Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

AOL And The GPL

Hemos posted more than 13 years ago | from the harsh-criticism dept.

America Online 127

Phantasm writes "AOL seems to have forgotten about the GPL in its linux powered Device sold by Gateway. Reported by Observers.net AOL made every attempt to credit other program copyright licenses such at the MIT and BSD License but forgot to mention the "little people" that created the utilites essential to getting the system to work." As is obvious, Observers.net is an AOL watchdog -- but the article is quite interesting.

cancel ×

127 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Enforcable? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#204869)

But nobody enforces GPL compliance do they?

Re:what can you do about it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#204870)

This is an important time.

What bigger target can the FSF attack lawyers want? Either the GPL will stand up in court or it won't - if they have faith in the divine work of Stallman they will prosecute this AOL parasite to the fullest extent of the law.

They won't, of course. (and we all suspect why not, too). But they should.

*Sigh*. Another day, another GPL violation.
Do ThinkGeek produce a tShirt for this yet? It could say 'I violate the GPL' on the front, and have a crucified penguin on the back. That would piss RMS off on two levels.

Re:Question (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#204871)

No, thats pretty spot on.

They also have to be careful that they don't link any closed source application against a GPL'd library, as thats also a violation. You can link non GPL against LGPL'd libraries though.

Re:Article tries to make AOL look bad (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#204872)

IANAL, but as I understand it they already owe damages. The copyright notice included in the GPL license information was notification. They ignored it, and didn't meet the requirements of the license that would have allowed copying.

Whoa! Slow down there cowboy. IF a copyright holder comes forward and files suit for copyright violation AND IF the case is not laughed out of court AND IF the judge finds the GPL legally binding AND IF the judge/jury finds that the GPL was actually violated AND IF the judge/jury finds that there was any damage, monetary or statutory, THEN they owe damages.

Second, the article claims the reporter called AOL and Gateway and asked about this, and received a dismissive answer. Doesn't sound like they intend to fix it until forced to.

Idiot. They called technical support. Technical support knows sweet fuck-all about technology, and a damn sight less about the legalities of Open Source. Technical support for AOL knows three things:

1. If you can't get on AOL, the number's probably busy. Try try again.
2. If you are running AOL 6.0, then maybe it's incompatible with your computer/modem/monitor/power supply, so you should install AOL 5.0. If you use 5.0, then you must need 6.0. We'll send you a CD.
3. If it still doesn't work, you should probably call your computer manufacturer. Or Microsoft. Or the Telco. Or anybody but us. Bye.

Re:AOL (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 13 years ago | (#204874)

Don't forget that the MPL allows AOL to take the Mozilla code, modify it, package it up as a proprietary closed-source browser (or include parts of it in another proprietary closed-source app) and either give it away or sell it.

Explain to me why this is less ominous than the APSL?

--

The best line (4)

Don Negro (1069) | more than 13 years ago | (#204875)

AOL has never been good at hiding things, especially if they're important and even more so if they're potentially embarrassing if publicly released.

An understatement if I ever heard one.

Don Negro

GCT Internet Appliance (3)

Squash (2258) | more than 13 years ago | (#204876)

This unit is being discussed quite heavily at
http://www.kenseglerdesigns.com/cgi-bin/UltraBoard /UltraBoard.pl [kenseglerdesigns.com] .

Check in for discussions on hacking these, and other, internet appliances and related electronic toys.

Re:Sheep among wolves... (2)

johnnyb (4816) | more than 13 years ago | (#204878)

Since they are distributing binaries, they also have to distribute the source, even if they made no modifications.

Out of curiosity, why do you say that the free software movement is a hypocritical joke?

Re:Question (3)

johnnyb (4816) | more than 13 years ago | (#204881)

It's more complicated. I don't know what you're background is, so this may or may not make sense:

Linux (just the kernel, not the O.S.) is GPL'd. Any change to Linux has to be made available under the GPL to anyone who gets a binary copy. Applications written on top of the kernel do not have any restrictions imposed on them.

For any distinct program, the same applies. For a library, there are two licenses to deal with, the LGPL and the GPL. If you use a GPL library, your whole application has to be redistributed under the GPL. If the library is LGPLd, you only have to redistribute the changes you made to the library itself.

My guess is that they used a modified kernel, standard LGPL libc, and some standard utilities. So, the only thing they would have to supply the source for would be their kernel modifications, and the existing sources to the libraries and utilities.

Re:Sheep among wolves... (1)

Yath (6378) | more than 13 years ago | (#204883)

I still haven't seen any proof that this device violates the GPL. It runs Linux, but so what? The GPL, as I understand it, doesn't require you to do anything until you make modifications to GPL code, or use it in your own software,

Wrong. Take a look at the license sometime, it isn't too long. Here's a relevant excerpt for ya:

3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:

a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,

b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange;

In a nutshell: if you distribute the software, you have to provide the source.

