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Protection From Online Eviction?

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the our-data-our-selves dept.

The Internet 296

AOL has been shutting down its free Web services, in some cases with little or no notice to users, and they are not the only ones. This blog post on the coming "datapocalypse" makes the case that those who host Web content should be required to provide notice and access to data for a year, and be held strictly accountable the way landlords are before they can evict a tenant. Some commenters on the post argue that you get what you pay for with free Web services, and that users should be backing up their data anyway. What do you think, should there be required notice and access before online hosts take user data offline for good?

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Nuts (5, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314441)

What has happened here was not eviction. If we are going to use that word correctly, that is.

Evict (evicted, evicting, evicts) - To put out (a tenant, for example) by legal process; expel; Law to recover (property, for example) by a superior claim or legal process.

Tenant - One that pays rent to use or occupy land, a building, or other property owned by another.

Unless those people paid for a web hosting package, they have zero recourse and they cannot be evicted as they never paid a dime for anything. They should not have any either.

I am sure there was some sort of TOS agreed to that it was for free and no guarantees were going to be made to it's avaiabilbity, backups of data were the users responsibility, etc.

This seems to be some sort of insane sense of entitlement by some people. Some delusion that servers, data storage, and bandwidth are free. That once they find their place to squat that "they are owed" something by the people that actually own that space.

Huh?

That's ... ridiculous. "They've gone plaid".

It was a free service and the web hosting providers have every right to do whatever the hell they want. There is no 99.9999% uptime SLA. It's called, "It's free. So sit down, have a coke, and shut the fuck up" SLA.

The argument that there has to be some sort of socialist laws guarantying free and protected web space to the people is just nuts.

Anyone wonder why property investors avoid certain parts of the East Cost US like the plague? It's because they have those laws there that can keep a squatter in a place for 9 months WHILE THEY DON'T PAY A DIME TO THE LANDLORD. Meanwhile, the landlord is paying a mortgage, property taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.

Those people are parasites.

Re:Nuts (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26314491)

I sat naked on the bench in the health club locker room, staring at the tiles on the floor between my feet, but really looking at nothing. I was waiting for Barack to decide to come up ant talk to me. He was this muscular middle-age nigger who frequented the club and had ruined my life in the last few weeks. I was ordered to sit naked on the bench without a towel or anything to cover my nakedness. I had to keep my legs spread and my cock and balls visible for the anyone In the locker room who wanted a look. I knew instantly that it had been a mistake to sign up at the inner city health club which was eighty percent black, but It was near my house and cheap which was even more important.

The harassment had started on my first visit. Dark skinned, muscular senate aides bouncing around the locker room with their huge dicks and pendulous sacks of balls swinging, high fiving each other and laughing and rapping, and there I was, this moderately built white guy of thirty two.

I will never forget coming back from the shower and one chocolate skinned thug of about eighteen let out a "weeeeeeeow" kind of sound and then said very loudly to me, loudly enough for all his pals to hear, "White man, how the hell can you fuck wit such a small dick?" They all roared with laughter and I turned bright red. Before I left that first time, I med Barack. He eased up to me while I was packing my gym bag. He is one good looking darkie, I will say that for him. He flashed me a big white toothed smile and said he hoped I wasn't thinking of quitting the club. He said he was friends with the manager and they had my address and shit, and it would be really unfortunate if I decided to quit. Then he laid one large basketball player sized hand on my shoulder and said that he would see me at the same time the next day.

Well, that's how it started. It got worse each time I went to the club. Barack and the other niggers got me to get towels for them, had me scrub their backs in the shower, even made me pick their dirty stinking jock straps up off the floor. They sent their filthy jocks and socks home with me to wash for them.

Now let me state here once and for all, that I am in no way at all gay. I don't think I ever even had a gay thought. So all of this really repulsed me. They would brush up against me so their big fat black dicks rubbed my body. They would make constant jokes about me being a faggot.

So I had it out with Barack. I told him I was a single parent with a thirteen year old daughter and in no way gay, and I wanted to quit the club. That mention of my daughter was the biggest mistake of my life. Barack demanded to see a photo of her. Her name is Crissy. After that, all they talked about was "Crissy the Cunt" in the locker room.

"Some congressman probably shoving his dick in her right now while you is at da club." They would say things like that. Barack would ask, "Do you suppose she had ever sucked black dick?" I told them she was totally innocent, and they should keep their foul mouths to themselves. They beat the shit out of me.

I didn't go to the club for a week. All the windows were broken on my car, and my newspaper was stolen, and somebody pissed all over our door. I received a package at work, and when I opened it, there was a pile of shit in a box. I was going nuts with anguish. I thought of going to the police, but I knew I would face even worse if I did. So I went back to the club. That was two months ago. A lot had happened in those two months.

Now I sat waiting for Barack to speak with me. He walked up, stark naked. The first thing I saw were his huge brown feet next to me. I looked up at his long muscular legs. How could I miss the seven inch flaccid dick, thick as a flashlight and the ball sack that looked like it had oranges in it. It was fucking obscene. His stomach was hard and tight. His ass was one of those round tight nigger bubble butts. His chest well defined with large nipples. He had a killer smile, thick nigger lips, and dark flashing eyes that often looked drugged.

"So, my man, how's that little dick of yours hangin'?"

I spread my legs wider so he could see my pathetic shriveled white prick and small ball sack. If I didn't keep myself on display for them at all times, they would have a wet towel snapping session where my scrotum was the target. It hurt like hell and was totally humiliating.

"So, bro, is everything set up for tomorrow?" He stood close to me...so close that his huge flaccid hunk of fuck meat brushed my shoulder. His dick was so huge, it was just fucking obscene, and that was in its flaccid state. He had not showered yet, and his body reeked of the nigger stink of his workout.

"Please. Please don't do this. I know I agreed, but that was after you had beaten me almost senseless. Please, isn't there some other way?"

He lifted one leg and put his foot on the bench next to me. His gigantic balls swung back and forth in their fleshy sack.

"Dere is no other fucking way, man. You don't wanna even think of what we gonna do to you next time you disobeys us. Dere is no other way. Now it so happens dat I needs me a new girlfriend, and your pretty little daughter fills da bill."

I felt my stomach turn over. I tried to relax, to breath deeply, but I felt like I was choking. This president elect nigger thug was talking about my daughter. My little Crissy. My thirteen year old angel. He had announced to me that he wanted her to become his girlfriend! Jesus Christ!

At first I had bluntly refused, letting my anger and disgust show. All the niggers in the club gathered around me, about fifteen of them, and Barack announced that I was racially prejudiced and didn't want him dating his white daughter. They started to slap and punch me.

"It's not that. Honest to God, I swear, it's not that you are black. It's that she is only thirteen. She's my innocent baby!"

Barack roared with laughter. "Any bitch of thirteen is totally ready for dick! She probably sucking da boys at school every day anyway by now." He looked at the photo of her which he had taken from me. "Yeah, she got real cocksucker lips, she shore do!"

"Oh God no, she's just a baby." I was crying in front of all of them.

"No, daddy, you gots it wrong. She is a babe...not a baby. Dat pretty little pussy is ready for some nigger popping!" Half the niggers surrounding me were getting hard ons, and I don't think there there was one under eight and a half inches.

For weeks I had argued, begged, pleaded, tried to bargain with Barack, but he only wanted one thing. My daughter's virgin pussy. Once I stood up to them and told them I would go to the police. They had dragged me naked and screaming into the health club bathroom and forced me to eat turds out of the toilet bowl. I was sick for two days. The next time I went to the club, Barack had made me suck his dick. That was the first time I saw it erect. Over twelve inches of throbbing leaking nigger cock. I had a panic attack and literally tried to run out of the club. They held me down on a bench and Barack fed me his black fuck meat. His balls almost suffocated me. His dick choked me. He even made me suck his ass. What could I do? I agreed to let them have my daughter. I know, I am an awful man. A sinner. It is unforgivable, but I am scared out of my wits.

