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VLC 1.1 Forced To Drop Shoutcast Due To AOL Anti-OSS Provision

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the more-shouting-imminent dept.

America Online 315

The folks over at VideoLAN are in the process of releasing version 1.1.0 of VLC, and one of the major changes is the removal of SHOUTcast, a media-streaming module from AOL-owned Nullsoft. "During the last year, the VLC developers have received several injunctions by e-mail from employees at AOL, asking us to either comply to a license not compatible with free software or remove the SHOUTcast capability in VLC." Within the license is a clause prohibiting the distribution of SHOUTcast with any product whose own license requires that it be "disclosed or distributed in source code form," "licensed for the purpose of making derivative works," or "redistributable at no charge." The license would also force VideoLAN to bundle Nullsoft adware with VLC. Update: 06/22 00:52 GMT by H : The 1.1 release is ready from their site; you can also read up on the release information.

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Not the first and not the last (4, Insightful)

jlechem (613317) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645420)

to say fuck you AOL. Seriously quit being a dick.

Open Sound System (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32645534)

Seriously...who uses this anymore?

Re:Open Sound System (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645796)

Lots of people who are stuck with their email addresses in AOL. They don't want to change because they are afraid to lose business (the same a people don't like to change their mobile numbers). I wonder; the EU might make email address portability mandatory if we start shouting loud enough about this. Would you like that AOL? Do you really want to annoy us?

Re:Open Sound System (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32645866)

I wonder; the EU might make email address portability mandatory if we start shouting loud enough about this. Would you like that AOL? Do you really want to annoy us?

Is this really feasible?

Software and stuff uses the host part of the address to know where to send it, would there have to be a kind of secondary DNS system for email addresses or would it just be made mandatory that all existing servers are modified to do a kind of transparent forwarding.

Also if some server shut down then that would cause a lot of problems

Re:Not the first and not the last (4, Insightful)

nametaken (610866) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645538)

It's way too late for AOL. They could hand out free puppy dogs and ice cream for the next year and nobody would ever love them again.

All 3 remaining shareholders need to get someone to fire everyone in the top 30% of pay recipients there, break the company into smaller ones with independent leadership and f'ing BURY they name AOL forever. RIP.

Re:Not the first and not the last (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32645662)

I would certainly despise them if they handed out free puppy dogs - think of all the ones that would end up abused in inappropriate homes and dumped unwanted in rescue centres after a few months.

Re:Not the first and not the last (5, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645572)

And the way to do it? remove shoutcast, make it a module, put the module outside the usa, and make it auto install. call it "aol can go to hell-shuotcast plugin OSS version"

then say, "we cant control plugin makers, sorry, but our product does not have shoutcast compatability in it."

Do a video press release flipping the bird the entire time. ALA vietnam and korea war POW film reels.

Re:Not the first and not the last (4, Informative)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645838)

Why is this even an issue? Isn't VLC based in France?

Were they using the source code from Nullsoft? Couldn't they rewrite the code themselves?

TFA says:

We want to emphasise the fact that features like SHOUTcast or icecast browsing are now doable using our new extension framework and you will find user-contributed extensions on http://addons.videolan.org/ [videolan.org]

Re:Not the first and not the last (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645588)

"Fuck." was my response too. I listen to shoutcast almost nonstop, because I like their high-quality ACCplus (HE-AAC) streams. Only difference is I use WinAmp instead of VLC, but still it's pretty lousy to force the open-source programmers to downgrade their software.

Re:Not the first and not the last (1)

Mage Powers (607708) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645782)

what exactly is being removed? receiving streams over http, sending streams over http or the shoutcast directory?

I ask because I'll curl | vlc if I have to :p

Re:Not the first and not the last (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32645918)

What is the difference between this and any of the cease and desist orders the FSF have put against anybody else because they didn't comply with the licence?

As much as I'm not a fan of AOL, it's their code, they can put (more or less) the licence they want on it.

AO-who? (5, Insightful)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645428)

You'd think those guys would seize any opportunity to stay relevant. It's one thing to shoot yourself in the foot, another to do it when you're inches from death.

Seriously, how is AOL even marginally relevant? (1, Insightful)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645452)

I ask out of genuine curiosity -- if anyone has a compelling reason why any attention should be paid to AOL, please explain.


Re:Seriously, how is AOL even marginally relevant? (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645978)

Well despite how irrelevant AOL may be, they can still haul your ass to court. Of course if VideoLAN doesn't have people in the US then perhaps that wouldn't really be that big of a deal...

