[JDEV] Thoughts on AOL

Thomas Muldowney temas at box5.net
Tue Jan 8 19:57:34 CST 2002

I'm not going to go into all the litigation (or lack of) against
companies, but this move is completely consistent with previous actions
by AOL.  Remember the MSN days?  Remember Odigo?  There have also been
some other isolated cases, so there is a precedent for what they are
trying to do.  They set a level of what their service involves and who
can use it and so far it seems that any entity that is of a certain
size, and IM related, attempting to connect to the network has been
blocked.  We have to respect that, especially if we want to be respected
as well.

I'm not against a public statement.  It would also have more clout from
a public company, but it has to be made carefully.  Before a statement
is made I would strongly suggest the company has been blocked, you have
attempted to talk with AOL and resolve the conflict, and it's not pulled
into the larger Jabber scope.  This is a political problem, not a
technical one, and it needs to stay in that arena.


On Tue, Jan 08, 2002 at 04:46:56PM -0800, Max Metral wrote:
> I guess I think that it's impossible for people to support Microsoft
> antitrust litigation and think that what AOL is doing is somehow different.
> I *don't* support the MSFT litigation at all (at least what it's become) but
> I actually think THIS is different given the media control that AOL now has.
> And what's more, in this case, AOL has already agreed to move towards
> interop.  So unless they're talking complete smack (which they are), this
> move is incosistent and should be treated as such.
> I work for PeoplePC, we're not huge, but we have a decent member base and we
> have a ticker symbol, which is the important part for news.  I'm trying to
> think of how we could help this battle with some statement that makes sense.
> If people think of anything, I'd love ideas.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: James Widman [mailto:j-widman at cornellcollege.edu]
> Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2002 7:36 PM
> To: jdev at jabber.org
> Subject: Re: [JDEV] Thoughts on AOL
> Thomas Muldowney wrote:
> >  It is their network, and their resources, and I feel we need to respect
> >that.  
> >
> I tend to agree, *but*.... anyone who has an internet connection can 
> send email to AOL users; anyone can browse through web pages hosted by 
> AOL; further, AOL/TW would certainly *like* everyone on the internet to 
> chose the AIM client for their instant messaging needs.  It's not like 
> they're not prepared for a large number connections to Oscar (and 
> correct me if I'm wrong, but connecting with "unauthorized software" has 
> never even been a legal issue -- i.e., jabber people didn't get cease & 
> desist orders, they just got met with unfriendly engineering and IP 
> blocking, right?).
> It's just that they have this crappy double standard about how people 
> are allowed to use the resources that they already offer up to the 
> non-paying public, and it seems that a lot of people here (myself 
> included) are wondering if we should respect *that* at all.
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Thomas Muldowney
email/jabber: temas at jabber.org
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