"So, tomorrow, I comes over to yo house dressed up real good. You introduce me to yo bitch daughter. Now when I sees her, dis is how I wants her dressed. A very tight tee shirt dat says printed on it, "Obama" She will wear no bra under it so I can see the tips of her budding little titties through the material. Den she is to wear her nice pleated cheer leader skirt like in da photo, only I don want her to wear no panties under it. From now on, yo daughter is forbidden to ever wear any panties. We want dat fresh young cunt and ass ready and available at all times. I want you to have some really top drawer booze at yo house ready for me. I am not sure what I will want, so you better have enough to satisfy me, whatever my taste might be. Who da fuck knows, I may want a cosmo, or maybe some of dat Louis XIII Brandy dat costs three hundred dollars. You better have it all. After I has a drink, you pretty little bitch and I gonna sit on da couch and get acquainted. Dat means you as da daddy get to watch me finger her cunt and play wit her titties. You gets to see her meet my big fat old dick and even lick and suck it a little. I always insists on sex on da first date, cause how else you know how a bitch perform, right? Shit, I insist on sex on every date. I mean dat is da only reason for da fucking date..to plow some pussy! Right? Otherwise I'd rather hang wit da congressional black caucus. Now she gonna be a little uptight and scared at firs...right? Specially when she see my dick and she know dat huge motherfucker is gonna plow her virgin twat! Oh yea, if she got any hair on her cunt yet, you make sure she shave it all off before tomorrow. I wanna see bald thirteen year old pussy."

While he said all of this to me at the health club, his dick got thicker and thicker and long strings of pre-fuck started to hang from the fat pisshole.

"Please don't hurt her...please." I was shaking in my naked agony.

"Hurt her? No why the fuck would I hurt my new girlfriend? I gonna love her. I gonna show her da pleasures of lovemaking. Shore, it gonna hurt a little da first time I ram my twelve and a half inch motherfucking dick balls deep into her tight little teenage pussy. Shore it gonna hurt when I pounds her as hard as I can, and den pull out and shove it as hard as I can up her little asshole. Shore dat gonna hurt a little, but dat is jus' part of growin' up. A her daddy, you understand dat. Right? Better to hab some senator like me who wants her for his girlfriend fucking her, den every boy at school who don't give a shit about her.

"Now don't you worry, I gonna take her into the bedroom to fuck her cunt and ass. I think dat is private. I mean, you can watch da first time she suck my balls and lick my dick and such. But fucking is between a guy and his girlfriend. I wants you dere at the start...at the sucking part, cause she is gonna be scared like I say, and you can calm her. Tell her it is a natural part of life, and she just gotta learn to please a man. She, she shoulda learned dat couple of years ago already. She is a late bloomer.

Now I am gonna want to use her bedroom for da first fuck,cause I wants to fuck her little bitch body in her teenage bed, wit all her teenage shit around. It will be so hot. But den, I is moving into your master bedroom. You can sleep on da couch. I wants a nice big bed and luxury for future fucks. I gotta fuck at least three times a day, usually more. Now of course I still going to be bangin' other cunt, but I will fuck your daughter regularly cause she is my number one girlfriend. My special bitch. I ain't gonna introduce her to my bros until after I fuck her for a week or so. Den when she broken in, I gonna share her with all da boys from dis here health club. Dere about twenty of us here as you know, so she gonna be pretty busy sucking nigga dick and getting ass and cunt fucked. We gonna do mos' of it over at yo house. You have lots of food dere at all times fo my brothers when dey comes over to fuck your daughter. Since she be fucking most every day all day and night from now on, I suggest you apply to home school her. Dat way, she don't even need to think about school and she can concentrate on nigga cock all da time."

"Please, please use condoms...." I had tears running down my face.

Barack roared with laughter. "Condoms? Shit...no. We never use condoms. It ruins da fuck. Dat little bitch gonna be pregnant in a couple of weeks at mos'. You gonna be da grand daddy of a nigga chile! And who knows. She young. If she stay tight enough and cute enough, maybe we fuck her for three or four years, you know, pass her around, pimp her out. Shit, she still young enough. She could hab five or six nigga babies! We don' allow no abortions. She gonna breed. Now my brothers and daddy be comin' over lots to fuck her too, so you better have lots of keys to yo house made, or jus' leave the fucking place unlocked. She don't leave da house without permission. I would hate it for both of you if some black bro comes over for a good hard fuck, and she not dere! Now I know you worried about her. Don' be. After a few days of getting nigga dick, she gonna love it so much, dat all she gonna live for. I seen it in young white bitches lots of times. Someday she gonna thank you for all dis. I mean how many girls her age so lucky to get ten to fifteen black cocks a day? Long as her pussy and asshole hold up, she be happy. One thing, she gonna hab to be a really good cocksucker, cause One thig is dat when da boys in my hood meet up wit da republics to work on budget agreements...we got dis thing. We hab our girlfriends suck da cocks of all da members of the other party, as kind of a peace signal, you know, a sign dat we is kewl and everything is okay. So she gonna pretty much hab a dick in her mouth twenty-four seven for da next few months. She gonna be sucking on old white guy dick even when she getting fucked by my bros. Dis house gonna be pretty packed full of black boys! Now, after a bitch has sucked fifteen to twenty dicks a day, she often get a real tired jaw and swollen lips and a sore tongue, so you gonna have to tell her no matter how tired she get, da last dick of da day she suck, gets jus' as good a suck as da first one in da morning. You gotta make sue she understand that. I can't have no bad reports from dem rpublicans dat my bitch can't suck!

Now we gots one more problem. Da little bitch gonna be so busy getting fucked and sucking dick, she ain't gonna hab no proper time to clean up da dicks after dey fuck her cunt and ass! You know it da bitch's job to clean a dick wit her mouth after a brother fuck her. I mean, you can't expect a brother to walk around wit pussy slime or ass juice on his dick. But she gonna be so busy, she ain't always gonna hab time to clean up, so you my friend is going to have to step up to da plate to help her. You gonna be the official dick cleaner. You gonna lick and suck da dicks clean after dey fuck yo bitch of a daughter. I want you naked on you hands and knees at all times around da house, ready to lick and suck dick clean. And you gonna do a fine job too, I just know it. You get all dat stink off da cock. Maybe you can entertain da brothers waiting next in line to fuck yo daughter too by lickig dere balls and assholes. I never thought of dat until just now. Hot damn, dat is a good idea, ain't it? So dey don't get bored while dey waitin. And den, to keep your daughter fresh and tight, after every three or four fucks, you gonna crawl in and suck the nigga cum right outta her pussy and asshole. Think how great dat is. You gonna get to suck some thirteen year old pussy and asshole! How lucky is dat? You gonna clean out her cunt real good with yo tongue so it is ready for da next nigga.

We gonna be da happiest family you ever seen! Now come on, white boy, suck my dick, can't you see it dripping all over da floor?"

I put my mouth over the head of the huge leaking hunk of fuckmeat, and resigned myself and my daughter to our new destiny.

Re:Nuts (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26314743)

How a life can change in an instant. Everything one thought and believed can be shattered on the rocks of an uncharted coast of a new experience. Here I was, a happy English teacher, twenty-five years old with a lovely wife and a five-year old daughter. I was teaching in a good urban school, considered something of a boy-genius by my colleagues, respected by parents, and loved by most of my students. And then one fateful day, everything changed because of Jesse Coulter.

It was right after school, and I was seated at my desk correcting some papers when I noticed his lanky sixteen year old form standing before me. Jesse and I had not gotten along, did not get along well at all. That's because he was a very lazy teenage boy. He got through high school thus far on his basketball skills, and most other teachers seemed to turn a blind eye on the fact that he was charming them with his skill on the court and his million dollar smile. He didn't like English Class. I guess it clashed with his "street jargon."

Hell, he didn't like schoolwork of any kind. What he did like was fucking every girl he could get his large black hands on. And from what I heard around school, it wasn't just large black hands that won the young white girls over. Talk was he was endowed like a horse.