SCO was pretty damned irrelevant by the time they decided to become a troll.

Re:AO-who? (4, Informative)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645504)

You have to admire their consistency. I don't recall hearing of them ever doing anything to benefit the users.

Re:AO-who? (2, Funny)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645868)

I don't recall hearing of them ever doing anything to benefit the users.

They used to send me free floppies in the mail, that was cool.
Then they started sending useless plastic discs, that wasn't cool.

Re:AO-who? (2, Funny)

Zelucifer (740431) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645970)

You're kidding right? You can either pay cents for a floppy... or FREE FRISBEE, Woohoo! Seriously though, we used to grab a stack of them, and play ultimate death frisbee in an empty parking lot

Re:AO-who? (1)

Zelucifer (740431) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645922)

10 or 15 years ago, they used to provide, great, free MUDs to there users, that were formerly P2P. I miss my free Gemstone III

Re:AO-who? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32645528)

Actually, streaming media -shoutcast, if you will, is probably the only remaining area that they are, in fact, relevant in. So this is actually a fairly desperate bid to retain some sort of control/advantage in that arena.

Re:AO-who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32645976)

By refusing to allow popular software to use it (And when I say popular I mean it seems to be the go-to software when you don't have a codec for anyone I know, computer nerd or not, so this isn't the standard "Linux is popular because my nerdy friends all use it" line :P)

Or is it by doing something that they know damn well will have people giving them genuinely bad publicity, maybe they think all publicity is good publicity but "Don't worry, you can get the exact same features with less hassle using this clone of it" is actually bad, everybody who sees it will now know of better alternatives.

Re:AO-who? (1)

Flowstone (1638793) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645608)

At least they're consistent. whats another leak in a sinking boat? AOL is like a deadly parasite, killing everything it latches onto in due time, its just a shame that company after company keep feeding it.

Re:AO-who? (2, Insightful)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645626)

AOL are the folks behind Engadget, Joystiq, wow.com, autoblog, games.com etc. They are, for better or for worse still quite relevant (if much smaller), and apparently very good good at making people ignore their involvement in things. Probably a good thing.

Re:AO-who? (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645968)

I have no idea what those sites you mentioned even are. What the hell are you even talking about.
And I thought AOL already died!

Good riddance.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32645440)

Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say...

Sayonara SHOUTcast! (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645442)

AOL wants to flex what little muscle it has left and try to have an impact on something? KMA AOL, VLC is going to cast your SHOUTcast aside. No one will miss it, and more importantly, no one will miss AOL when it fades off into the sunset.

Re:Sayonara SHOUTcast! (4, Informative)

spinkham (56603) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645696)

However, we are providing a way to integrate the "icecast directory" that provides an open source equivalent to SHOUTcast. If you know and like a radio station currently listed on the SHOUTcast directory, please make sure this radio is also available on the icecast directory and let the radio owner know about how AOL treats their content.

There's a replacement, it's free and user editable. Sounds like the death of SHOUTcast to me.

Re:Sayonara SHOUTcast! (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645828)

I don't see Shoutcast fading anywhere any time soon. There are 30,000 Shoutcast servers, serving half a million listeners during peak hours.

I mostly use Shoutcast to listen to public radio. I don't see these guys going to a lot of trouble to move away from Shoutcast just so people can use VLC. Even if they did, the main alternatives for them seem to be protocols from RealMedia and Microsoft, both of which have business models just as obnoxious as AOL's.

There are open source alternatives, of course. But the big users of the above protocols seem to want turnkey solutions, not something with a lot of expensive hacker overhead. So until somebody starts a business supporting OS media servers with the same level of support as AOL, RealMedia, and MS, we're stuck with proprietary protocols.

Wait... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32645454)

Doesn't VLC already come with DeCSS inside to decode DVD video? Isn't DeCSS "illegal software" ? ... so why does that make this module any different? Can't they just ignore the injunction and keep going?

Promise I'm not trolling, just confused, or perhaps not understanding the situation.

Re:Wait... (4, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645514)

Because that would be wrong. Open source software needs to set an example by respecting the licenses under which code is provided. Otherwise, we have no moral authority to go after companies that violate the GPL and demand that they post their code. DVD decoding is a bit different story, because of the fuzzyness of various laws that protect content, and your ability to use it in ways to make it compatible with your system.

