
developers of Jabber and other projects. I consider this pledge to be
a very important move on my and the open source community's part, a
move of co-operation and recognition."

or something along those lines. although many of us dislike AOL
tremendously, the important issues to winning this is to make sure AOL
can win as well, to not try and dishonor them or put them in an
uncomfortable situation, to compliment them and give them a nice puff
of ego in the media's eyes, and to tell them they can't loose by
taking up this offer.

of course, this issue will involve legal expertise to properly word
and phrase. this will need a lawyer. may i strongly suggest Mr Daniel
Ravicher? he is an associate with Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison
(http://www.brobeck.com), New York, NY. he graduated magna cum laude
with University Honors from his class at the University of South
Florida. he specializes in intellectual property and information
property laws. but most importantly, he believes in open source. he is
an active participant in the Free Software Business List at
Crynwr.com, and has extended offers of help to myself and i'm sure
many others on the list.

to read some of his opinions and experience in the open source and
legal fields, i strongly suggest you take a look at theis interview of
him at Slashdot recently:
   /\    --- Adam Theo ---
  //\\   Theoretic Solutions (www.Theoretic.com)
 /____\     Software, Politics, and Advocacy
/--||--\ email: theo at theoretic.com   AIM: Adam Theo 2000
   ||    jabber: adamtheo at jabber.org   ICQ: 3617306
   ||  "Did you ever get the feeling the world was a tuxedo,
   ||     and you were a pair of brown shoes?"
jdev mailing list
jdev at jabber.org

More information about the JDev mailing list