I mean, I knew several teachers who visited the boys' locker room just to verify the rumor. These were straight teachers. And the report they gave was that the rumor was correct. The handsome black boy got on well with other students, but they all treated him with some kind of special respect, like he was untouchable, above them in some way. In the lunch room for example, when he came to a table, other kids would move aside, or even leave if he told them to.

Now, handsome, black, Jesse Coulter stood before my desk. He should have been playing basketball, and I was the reason he wasn't.

"You get me benched?" He asked with a thick, husky, masculine voice.

"No Jesse, you got yourself benched. You didn't hand in the last two homework assignments, and you failed the last three tests."

He stood up talker, straightening his shoulders which usually slouched. "I been busy."

I looked uip at him. He was handsome, I had to say that for him. So dark with flashing teeth.

"Too busy to do your schoolwork? Then maybe you need a break from basketball."

"You know the school never go for that. I the star of the school."

"Not this week. Not until you get those assignments in and do better on the check tests."

"Fuck that."

I snapped up. I could feel the heat of anger rising from my reddening face.

"Don't you speak that way to me!"

Suddenly I was standing in front of him. I could smell his musk. He was about my height, but only sixteen. His strong face had an arrogance about it that was intimidating.

"Look, teach, how the fuck can I take time out to study, when I got to play basketball and fuck half the white pussy in the school?"

I was speechless. I just stood there.

"An, then there's all them female teachers in the school like Miss Mortenson who need my big black dick. And all them faggot teachers too."

"That is enough. I want you out of here and down to the office. Now!"

His eyes burned cold, the white around the cornea clear and ivory.

"Listen, Asswipe. You think I gonna let one cocksucking teacher fuck up my position here at the school? Shit, I already offered two scholarships to good colleges, and I only a sophomore. You the one who is gonna get on board here and learn some respect for a black star like me!"

And with that, he slapped me. He drew back one large black hand and slapped my face, hard. My head spun. I had never experienced anything like it in my life. I grant you, I am not a very physical person, although I do swim at the gym to keep a fairly good body. I am not into sports, and prefer Faulkner to Football. And this teenage black boy had just slapped me. I reached out to grab a fistful of his t-shirt, but he slapped my hands away as easily as swatting a fly. Then he grabbed my jaw in one large hand.

"We gonna do some extra-curricular work here with me as the teacher and you as the student. We gonna teach you how to respect the black man!" He almost lifted me off the floor by the one hand on my face. Then with his other hand he grabbed my crotch. He grabbed my balls.

"Shit, don't feel like you got much down here. Like most white boys, all talk and no fuck! How the fuck do you please your wife? Suck pussy all the time?" He squeezed harder and harder, until I was sure I was ruined for life and the room began to spin around me. Then he dropped me to the floor. I heard it before I saw anything. I heard him lower the zipper on his baggy jeans.

This could not be happening. There had been something in between I missed. Some gap in events that explained all of this. I was on the floor, my necktie twisted around my shoulder, my trousers wrinkled, and my balls throbbing and sending shooting pain up through my body.

I was looking up at a tall, lanky, punk of a nigger who was unzipping his pants. I use that word carefully. I know its full destructive power. To me, at that moment, Jesse Coulter descended from an African American to a Nigger. But I didn't have time to feel proud of my linguistic decision. I tried to scramble away, but he placed one large size thirteen tennis shoe on my body to hold me still.

"You know my record here at the school?" He asked, smiling and fishing in his open fly. "You know I already fucked six little white sluts pregnant?" I couldn't believe that was trueâ¦surly the school wouldn't hide such a thing just to keep us number one in basketball? Would they? "I gonna show you what they all love. Why they keep coming back for more. Why Mr. Hample and Mr. Louis drool every time I walk past.

He grew frustrated trying to fish his prick out of his baggy pants, so he cursed and ripped open the waist button and let pants and boxer shorts drop to the floor.

I have to say, I have never seen anything like it on man or boy. I've heard that there are photos of such things on the internet, but I don't go to those places. Jesse Coulter stood there with his pants puddle around his feet, and my lying between his spread legs. Over me hung the largest dick I have ever seen in my life. Mine is six inches hard, and I have been told that is average, for a white guy anyway. This dick wasn't even hard and must have hung eight inches. It was as thick as a beer can. And under it hung two low slung balls, each one the size of a hard boiled egg. It was freakish. No woman could ever even take such a prick, I felt certain.

"You gonna like this dick, Mr. Sutton. You gonna learn to love it a whole lot. When I finish with you, you gonna give me an A in English, just because you love this dick so much. You gonna want my dick more than your wife's pussy. You gonna want it like a heroin addict needs a fix. You gonna be nigger dick crazy!"

His talk was crazy! But I was in no position to argue. I had always been completely straight, never ever entertaining gay or bisexual thoughts. I was open minded about gays and believed in gay rights, but I was not gay.

He sat down on my chest, and his fat prick dragged across my shirtfront, leaking something from the puckered foreskin onto me. The shaft of the nigger prick was thick and wrinkled and the foreskin long completely closing over the cockhead. The puckered foreskin flesh at the tip looked like an asshole or something. The he pumped the gigantic hunk of fuckmeat and the foreskin drew back over the huge purple cockhead. It looked the size of a plum with a wide pisshole leaking pre cum. I was in shock.

The nigger cock grew to almost a foot in length. It was the most awesome thing I have ever seen in my life. He started to rub the leaking dickhead all over my face. I tried to turn my head away, but he slapped the fuck out of me, until I lay still and just let him play with my face.

"I gonna mark you, like an animal marks his territory. You never gonna get the smell of my dick off yo face. You gonna smell my cocksnot all the time, even when you fucking that bitch of yo's." He covered my entire face with pre cum! My nose and eyes and lips. I started to gag and he slapped me again. Hard.

"You never show disrespect to a black man's cock. You always welcome it, no matter who the black man is. You got that, Cuntface?" He made a fist and would have punched me right in the face if I hadn't agreed. Then he told me to open my mouth. I knew what was coming and that it would change my life forever. I opened my mouth. He yelled for me to open it wider. I did and he rested his enormous purple dickhead on my lower lip. It dribbled cockslop into my mouth like a leaking faucet. "I gonna fuck yo ass of course, but not till later in the week. You my bitch now, and you keep your asspussy and mouth available for me any time, night or day. But I ain't got time today, cause I gots to go to basketball practice. And I going, ain't I? He lifted his huge dick and started to slap my face with it. Pre- fuck sprayed the area around my face. My lips were sticky with his pre-cum. His dick was like a giant club and it hurt badly when it thunked into my face.

"Yes! Yes!" I cried. "You can go, just leave me alone."

"Leave you alone? No way, girlyboy. You is my ho now. I gots lots of fun stuff planned fo you and me. But fo now, I just gonna blow some nice nigger sperm into your mouth and you gonna swallow like a nice cockhog." I was crying pretty heavily now and trying to tell him I wasn't gay, and please don't do this to me, but it was already too late. He had his dick in my mouth and was fucking my face like it was a young white virgin cunt.$$He humped my face, leaning his body up and over my head, slamming balls deep so his big nuts thumped on me. His legs stretched and I raised one hand to his large muscular tight globular ass. His ass skin was smooth and I felt the deep ass crack. He grunted and pushed more and more dick into my face. Now it was lodged in my throat, stretching and ripping at my throat muscles. I could not breath. I was sure I would die. The cock was down twelve inches into my gullet.

How could any girl take this? I wondered. The pain was horrible, but the humiliation worse. The prick expanded and throbbed and I felt it moving in my neck. I put one hand to my neck and actually felt the big nigger dick from the outside of my neck. His pubic hair was thick and stank of sweat and black boy sexual smell. I was being face fucked by a sixteen year old nigger and couldn't do anything about it. Jesus, what was happening to me and what would become of my life?

Then he came! It seemed like gallons of thick white nigger sperm. It poured down my throat like glue, then he pulled back and it filled my mouth. It felt like wallpaper paste or oatmeal. It backed up into my nasal passages and I started to snort nigger cum.