Re:Wait... (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645774)

What code is being provided here? They were rather vague, but it sounded to me like this "license" supposedly covers some sort of web API (the ShoutCAST Radio online directory), not the code used to access it, which was presumably written specifically for VLC under an OSS license.

Re:Wait... (5, Informative)

slackergod (37906) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645840)

Indeed! Just to clarify things for the AC above...

This is an issue of the authors of some code demanding "adhere to our license or get rid of our code". Which I think everyone can understand the need to honor, if just as a matter of "do unto others, or else".

DeCSS is a completely different case. The code was written by a Norwegian named Jon Johansen, who not only did the cryptographic research to invent the algorithm in the first place, but wrote the code and then released it to the world. Copyright-wise, the code is legally open-source. And for all countries except the US, the code is legal for use. So for anyone outside the US, there aren't any legal problems with the code. And VLC isn't a US-developed piece of software (though to help Americans, DeCSS is distributed as a separate library under many linux distributions).

The only thing which taints the algorithm in the US is the "DCMA" law, which outlawed the use of any algorithms which circumvent a "copy protection scheme". The law is so broad that almost *anything* which alters the encoding of data (ROT13, etc) is a copy protection scheme; despite the fact that encrypting a DVD in no way prevents you from making copies of it (copies of encrypted bits play just like the original). So the DVD "CSS" encryption scheme doesn't even stop copying, yet it's able to wrap itself in the legal mantle the DCMA provides. What CSS *does* do is prevent you from playing a DVD unless the software author has paid a license fee to the people who created CSS (NOTE: not the people who creating the video codec it uses, that's just MPEG2). So all it does is stop you from making use of your fair use rights under US copyright law. It's your DVD, you have a right to play it, sell it, etc.

Now, you might argue that the DCMA, while unjust, is still the law, and Americans should abide by it. And that's a whole can of worms to which Slashdot has devoted many pages of discussion over the last decade. But initially, the effects of the DMCA were broader: worldwide, there were *no* open source DVD players. Period. Because the CSS algorithm wasn't even available in source form anywhere. DVD player authors worldwide had to pay a license just to link in a binary-only library. That is, until Jon Johansen (and cohorts) successfully reverse engineered the algorithm in a completely-legal-for-Norway manner (he was tried in court and found innocent of any wrongdoing). Thus allowing the rest of the world to watch dvds without having to pay money under a racket created by a US-only law.

And *thats* where DeCSS came from, and why it's nothing like this situation, which (while foot-and-bullet stupid) is perfectly within all internationally recognized rights of the authors.

Re:Wait... (2, Funny)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645594)

Maybe the RIAA and RIAA-like companys simply raised the white flag on the CSS case, after all you may buy a legit DVD and wants to see then on your PC without need to buy extra (and generaly crappy) "licenced" software to be able to watch then.

Re:Wait... (2, Informative)

andymadigan (792996) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645760)

DeCSS is only illegal under the DMCA and other "anti-circumvention" laws. Open source has a history of respecting copyrights, but the DMCA is completely different. The DMCA also doesn't exist in most countries, and OSS has no interest init being followed. OSS does have an interest in copyright and copyright does exist in most jurisdictions.

AOL makes software? (3, Funny)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645482)

Wow, I didn't know AOL developed software. I thought they were just a Frisbee manufacturer.

Speaking of which I really miss getting the free sample Frisbees from them every month. Did they go bankrupt or something?

Re:AOL makes software? (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645548)

No they didn't. Nullsoft (Which also made Winamp and other software) made shoutcast. AOL bought Nullsoft.

Re:AOL makes software? (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645552)

I once met a guy who made sculptures out of those things. I don't know what he uses for materials now.

Re:AOL makes software? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645730)

Drug company pens. They give those things out so freely that even people who don't even go to the doctor seem to have huge stashes of Levitra and Nexium pens.

My mom works in a doctor's office and she's literally got a drug rep keyboard, mouse, and mouse pad on her computer, along with lord knows how much other stuff (pens, pads, coffee mugs, hats, etc). I swear it's gotten to the point where I wouldn't be surprised if she brought home a 46" LCD TV with a giant Lunesta logo in the corner.

Re:AOL makes software? (3, Insightful)

rufus t firefly (35399) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645902)

And I'm sure that their overpriced drugs and the people who are being gouged for them are paying for all of that crapola. I'd rather they turn around and subsidize the cost for some of their lower income customers, but we all know *that* isn't about to happen.