He laughed and pulled out and shot three more spurts of dicksnot all over my face. Then he milked the dick of the last drops of his cock cream and wiped his dickhead in my hair. He leaned down over me smiling and then spit three huge gobs right into my face.

"We will continue this tomorrow. Don't try to skip school, or tell anyone about us, or you will be very sorry. I got lots of friends who are a whole lot rougher than me."

He stood up and stuffed his black hose back into his pants which he pulled up and buttoned.

"I gotta go to practice now. And I bet I get an A on the quiz tomorrow, huh?"

He put one large foot on my face and pressed down, almost breaking my nose.

"Say hello to yo pretty wife for me. Oh and tomorrow, don't wear any underwear under your pants. It will save time."

And then he was gone.

But my nightmare was just starting...

Re:Nuts (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26314499)

some races are inferior to others. I'm glad I don't have a whole country full of deceitful, greedy kikes stealing all my water and land anywhere near me. Fucking Jews can't just live in peace. They have to steal other people's land. With Jews you lose. Let's lose the Jews.

Re:Nuts (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26314867)

Our national economy is collapsing from the Jewbanks doing their usual Jewthing. You see, with Jews, you lose. That's how THEY win. They WIN by making YOU lose.

Re:Nuts (2, Informative)

pxlmusic (1147117) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314503)

i'm with you on that one. hosting and domain registration is cheap as hell these days.

OTOH, could not the same be said of free e-mail? i say this knowing that for example, Comcast's users have nothing but issues with the e-mail access included in their accounts whereas i have no issues with my free GMail access.

Re:Nuts (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314679)

I'm wondering about the analogy about web hosting, and people that rent apts and houses...and their supposed rights?!?!

Where is this that you get so much notice and all? Down here...you get a written notice delivered to you by the sherrif. YOu have 30 days from there to be out...on day 31, your shit gets thrown out on the streets.

Not to mention...it seems hard as hell to get a deposit back...I've been renting different places in NOLA for 10 years...and I've been stiffed on deposits a couple of times easily. And...if they sell the house your renting to someone else...well, you get 30 days..a.nd OUT...no recourse whatsoever.

So, I'm wondering what these renters rights are in other cities/states?

Re:Nuts (1)

pxlmusic (1147117) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314719)

not much. the average consumer has jack shit for protection these days.

more of that "golden rule" crap.

What renters rights are in other cities/states (4, Informative)

nbauman (624611) | more than 5 years ago | (#26315049)

In New York City, the tenants' rights are pretty strong. It's almost impossible for a landlord to evict a tenant who pays the rent, and it takes 6 months to evict a tenant who doesn't pay the rent. My landlord has to renew my yearly lease, at an increase regulated by law. After living here several years, I'm paying about half as much as the people who are now moving in paying what we call "market rent."

That's because (1) There are more tenants in New York City than landlords (2) We had a long tradition of socialist movements in New York City that taught people how to organize into tenants' organizations and demand that our City Council pass strong laws protecting tenants. The strongest, most aggressive organization was the Metropolitan Council on Housing, whose leader, Esther Rand, openly supported the Communist Party (Lenin never liked landlords). For all their faults, those Communists knew how to organize people.

Surprisingly (for those of you who believe in the free market) it works pretty well. The landlords are still getting rich (some of them very rich). There's lots of new housing being built. And a lot of people are able to live in New York City who could never have afforded to live here otherwise. There were some houses abandoned during the economic downturn of the 80s, but that seemed to affect both rent-controlled and uncontrolled housing equally, and it happened in cities without rent control too.

In contrast, Boston had a rent control law, but a few years ago they voted it out. The last I heard, the rents have gone up, it was much harder to get an apartment in Boston, there's no building boom in affordable housing, and from a tenant's POV they're worse off than they used to be. But I'd be interested in first-hand information.

I personally don't think rent control is the ideal solution. I think people who can't afford market-rate rents should be able to live in public housing projects (which also work better than you'd think), and landlords should be allowed to get as rich they want (provided they don't do it at my expense). But rent control was part of a grand bargain that the landlords in New York City struck with the tenants' organizations.

I think the lesson is that tenants can get a much better housing market, with more affordable rents, if they organize and pass laws that benefit them, than they would if they leave it to the free market. If you want to learn how to organize, do a Google search for an MP3 of Pete Seeger's song, "Talking Union." Or search for "Howard Zinn".

Re:Nuts (2, Interesting)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314569)

I am sure there was some sort of TOS agreed to that it was for free and no guarantees were going to be made to it's availability, backups of data were the users responsibility, etc.

Agreed, although it would be more polite to notify them. After all, it takes virtually no effort on AOL's part.

Re:Nuts (5, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314671)

Okay, politeness is nice and all. As long as we can agree it's not actually legally required.

This is not so much about AOL as it about and it is more about what the author of the article is stating. From the article, the gentleman makes it sound like a call to arms for the oppressed and downtrodden. He is making into some sort of social injustice issue and that only laws will force the web hosting providers into doing the "right thing".

So it would be in the best interest of those providing free services to treat their subscribers nicely since they get plenty of ad revenue from it. That's fine and dandy. It's just not legally required.

Re:Nuts (4, Insightful)

rhizome (115711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314815)

Okay, politeness is nice and all. As long as we can agree it's not actually legally required.

Correct. As stated many times, there is no law against being a dick.

Re:Nuts (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314847)

this calls for the dicks and pussy's speech.

Re:Nuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26315039)

... you mean, the "Dicks, Pussies and Assholes" speech?

Re:Nuts (2, Interesting)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314999)

In general, it's also probably good business practice to notify people, in terms of making them less angry and giving them a chance to back it up if they didn't. But in the end, I'm extremely leery of legal regulation on things that are given away for free. Short of intentionally poisoning food at a soup kitchen I don't see a whole lot of justification.

Legality and even ethics aside, I am sad as this will poke a lot more holes in our series of tubes, and cause many things that I find useful to go missing. I generally download useful websites just in case, but not reliably, and there are always the useful ones I haven't found yet. Broken links suck.

Re:Nuts (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#26315011)

Well if you want to discuss good business strategy, quality, and politeness we can do that, but legal recourse

Re:Nuts (1, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314609)

If something has been advertised for free, the payment is still there, it's just zero.
In this case, the users are not squatters, they have been offered a service, and have accepted the service. Whether the payment is $0.00 or $0.01 shouldn't fundamentally change the basic rights.

Whether the users are too demanding is another issue. In the case of data, it can and should be copied, and if you're stupid enough to not have a copy (or, rather, the original) on your own PCs, I think you deserve what you get. However, there are cases where a person should be able to ask for some time, like for instance if they have fallen on hard times or have been burgled, and need time to copy the data off.

I think a livable solution would be a two-weeks notice, and a two-weeks extension for those who ask for it, and also a way for people to pay for getting the data delivered on a CD/DVD or similar (i.e. a stupidity surcharge).

Anyhow, that's just my opinion :-)

Re:Nuts (2, Insightful)

GravityStar (1209738) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314801)

I don't see any need to give two-weeks notice to anyone who trolls a forum posting some inane story on what happened when he saw Obama. (You know what I'm talking about, you've seen these posts around here. Yes you have.)

I would delete those posts (and the poster) from any forum I have moderator/sysop rights to. Without notice. A mandatory two-weeks notice would be wonderful for spammers, warez uploaders, trolls, hate-groups, etc.

The author of the blog post hasn't thought this through. But then, that's indicative of most blogs.

Re:Nuts (3, Insightful)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#26315023)

Violation of TOS is pretty different than a site closing itself down. Still, I agree, it's kind of silly to require them to keep it up. We'd just see

1) Free hosting services stop because of liability
2) Use of loopholes to circumvent this ill-conceived law
3) Legal challenges (unlikely)

Re:Nuts (3, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314869)

If something has been advertised for free, the payment is still there, it's just zero.

Uhhh, Sorry but a "payment" must be non-zero by it's very definition. What you are trying to say is that you can construct a contractual agreement (TOS) without any sort of compensation. "Free" and "Payment" are mutually exclusive in any language on Earth.

I think a livable solution would be a two-weeks notice, and a two-weeks extension for those who ask for it, and also a way for people to pay for getting the data delivered on a CD/DVD or similar (i.e. a stupidity surcharge).

May be a nice solution and a polite one, but it should never be a legal requirement in a contract for web hosting providers that offer free service.

The law is clear. If you are staying someplace without any contractual agreement or non-zero form of compensation the property owner can have the police forcibly remove you at will. No judge will support your claims for damages either. They will throw your case out of court since you never paid anything.

There is a big difference between the law (various contract laws which govern contracts) and what is the "nice and warm fuzzy" way of doing things. It is often in companies best interests to get as close to possible as the "nice and warm fuzzy" way of doing things since it increases customer satisfaction, but it is not required by law.

Re:Nuts (3, Informative)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#26315041)

Actually under contract law many contracts require "consideration" be paid.

Case in point: NDAs. An NDA is only legally a binding contract (US-Centric law here) if the signer receives compensation in some form for it. For example, in job interviews the NDA is usually reciprocal: we don't talk about you, you don't talk about us. In others it's a lunch.

In many contracts you get or give $0.01 or $1.00 just to make sure it'll stand up.

Re:Nuts (5, Interesting)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 5 years ago | (#26315101)

You're forgetting something very important: the law does not require that one party pay money for a contract to exist, only that there is some consideration. If AOL is providing a service for free, then you're correct. But if AOL is providing a service in exchange for showing you ads, or data-mining your surfing habits, then you are paying for the service and AOL is bound by the terms of the contract. If those terms include clauses stating that notice has to be given, then AOL has to give notice. If not, then the user is shit out of luck, should have bargained harder.

Courts are very leery of making judgments on the value of the consideration (the price you pay) preferring to let contracting parties work out how much of what is worth the service or good contracted for, so I'm pretty confident that a judge would find that exposure to advertizing or data-mining would constitute sufficient consideration.

Also, in contract law there is the notion of unconscionability, specifically that where one party to the contract is grossly more powerful than the other, the court can make decisions in favour of the less powerful party that would otherwise run afoul of contract law. True bargaining only occurs between equals, and the law has long recognized that.

It's this principle that is the source of the renter's protection laws that you despise so much. Tenants get these protections because they would otherwise be powerless against their landlords, who could impose terms with impunity (pay up, or I'll throw you out on the street! And no, I won't get rid of those cockroaches! Too expensive!). You may not like it when poorer tenants are protected against their landlords, but I bet you don't object so much when you want to return something you bought under warranty. Warranty and consumer protection laws derive from the same principle of law.

And lastly, if the cut-off of service wasn't mentioned at all in the TOS, the customers may have a remedy in tort for damages. The TOS would have to explicitly waive liability on cessation of service to exclude recovery in tort.

(note that of course, I am not a lawyer, this is not advice, blah blah blah.)

Re:Nuts (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26315161)

"Free" and "Payment" are mutually exclusive in any language on Earth.

Well, except for the ones opensource proponents talk, of course.

Re:Nuts (1)

wdsci (1204512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314887)

There's still the issue (brought up above) of the terms of service. If the TOS says that AOL may discontinue the service at any time with or without notice for any reason whatsoever, then too bad for the users, they don't have any right to a two weeks' notice or any notice at all. The difference between $0.00 and $0.01 is that a sensible consumer is a whole lot less likely to pay a nonzero amount of money for a service with a TOS that includes that clause. There's no basic right to an advance notice of termination, it's just that - one would hope - offering a service without one wouldn't be economically viable.

Re:Nuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26314951)

"Whether the payment is $0.00 or $0.01 shouldn't fundamentally change the basic rights."
          Sure it does. If no money exchanged hands, this makes a difference in a lot of situations. I mean, that's after all why you will have dealings where someone pays $1 rather than just giving something away -- it makes it nice and legal.

          That said... so AOL "should" give a month or so warning for people to pull their info. But they sure don't have to. I have not put anything on a free web server, photo site, etc. I run my data off my own machine. I did almost lose it in a disk crash once, but have never had to worry about some free service provider taking it down.

Re:Payment by other means (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26315213)

From what I remember of business law 10 years ago:

Offer, Acceptance, Consideration.

Host Offers service, you Accept, and your consideration is to abide by the terms *they* set specifically because it is a form of giving up certain legal rights *as payment* to use their service. Typical is "no foreign language sites". They're too lazy to translate sites for policing purposes, so they make it a TermOfService, which you agree to for their sake.

Unfortunately, companies are learning that "free as in beer" can be an excuse to slide out of commitments. I dabble with free hosts and have solid backups, and two mirrors at any one time, so I really *expect* them to fail and operate on that premise.

But despite some (good) advice here, I have managed to avoid backing up my Yahoo Mail and I would REALLY be upset if they croaked. That's because the principle of Relied Upon has come into play.

Re:Nuts (2, Informative)

Malevolyn (776946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314819)

1&1 has a practice of suspending your account and removing all data without any notice. I was running a website hosted by them, and on said site we got into a discussion about phishing. 1&1 came to the conclusion that my site was actually being used for phishing and shut it down with absolutely zero notice. I didn't find out until I tried to login to my admin panel.

1&1 is supposedly one of the biggest hosting companies in the world and I'm appalled at their actions. I was never able to receive any of my data, or even get any correspondence. I would say that's a pretty good definition of "eviction," and I will never do business with them again.

Re:Nuts (4, Interesting)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314849)

It is not just the east coast that can be punitive in regard to land owners. Squatters can often cost a fortune and take years to evict in many states.
          However I don't feel sorry for these landlords getting stuck at all. Many times they are arrogant and terrorize tenants with illegal actions. For example I know one old creep who refused to repair a septic system with the claim that since a tenant lived there the tenant must pay for the work. The guy knew just how to get revenge and paid to get the sewer system fixed and stopped the rent dead cold. It took close to a year to get him evicted and the loss of legal fees and rent was a stunning lesson to that landlord. And in Florida collecting a judgment can be impossible so the tenant knew full well that he had won the battle.

Re:Nuts (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314955)

"It took close to a year to get him evicted and the loss of legal fees and rent was a stunning lesson to that landlord."

IANAL but I do watch an unhealthy amount of people's court. A great bulk of those cases deals with the landlord / tenant relationship and rent. While I have no doubt that it could have taken close to a year to go through the process, everything that I have ever heard on the subject tells me that the tenant would have to pay the landlord rent for all of those months that he was staying there.

What I am willing to buy is that, if the lease agreement or state law says that the landlord was, in fact, responsible for the repairs to the septic tank then the judge could have (and probably would have) deducted the cost of the repair from the amount of rent owed. It's certainly possible that the cost of the repair equaled or was greater than the amount owing in which case the landlord would have collected nothing and may have actually had to pay the tenant something if the tenant had a counter-claim. However, the tenant would have had to prove that he paid for the septic repair, that he did so because the landlord refused to and the judge still could have dismissed all cases due to the fact that both parties broke the lease agreement or state laws.

If anyone with more direct knowledge wants to chime in or correct me please do.

Re:Nuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26315119)

There is a huge difference between a judgment saying "the defendant must pay the plaintiff $x" and the plaintiff actually collecting that money.

Sure, the defendant is legally obligated to pay. But you can't touch the defendant's house, he has to live somewhere. And you can't touch his pension, he has to live off something. In some states, anything he owns jointly with his wife is protected.

Some defendants are "judgment proof." If they have no assets, you will never be able to collect a dime.

Re:Nuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26314995)

they have those laws there that can keep a squatter in a place for 9 months WHILE THEY DON'T PAY A DIME TO THE LANDLORD

That's ok, if there's anything that the "subprime" (read: investor's 10th loan) mortgage crisis tells us, it's that the landlord wins in the end when they continue to collect rent while neglecting to mention to the tenants that they're going to be evicted.