I grew up with industry schwag as well, but that industry was far better off when it couldn't direct market to patients. Turns doctors into mere "prescribers".

Pharma is out of control in the US -- and they're more bloated and less "innovative" than ever.

Re:AOL makes software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32645780)

AOL's downfall was when they switched from mailing floppy disks to CDs.

If AOL had only mailed out CD-RWs instead of CDs, they would still be relevant today.

Re:AOL makes software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32645800)

I have a friend that is an orchard owner. He used to use them to scare away the birds, by hanging the CD's in the trees.

Magnusson-Moss (5, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645486)

Reverse engineering and design for interoperability is legal in the US. Unless there is an active patent or AOL's code is incorporated into VLC they don't have a leg to stand on and are just engaging in bully tactics. Considering that this is AOL I'm not surprised that they're likely to shift to the SCO business model and squeeze all they can from the fumes of their diminished empire.

Re:Magnusson-Moss (1)

pyster (670298) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645596)

You are aware that patents on software methods are the law of the land atm, yes? Without buy a license one does not legally play a DVD for example.

Re:Magnusson-Moss (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645702)

> You are aware that patents on software methods are the law of the land atm,
> yes?

The license quoted is clearly a copyright license.

> Without buy a license one does not legally play a DVD for example.

This is not true.

Re:Magnusson-Moss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32645700)

The module they incorporated is AOL's code. So just like one has to abide by the GPL when using GPLed code, the VLC team has to abide by the license the SHOUTcast module if they want to use it as well.

Re:Magnusson-Moss (0, Offtopic)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645824)

What John Hasler said, plus, you are aware that the quote from the Bhagavad Gita, which is the source of Dr. Oppenheimer's famous remark upon witnessing the Trinity test, and your not-too-bad twist on it, is a little off, aren't you? The quote is "I am BECOME death, destroyer of worlds." Your sig should be "I am become gerund, destroyer of verbs."

Re:Magnusson-Moss (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645864)

Let me correct MY comments by adding that Oppenheimer misquoted the Gita as well; the actual passage reads (11.32): "Time I am, the great destroyer of the worlds, and I have come here to destroy all people. With the exception of you [the Pandavas], all the soldiers here on both sides will be slain."

MB 17-100 (1)

Haffner (1349071) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645492)

I highly doubt VideoLAN will ever approve increasing the download size from 17MB to 100MB. This would fail on bandwidth provisions alone.

OSS not the real reason (5, Informative)

bzzfzz (1542813) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645494)

From TFA:

"When sold or distributed to End Users, the Integrated Product shall not [...] (c) incorporate any Publically Available Software, in whole or in part, in a manner that may subject SHOUTcast Radio or the SHOUTcast Radio Materials, in whole or in part, to all or part of the license obligations of any Publically Available Software. As used herein, the term "Publicly Available Software" means any software that contains, or is derived in any manner (in whole or in part) from, any software that is distributed as free software, open source software or similar licensing or distribution models; and that requires as a condition of use, modification or distribution that such software or other software incorporated into, derived from or distributed with such software: (1) be disclosed or distributed in source code form; (2) be licensed for the purpose of making derivative works; or (3) be redistributable at no charge." (Emphasis mine)

This is a standard provision that is part of any license agreement for commercial software, and all it says is that you can't distribute the software in a way that makes it subject to the GFDL or some other Free license.

I'm not sure what the real reason is, but the OSS provision isn't it.

Now websites choose terms on browsing (1)

ZeroNullVoid (886675) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645512)

Whats next, Firefox won't be allowed to visit the shoutcast directory.

I foresee an Internet where in order to be legally allowed to browse a website you must comply with their terms and install software at the sites choosing.

Re:Now websites choose terms on browsing (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645692)

I foresee an Internet where in order to be legally allowed to browse a website you must comply with their terms and install software at the sites choosing.

This has been around since ActiveX.

Re:Now websites choose terms on browsing (2, Insightful)

mini me (132455) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645962)

You don't even have to look the the future: I am the author of an alternative browser for the iPhone that formats pages for easy reading on the small screen.

I was recently contacted by a website owner informing me that my browser would be blocked from accessing their website because it does not display web pages in exactly the way they had intended.

What is the point in using a format (HTML) that is designed to be interpreted in many different ways, depending on who is reading it, if you need exact control over your content? There are better tools for that job.