Why these guys aren't hunted down and busted for fraud escapes me, then again, maybe I should start demanding rent from people on property I don't own.

Re:Nuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26315249)

To learn how to stop whining,
join the army.

No, there shouldn't be (3, Insightful)

johannesg (664142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314477)

What is needed are clear terms of usage. If those state the owner of the free service can take the site down with no advance warning and without providing access to the data, they can do so. The site owner in turn can decide whether he wants to deal with such a free service or not.

Re:No, there shouldn't be (2, Informative)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314595)

If those state the owner of the free service can take the site down with no advance warning and without providing access to the data, they can do so.

I doubt AOL's lawyers would allow them to offer such a service without those conditions.

Re:No, there shouldn't be (1)

Fanro (130986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314601)

What is needed are clear terms of usage.

since noone reads those terms of usage anyway, and in case of a shutdown customer satisfaction is irrelevant, what incentive would providers have to offer anything above what is required by law?

Re:No, there shouldn't be (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314889)

Whether or not they read the agreement is irrelevant, they agreed to it, they are bound by the terms.

Re:No, there shouldn't be (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26314625)

I agree with you. This is a poor comparison to landlords. Housing is an essential part of what one needs to survive. Web hosting is not. If one needed web hosting to live, then it would make sense to mandate rules like giving ones tenants fair warning before removing them.

Re:No, there shouldn't be (3, Informative)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314669)

What is needed are clear terms of usage.

What in the world are you talking about? All of the sites [circavie.com] in [aol.com] question [ficlets.com] have a nice link to AOL's TOS [aol.com] at the bottom of the page. Their TOS is fairly specific about what you can expect from the service (in this case pay attention to points 6, 17, and 18), which is absolutely squat if they say so. The services are free, what else would you expect?

I agree that there are a lot of problems with the TOS for many services, but those problems usually don't stem from being unclear (most of the time), they stem from the fact that most TOS are downright draconian, spelled out to the letter and leave the consumer with negligible wiggle room.

Yes, there should be (1)

nbauman (624611) | more than 5 years ago | (#26315225)

The services are free, what else would you expect?

Not quite. There's a principle in law called reasonable reliance. (Wikipedia doesn't have an entry, and I can't find a good definition on the web.)

If you reasonably rely on someone else's assurances, and you get screwed, that person can be liable for your damages.

If somebody offers me free software, and I use the software to set up my business data, and the software becomes unusable (say, their copy protection goes psycho), I could argue that I relied on their assurances about their software and now I'm screwed. I might get damages. I don't know for sure because IANAL.

I remember one famous case in which a chemical company gave a science teacher a free case full of bottles labeled with different kinds of petroleum products. The teacher needed some kerosine to store sodium, so he used their bottle labeled kerosine, but it wasn't actually kerosine -- they used water. The sodium blew up, he was injured, sued the chemical company, and won, even though he got it free.

One of the elements of a contract is "consideration" -- if you use AOL's service, they have to get some "consideration" back in order to have an obligation through contract. But delivering your eyeballs to their advertisers might be consideration.

Re:No, there shouldn't be (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314875)

What is really needed is the idea that anyone causing harm faces potential disaster. It is not reasonable behavior to shut down a free service without notice. It is up to juries to decide if real harm was done and weigh that against why the shut down was sudden and without notice.

huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26314479)

Required? No, AOL owns the service and can do what it wants with it
Should they give a warning anyway? Yes, there is no adequate explanation I can think of why they shouldn't.

Why is this even an issue (5, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314487)

You obviously have to have a local copy of your data at some point. Why are you deleting it?

Re:Why is this even an issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26315063)

Webmail?

Re:Why is this even an issue (1)

FrostDust (1009075) | more than 5 years ago | (#26315277)

Unless you don't read the mail, it gets stored in your browser's cache, at least for a short while.

You get what you pay for. (3, Interesting)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314507)

It's free, so how can anyone complain?

Re:You get what you pay for. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26314661)

My question here is whether or not only AOL customers can use this service? If that is the case then it is not truely free beer, it is included as a paid for service with the account payments. This would be like renting an apartment that came with a refridgerator and then being told in the middle of your lease that you could no longer store your beer in their refridgerator after their superintendant comes in and removes it from the refridgerator while your at work and then removes the refridgerator. When you complain they tell you that you have nothing to complain about as the refridgerator was a "free service".

Either way, no notice is rather atrocious customer service. Wonder how many soldiers in "war zones" have data there they thought would be safe while they were away from home?

Re:You get what you pay for. (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314735)

Tell me that after you go to the free clinic and get a shot of botchalism.

Re:You get what you pay for. (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314865)

A free clinic in, say, Canada is paid by your taxes. In fact, doctors send their bills to the government - so the money is paid, and the service is not free. It's just prepaid by all citizens. If it's flawed then anyone who is affected can complain.

On the other hand, if you go to a private person and he gives you a wrong treatment for free then, outside of regulations on medical practice, you can't do much. To make the case clearer (since doctors are heavily regulated,) if someone repairs your iPod for free and the repair is bad you can't do anything about it. You can sue the guy, of course, but chances are that his liability is limited by the money paid (zero.)

Re:You get what you pay for. (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314873)

The free clinic has a duty of care to you and your person - there can exist no suitable equal when it comes to a website.

Re:You get what you pay for. (1)

honkycat (249849) | more than 5 years ago | (#26315271)

There's an important difference between shutting down a service and willfully or negligently inflicting harm.

Remember MP3.com? (5, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314817)

I remember MP3.com around the year 2000, when it was actually cool. Indie bands could post their music in any of zillions of genres, and you could listen with a click. I fell in love with one particular genre, the New Age genre, which consists of lots of trance tracks. But when MP3.com started down the "we host your CD library for you!" I knew that the game was about up and that they were about to be sued into oblivion (which happened), and wrote a bash/wget script to download everything I could of the MP3s. I still have this collection of MP3s today, almost 10 years later. In fact, I'm listening to it right now.

Aren't backups great?

If you care, take a look at the SLA. And if it's free, don't cry about not getting what you didn't pay for in the first place.

Re:Remember MP3.com? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26315239)

Yes, too bad about mp3.com, and strangely, lala.com now does essentially the same thing in terms of streaming your own music with the industry's blessing.

Don't back up? Sucks to be you. (4, Interesting)

mcdonald.or (985710) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314515)

Anyone who uses a free webhost and doesn't have a backup of the website is completely without my sympathy if the free webhoster decides to delete the site.

If the site is important, spend the money for a hosted site, it will probably cost less per month than your internet connection. Besides, most ISPs give you a site with your connection.

Even if you have paid for a site, you should have your own backup. At least one.

Contract (2, Informative)

evanbd (210358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314529)

In the case of renters, we have legal protection because if you get evicted without notice you may find yourself temporarily homeless, and that is a *huge* problem. It has direct impacts on people that extend far beyond the simple financial costs of moving on short notice.

On the other hand, getting your web site shut down really only has economic impacts that are in line with the cost of moving your web site. So, if those costs are large, you should have a service level agreement with your hosting provider. The one exception is all those old links to your web site. Requiring hosting providers to provide redirects to your new site seems minimally intrusive for all concerned, and solves the problem. However, I think the size of the problem is small relative to the cost of adding yet more random crud to our legal code. If your web presence is even marginally important, buy your own domain name and then if you get evicted set it up to point to your new host.

And it goes without saying that you should have backups of your data. You should always have backups of your data.

The correct response to these things is to make a big stink about it online, so people know who to avoid (and possibly shame the companies into handling the evictions better). It is emphatically not more nanny state regulations to protect ourselves from doing things that were stupid in the first place.

See Journalspace (2, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314535)

You should be backing up everything that you don't want to lose anyways in case that the online service provider isn't backing stuff up.

It doesn't even have to be malicious, Journalspace is a good example of people who didn't know what a backup was and lost a bunch of data.

Online account != Residence (2, Insightful)

cb_is_cool (1084665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314541)

The basic reason for the notice requirement on evictions is that evictions tend to leave a person without a home. When getting cut off from online access to relatively unimportant content has the same devastating repercussions, I guess the same requirements will begin to apply.

A Year? Hell. (1)

DreadfulGrape (398188) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314551)

30 days seems reasonable to me.

Re:A Year? Hell. (2, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314623)

This is AOL we are talking about here. A month is barely enough time to recover the text of the website, much less the images.

Re:A Year? Hell. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26314831)

I'd agree that a year is pushing it to the extreme. It'd be nice to get 2 weeks to a month of ahead notice. And that's usually all anyone would need in regards to a web site. (Unless it's ridiculously huge, however the majority of the free ones are on the fairly small side.)

And it's not just convienient notice for making backups of a site if you haven't done so already (which some people think it is), but also so you can provide timely info about the shutdown to your site's visitors. If you're site is relocating, it's good to have some time to get the word out so your audience knows where to go next. Besides you want them to go to your site, not some domain squatter B.S. or a false lead redirect that tries to fool people.

A Warning would be nice (1)

prestomation (583502) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314565)

I think it would be nice(and not too much trouble) for free sites like this to let there users know some time in advance so they are prepared. The law certainly has no reason to be involved here.

Now a pay service, that's completely different of course.

The value is equal to the price. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26314577)

How about a double your money back guarantee.

6 weeks isn't "little or no notice" (4, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314581)

Huh? As far as I can tell from the links, they gave about 6 weeks' notices for all these things. That seems to me like a very reasonable amount of advance notice, considering this is a free service. If users had a small amount of content, then they can just cut and paste it into a word processor to preserve it. If they had the world's most extensive blog, with hundreds of thousands of words scattered through thousands of posts, and six weeks isn't enough time to evacuate ... well, they shouldn't have entrusted such an important part of their life to a free service without making regular backups.

Re:6 weeks isn't "little or no notice" (4, Informative)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26315071)

If they had the world's most extensive blog, with hundreds of thousands of words scattered through thousands of posts, and six weeks isn't enough time to evacuate ...

Such a person needs to archive their entire website.

There is one such utility that comes to mind. It is called HTTrack [httrack.com] and is freely available for a variety of platforms.

From the site:

HTTrack is a free (GPL, libre/free software) and easy-to-use offline browser utility.

It allows you to download a World Wide Web site from the Internet to a local directory, building recursively all directories, getting HTML, images, and other files from the server to your computer. HTTrack arranges the original site's relative link-structure. Simply open a page of the "mirrored" website in your browser, and you can browse the site from link to link, as if you were viewing it online. HTTrack can also update an existing mirrored site, and resume interrupted downloads. HTTrack is fully configurable, and has an integrated help system.


Been using it for years and it works VERY well.

Internet Archive (2, Informative)

antimatter15 (1261618) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314585)

I'd like for web.archive.org to be more reliable.

why is this a problem? (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314591)

Seriously, if your online presence is that important, its not as if it would cost much to get a paid for service.

I use some free services, google project hosting, gmail, facebook, but there is not one thing I have in any of these services which is of any value that isn't backup up, in triplicate in most cases.

I also have paid for hosting, doesn't cost much, and even the stuff I have there is backed up locally with again triple backups.

The real issue here is being inconvenienced by a free service shutting down with little notice. Well, tough, there is no such thing as a free service which is guaranteed to last for ever.

Good warning (4, Insightful)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314615)

This is a good warning at a time when cloud computing is becoming a popular concept to both businesses and software developers. Businesses will hopefully make it a priority to invest in and expect cross-compatible solutions and keep local backups. Software developers will hopefully listen and make these options available, even though it may be in their interest to lock up that data.

In addition, it will probably affect a lot of users who store important information or contacts lists or conversation histories that may need to be referred to daily by these individuals, and serve as a warning to them as to what can happen if they start to store a lot of important data that they cannot easily backup for use in applications that may not always be available.

Backup Your Own Data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26314617)

We had a paid hosting provider who was supposed to be backing up our data. One day, with no warning or even notification, our hosting provider sold out to another hosting provider. During the process all our data was lost. We couldn't even get contact information for the new company. After much scrambling around, we finally got in touch with someone at the new company only to find out they didn't have any backups at all.

Of course (3, Funny)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314633)

Yes, absolutely. There should be a law against anything that might cause even the slightest inconvenience. Nothing bad should ever happen to anybody, and if it does, someone has to pay.

Here we go again... (5, Interesting)

dkf (304284) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314659)

In the computer room at my college, many years ago, there was the following sign:

Rule 1: Always make a backup.
Rule 2: Always make a backup. (This is a backup of Rule 1)

Just because things are now on Web 2.0 services over the internet doesn't change the fundamental dictum. If you care about the data, it is you who needs backups. If you don't make backups, obviously you don't care (enough)...

Re:Here we go again... (4, Interesting)

pondlife (56385) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314835)

In the computer room at my college, many years ago, there was the following sign:

Rule 1: Always make a backup.
Rule 2: Always make a backup. (This is a backup of Rule 1)

Just because things are now on Web 2.0 services over the internet doesn't change the fundamental dictum. If you care about the data, it is you who needs backups. If you don't make backups, obviously you don't care (enough)...

What about Rule 0:

Rule 0: the following rules apply only to techies, who are the only people capable of understanding even the basic issues involved

Seriously, if you provide a consumer service of any kind, and you expect the consumers to do anything more than just use the service, you are seriously deluded. People - including, I suspect, many techies - will never do anything more than chat/download/email/surf/whatever.

My bank doesn't tell me to back up my account details in case their internet service goes down, why should anything else be different? Yes, that's a rhetorical question, and of course you and I understand the difference, but why should anyone else?

Anyway, the point is that this is not even a technical issue: it's a business one. How do you persuade people to start paying not only for "free" services (Facebook) but "worthless" invisible ones (a backup of your Facebook data)?

If you can solve that, let us know. Until then, going on about backups is only preaching to the choir. Most of whom have probably had a nasty experience with things going wrong already... :-) [slashdot.org]

Re:Here we go again... (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314945)

Seriously, if you provide a consumer service of any kind, and you expect the consumers to do anything more than just use the service, you are seriously deluded. People - including, I suspect, many techies - will never do anything more than chat/download/email/surf/whatever.

No, I expect customers to lose their data if they haven't backed it up. If they want to purchase a backup solution, I will sell it to them. Otherwise, it's quite logical that it will be lost.

Re:Here we go again... (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314981)

This is totally OT, but i can't get my damn signature to work. This is a test.

Re:Here we go again... (5, Funny)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314859)

Please tell me there was another sign in the laundry room reading

Rule 3: Always make a backup ( This is an offsite backup of rule 1)

Re:Here we go again... (1)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314925)

You forgot Rule 3.

Rule 3: If you can't perform a backup with the a given service don't use that service.

And it's at that point, you realise the "cloud" is vendor lock-in by another name.

In fairness to AOL... (2, Interesting)

Jamamala (983884) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314675)

I've had about 4 reminder emails over the past 6 months telling me that AOL pictures will be closing, even though I don't use it - I just happen to have AOL as my ISP (or used to, until they sold everything to Carphone Warehouse / TalkTalk..)

So in that particular case, I got quite a good "eviction" notice in plenty of time, even though I don't occupy the building!

Re:In fairness to AOL... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26314827)

That explains it. You're on AOL. Your spam filter wasn't working.

What AOL is... (4, Funny)

jcwren (166164) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314685)

...is the public housing project of the internet.

Provide free psychoanalysis? (1)

IainMSB (1230082) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314721)

Some people (not me, you understand) might suggest that anyone who:
(a) knows what they are doing in IT, and
(b) has invested intellectual capital and some data in setting up services on a free web medium with no contractual obligations on either side, and
(c) who has *not* backed up their site/data

- needs their head examining.