People still use shoutcast? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32645520)

Huh. Weird.

SHOUTcast? (2, Insightful)

flabordec (984984) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645526)

Seriously, is anyone using this? With the horrible memories I have of AOL I would not use anything they made and I would think most people feel similarly.

Re: iPhone (4, Interesting)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645576)

As an iPhone developer, I can tell you the majority of streaming radio apps on mobile phones are listening to Shoutcast servers. That's where most of the money lies for AOL/Nullsoft in Shoutcast. The protocol is very simple and similar to HTTP so the iPhone OS supports it (sort of) out of the box, and some of the more advanced features (like in-stream song names) can be taken advantage of by manipulating the HTTP headers.

Re: iPhone (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32645650)

that's like two evils in one package! Way to go, man.

Re:SHOUTcast? (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645598)

Yes Shoutcast and icecast stations are all over. Lots of awesome radio is on shoutcast and icecast stations.

Most have moved to icecast, but some are running on really out of date shoutcast servers.

What is the suckiest is the WNA and RM streams... only real idiots use those for streaming radio.

Re:SHOUTcast? (1)

Alanonfire (1415379) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645604)

This article was the first time I heard about SHOUTcast. I also thought AOL had shrunk to a small group maintaining the AIM client and server software.

XBMC? (3, Funny)

CoffeeDog (1774202) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645540)

DISCLAIMER: If you are an employee of AOL you are not authorized to read the following comment.

How does XBMC get away with SHOUTcast support then? Or should I be asking this question?

Re:XBMC? (1)

pyster (670298) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645642)

Because no one has noticed/cares that xbmc uses it, or they know/care and have not yet taken action.

Re:XBMC? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645802)

XBMC as it started out was a project that for the vast majority of it's users was illegal to possess a compiled copy of it. With the release (and shifting of main focus to) of the non-Xbox versions that's changed, but somehow I really doubt that XBMC cares too much what AOL thinks. They're liable to just declare the project closed source and keep having unexplained "leaks" of the code.

So what? Stay using Icecast (3, Informative)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645566)

SHOUTcast is just a bad copy of icecast [icecast.org]. Keep using icecast [icecast.org] for your audio and video streaming and do not accept lesser, closed source imitations.

I do hope that the specific VLC developers involved with the shoutcast fiasco get the drubbing they deserve, if for no other reason than as an example for others and as payment for the trouble they've caused the rest of the project. It's 2010, closed source does not belong on the net and FOSS developers have no business undercutting FOSS projects.

Re:So what? Stay using Icecast (3, Informative)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645664)

Shoutcast predates icecast. And, in any case, this appears to have been a Shoutcast directory client, not a media server.

Re:So what? Stay using Icecast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32645934)

That seems wrong on both accounts, at least according to wikipedia which states that icecast was developed in 1998 whereas SHOUTcast was developed in 1999. Furthermore icecast is both a sevrer and client not some directory client for SHOUTcast.

Re:So what? Stay using Icecast (1, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645764)

It's 2010, closed source does not belong on the net

You do realize if you took 'closed source' out of the Internet, right this instant, you'd not be able to communicate outside of your own home, let alone with the rest of the world.

When you start running OSS based CMTS or DSLAMS and OSS based core routers, THEN come talk about how it has no place on the net. OSS is not the end all be all of software on the planet and is generally eclipsed by closed source software in every arena on the planet except for a select few where inroads have been made.

You wouldn't like the Internet if there was no closed source software on it, as it wouldn't exist, and neither would most of the OSS stuff you love so much which exists because of the Internet and the code that powers it.

Re:So what? Stay using Icecast (1)

andymadigan (792996) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645846)

Perhaps he meant the "web" not the internet itself. Closed-source software doesn't belong.

You also wouldn't like the internet without open-source software, plenty of it runs various parts of the internet, including DNS.

Re:So what? Stay using Icecast (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645776)

How is Shoutcast a copy of Icecast, when Shoutcast came first? Once upon a time Nullsoft wasn't owned by AOL, and produced something called Winamp...

Re:So what? Stay using Icecast (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645812)

It's 2010, closed source does not belong on the net

Well then you better get off the train because plenty of the net will never stop using closed source software.

who uses it anyway ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32645568)

seriously, who ?

make it a user addon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32645590)

organize it in such a way that any user can download, compile and add the software as an add-on himself.