FF extension to save submitted forms? (2, Interesting)

internewt (640704) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314733)

Something that could help mitigate the consequences of things like this in future is something that I have been looking for for quite a while now.... a FF extension that will automatically save all the contents of all submitted forms.

FF already (mainly annoyingly) saves some of what gets entered into forms, but it won't save this rant, for instance. It'll save every possible typo varient of an email address that you might enter, and offer you the typos until the end of time, but the content you might want again in the future? Oh no.

Has anyone seen an extension like this? Or know of an extension that may have this feaure?

Get outa my house! And leave your potatoes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26314747)

If I invite you as a guest into my house, I can kick you out whenever I want. I don't have to give you 2 weeks notice. I don't have to give back the damn mashed potato sculptures you made at my house. You used my space and my mashed potato mix to make them. You used my front lawn to advertise them. You invited other people into my house to view them. I don't care that your _skills_ are in the potatoes. I said 'fine' at the time, and yes, I'm being a dick about it now, but it's _my_ goddamn house. Now get out. I'm hungry.

Re:Get outa my house! And leave your potatoes. (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#26315085)

I don't have to give back the damn mashed potato sculptures

But... this means something!

Re:Get outa my house! And leave your potatoes. (2, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26315251)

If I invite you as a guest into my house, I can kick you out whenever I want. I don't have to give you 2 weeks notice.

Actually, that's not always the case:

If your houseguest has been living with you for more than 30 days, he would be considered a tenant, and the tenancy could only be terminated by proper written notice. If your houseguest has been a tenant less than one year, you could terminate the tenancy by giving 30 days' written notice, but if he has been living with you more than one year, you would have to give him 60 days' written notice. If your houseguest did not vacate within the notice period, you would have to begin formal eviction procedures.

(http://www.boston.com/realestate/news/articles/2007/12/06/how_to_evict_house_guest_who_refuses_to_pay_rent/ [boston.com] )

If you paid for it in any way, yes (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314765)

If you get hosting through your ISP, you should be at least offered to have a DVD of your data mailed to you for a fee, or have a week or two to download everything. Otherwise, they owe you nothing since you never invested any money into the relationship.

It would be _nice_ if AOL tried to warn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26314789)

when a freebie web account is facing an impending shutdown for reasons other than abuse. This could be something like a banner stuck on each page of the site with a countdown in days on it, as well as an email generated to whatever the email of record is. But AOL has the right to manage its resources in whatever manner it wants. Often if the site isn't too long gone, content can be retrieved via the Wayback Machine.

you must pay the rent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26314799)

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." GWBâ" Aug. 5, 2004, at the signing ceremony for a defense spending bill.

mod 04 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26314803)

consistent with the be any fucking In any way relate9d be treated by your

AOL web space was NOT free (2, Informative)

careysb (566113) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314809)

I paid for it as part of my contract with AOL. Push has come to shove. See you later AOL.

Re:AOL web space was NOT free (1)

pHus10n (1443071) | more than 5 years ago | (#26315281)

My god, people still use AOL? *offers comfort*

There, there. In time, you'll be able to put this behind you.

RTFP == Read the Fine Print (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26314813)

Read the fine print people. It's provided AS-IS, WITHOUT WARRANTY, and NO FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

Basically, if it's "FREE", they provide it at their pleasure, and can remove it at same.

IF you pay for it, read the fine print AGAIN, it's basically the same as above.

If you value you data or web stuff [and face it, most web stuff is 100% crap], BACK IT UP.

I can't wait for cloud services. clueless people putting all their stuff online, paying 'small monthly fees' and thinking that gets them 99.999% availability and backups.

Paid for by advertising (1)

Jessified (1150003) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314871)

Maybe they didn't pay directly, but the users are paying by having AOL advertising on their webpages. It's not like AOL was offering this service out of the kindness of their hearts. The users are paying for hosting by driving traffic to AOL's services, and with that in mind, they are just as much paying customers as those who pay with cash. Maybe AOL won't be legally responsible, but they will likely pay for it in traffic and reputation. The thing with free services is that there is nothing stopping users from moving else where.

As someone who owns some servers... (4, Insightful)

davmoo (63521) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314879)

I own a few servers, and both sell hosting to paying customers, and give free hosting to some friends.

I try to always keep everyone informed on what's going on. Last time I upgraded one server to a newer model, I gave everyone on that server 4 months notice and kept the old server running for 2 more months after the new server was up and in regular service. And I keep meticulous daily backups, and have been known to mail DVDs of their own data to those who ask for them, even for those who host on my servers for free.

But on a free service, people, you don't have "rights" to "demand" jack shit. If you don't like my terms for free hosting, then shuffle your cheap ass off to another host. Web hosting is one of those services where you get what you pay for. If you want guarantees and a formal policy, then you're going to give me some of those little American government generated pictures of dead presidents in return.

It never ceases to amaze me how people with no financial investment or payments at stake are so readily willing to tell equipment owners what to do. And because of them, I'm just as readily willing to tell freeloaders to kiss my web hosting ass.

Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26314897)

Hard drive crashes are unannounced, so any company can simply have one of those in lieu of providing access to data for a year.

Depends on whether you've paid or not (2, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314917)

IMO it depends on whether you're paying and have a contract or not. If you're not paying (in cash or in some other form), then the host should be entitled to terminate without warning. They should be required to provide a way for you to back up your content, but if you haven't been using it they shouldn't be obliged to do anything. You get what you pay for.

If you are paying, then at least 30 days' warning should be required and the host should be obliged to provide some way for you to transfer your data off. If they're taking money, they don't get to simply disregard their customers. A caveat to that should be that if there's a written contract then the terms of that contract should apply. If the contract lets the host terminate with no warning and no opportunity for you to recover your data, and you were dumb enough to sign it, then you should suffer the consequences. If there wasn't a written, signed contract (eg. all there was was the host's standard ToS that you didn't have to explicitly sign), then minimum requirements should apply regardless.

Free Services? (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26314983)

Give me a break. if you want some sort of TOS, buy an account.

breaking the spooks code as well ? (1)

sjwest (948274) | more than 5 years ago | (#26315095)

Im sure aol is not the worst offender out there yahoo comes to mind but with data retention laws surely are not the dhs/m15/nsa upset at losing all those records ?

Ask for a refund (2, Funny)

TheZed (151921) | more than 5 years ago | (#26315109)

If you kick up a big enough stink, I'm sure they'll refund the purchase price... heck, they may even double it in this case!

TFA says they did pay (1)

sisina (849900) | more than 5 years ago | (#26315147)

The linked blog post points out that AOL Hometown was provided as part of people's monthly AOL charges. If that's true, this is more like .Mac shutting down in 10 years, after most people have lost interest, sending official notice to people's ancient email addresses, and giving them four weeks to get their data before they pull the plug. If you've accepted money for hosting data you have a lot bigger obligation to your clients. I've hesitated to add premium services to recipething.com for just that reason -- I don't want to mislead people into expecting more of the site than I'm able to provide.

Not the same thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26315183)

You can't make a copy of your house and keep it somewhere else.

Backup your data and you should never lose more than a day or so, even if your provider disappears off the face of the earth with no warning.

Dropping XDrive as well (2, Informative)

chipschap (1444407) | more than 5 years ago | (#26315243)

I see XDrive goes away as well on Jan. 12, 2009. Makes you wonder why AOL bought it out in the first place. While I don't claim I have rights in a free service for which the TOS state clearly that it can be ended at any time without nice, it is still a pain and raises in my mind the question others have: how much should we rely on free online services? The obvious answer based on experience seems to be, not at all, but what about something really big like Gmail? I use POP3 to backup my Gmail correspondence locally, but free or not and rights or no rights, if a service such as Gmail shut down it would really rock a lot of boats.

backup only what you want to keep (1)

purpleraison (1042004) | more than 5 years ago | (#26315283)

backup only what you want to keep is something everybody who uses a computer to store/ retrieve data should do; be it files on their personal computers, or their website.

Like it or not, we are each responsible for our own files.

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