"...received injunctions from employees at AOL..." (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645636)

No they didn't. AOL employees do not have the power to issue injunctions. They may have received some sort of "cease and desist" letters, but those have no force of law. The VLC developers need to consult an attorney. Are they using AOL-copyrighted code? If so, why?

Re:"...received injunctions from employees at AOL. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32645752)

anybody can make an injunction (in the dictionary sense) - it's just that the sheriff enforces the ones that judges make (in the legal dictionary sense)

...and!! (1)

Kashell (896893) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645646)

Nothing of value was lost.

VLC will continue to be the swiss army knife media player, and AOL will continue to lose customers to their horrible business practices.

slashdot UI fucked again ? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32645658)

Great move, guys. You took away the slider bar that allows one to adjust comment threshold. Ordinarily I'd ask why you did this, except I know that I won't even be able to see the reply, since I can't fucking adjust the threshold, expand comments, or do anything else at all.

I was able to tolerate the completely unusable CSS on idle, because I could always just change the hostname in the url from idle.slashdot.org to slashdot.org. Now I don't even have that option anymore. Thanks.

Don't use terms you don't understand (2, Interesting)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645670)

You didn't get 'several email injunctions from AOL employees'. A judge puts an injunction into place. AOL asked you to stop. It may have lead to an injunction at some point had you told them to piss off, but you complied, and thats where it ended.

The 'license issue' you quoted also basically says 'if your software license imposes restrictions that are anti-closed source software, then we don't want to play with you.' This is pretty much identical to the point of GPL but in the other direction. Same stupid constraint, you're just pointing it out like you license is different than there. Same rule, just used by the other side. Get used to it, they are just doing to you what you want to do to them, you have nothing to bitch about here.

The toolbar bundling issue is just another retarded constraint, but GPL (in my opinion) is full of retarded constraints that make it less than open by my definition. I wouldn't do it either if it were me, but thats what happens when you want to use someone elses stuff, you have to play nice with them.

Yes, I'm going to be marked as a troll, but really this is just as much a GPL being anti-closed source as it is AOL being anti-open source. Both sides are doing the same retarded thing, using a license the other one doesn't like and then blaming it on the other person.

So don't distribute it with VLC (2, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645704)

Make it a separately installed "plug-in". What's the problem? Do the same with any other module of questionable legality.

Who's AOL? (2, Funny)

maliqua (1316471) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645718)

I remember something about junk mail in the form of floppy's and CD's but its all so blurry. AOL used to sell something didn't they? well it escapes me. At least they found a way to make themselves even less relevant. I almost thought it couldn't be done

AOL is irrelavant, shoutcast is irrelavant (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645768)

I have an older version of VLC already installed. My first thought was "keep the old version so not to give up a function". Then I realized that I never listen to shoutcast, and likely never will. So why bother to even worry about it? If AOL wants to further isolate themselves from the rest of the community because of concern that someone might be spared from some of their obnoxious ads, by all means let them. Too bad that no one who actually understands the issue will be there the day that AOL execs sit around the conference table and try to understand why no one listens to shoutcast and it doesn't get the "buzz" the other forms of media do.

AOwhatthehell? (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645870)

It seems that AOL has laid out a brilliant path for every internet company: To be successful, just do the opposite of every single thing AOL does.

Burn in hell (4, Interesting)

soundguy (415780) | more than 3 years ago | (#32645940)

I've operated a media distribution system (mostly video ppv) for about a decade. About 7 years ago, I ended up blocking the AOL browser completely. It was a worthless piece of shit that caused 50% of our customer service issues. Coupled with their idiotic "no refresh for 30 days" DNS servers (which means any time you moved a website to a new IP, it "vanished" for a month for all AOLosers) and their proxy servers that made tracking large-scale credit card fraud extremely difficult, it literally cost us money to even have AOLosers in the customer base. I was in the process of compiling a list of AOL IP ranges and had plans to block them completely when they finally rolled over and died in the dial-up market. Almost overnight, they became 99% irrelevant and my life got so much easier, I was able to start taking regular vacations.

In summation, GO TO HELL, AOL! You're nothing but a festering boil on the ass of the internet and your rotting corpse needs to be dumped into an active volcano.

That's hysterical (2, Insightful)

Akita24 (1080779) | more than 3 years ago | (#32646004)

Having AOL say "you can't bundle our stuff" is right up there with Real Media saying the same thing. Who the f* cares? I mean really. Good bye, good riddance.
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