Re:Sheep among wolves... (1)

Yath (6378) | more than 13 years ago | (#204884)

Come to think of it, I never got a list of "thank yous" with my TiVo,
In all likelihood, my post points out a violation of the GPL. It doesn't constitute a defense for every inflammatory statement in this story's article.
and it doesn't constantly remind me of the socialist pile of crap license that it's innards are licensed under every time I hit the TiVo button.
There's probably a big difference between a discrete message at startup time, and this sort of weird overkill. Luckily the GPL addresses this issue rather sensibly. I won't quote it for now, since we've had plenty of that already.
Instead of looking for reasons to beat on AOL, the "free" software community needs to be more vigilant in watching out for offenses, instead of picking its enemies at random.
Are they in violation, or aren't they? Is there something you'd like to get off your chest?

Sheep among wolves... (1)

Moonwick (6444) | more than 13 years ago | (#204885)

I have to admit that this article is quite humorous to me. AOL/Time Warner, a company large enough to fend off any sort of attack that the highly vocal, yet tiny slashdot (and "free" software) communities can produce would simply ignore the GPL and give a nod to the other less restrictive (and truly more "free") licenses that covered the software in their device.

I still haven't seen any proof that this device violates the GPL. It runs Linux, but so what? The GPL, as I understand it, doesn't require you to do anything until you make modifications to GPL code, or use it in your own software, in which case it becomes a virus, requiring you to release the entire program containing the "free" code to the public under the same viral, "free" license.

Either way, slashdot and the "free" software community has been waiting for a case to try out the GPL in court, and it's possible you'll have one here. And the opponent certainly couldn't be much larger, well funded, or difficult to fight. Good luck; you'll need it.

(Also, please note the difference between free and "free", as used in the above rant. As mentioned many times before, the "free" software movement is a hypocritical joke, severely in need of a clue beating. May AOL be the ones to give it to you.)

Re:Sheep among wolves... (1)

Moonwick (6444) | more than 13 years ago | (#204886)

Come to think of it, I never got a list of "thank yous" with my TiVo, and it doesn't constantly remind me of the socialist pile of crap license that it's innards are licensed under every time I hit the TiVo button. You know what? Nowhere at all in the interface is the GPL mentioned.

Instead of looking for reasons to beat on AOL, the "free" software community needs to be more vigilant in watching out for offenses, instead of picking its enemies at random.

Re:AOL is totally cool (some corrections) (2)

astrashe (7452) | more than 13 years ago | (#204887)

This, I think, is a flaw in the GPL.

I'm not saying that your interpretation is incorrect (I don't know), only that if it is correct, it's asking AOL to do something that's totally impractical. Are they supposed to let you scroll through the text on the device?

Their changes and improvements were given back, and the code is available.

As Hank Hill said to his son Bobby when Bobby make a lame legalistic excuse, "Son, don't play lawyer ball."

Re:AOL is totally cool (some corrections) (2)

astrashe (7452) | more than 13 years ago | (#204888)

I did think that it meant they had to provide the source, and I stand corrected.

Thanks.

Re:What about AOLServer? (2)

kenzoid (9370) | more than 13 years ago | (#204889)

This is correct. AOLServer [aolserver.com] (the webserver behind aol.com, Digital City, etc.) is dual-licensed under the GPL and the MPL (Mozilla Public License). And it is an EXCELLENT webserver.

Re:Question (1)

hayden (9724) | more than 13 years ago | (#204890)

No, he's wrong. If what he said is true then libc would need to be GPL'd because that is "using" (in their terms) GPL'd code. And hence all applications would need to be GPL'd to run on a linux system because they all eventually interact the kernel.

Only derived works need to be GPL'd which includes static libraries because you are in essence including the code.

Maybe we need a standard GPL-violation Form Letter (4)

VValdo (10446) | more than 13 years ago | (#204891)

Big companies are so good at getting their legal department to draft a serious-we-mean-business type of letter, maybe the FSF (or someone else) could write up a couple letters to send to companies when they violate the GPL.

This isn't the first time it's happened, and won't be the last. It would be nice to be able to clear it up as quickly as possible.

Ooh- Idea for site-- a GPL Violation site. Where you can choose from several different letters (by selecting tone, what clause has been violated, whether this is the first time they've done this) etc. Also, people could use it to exchange info about GPL enforcement issues & stuff.

Just a thought,
W


-------------------

Re:AOL is totally cool (some corrections) (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 13 years ago | (#204892)

Not trying to be pedantic or anything, but under the terms of the GPL, the binary distributor is responsible for providing access to the source code; a link to another company's web site where the code can be obtained is not sufficient. I believe this opinion has been expressed several times by RMS, so it's not just my interpretation.

While I realize you're trying to avoid trouble for AOL, since they do seem to have been cooperating with Transmeta, it still doesn't mean that they can ignore their obligations under the GPL.


Re:AOL is totally cool (some corrections) (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 13 years ago | (#204893)

And exactly where does it say that? "Transmeta has all AOL's fixes in its CVS tree" != "AOL has a contract with Transmeta to distribute source".

Re:Question (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 13 years ago | (#204894)

Shit, people, just READ the friggin' license, OK? To summarize: "If you distribute binaries, you must make available the source to those binaries to the people to which you gave the binaries."

So, since AOL has included binaries of GPL'd software, they have to give the buyer either a CD or whatever containing the source, or somewhere to download the software (which CANNOT just be a pointer to "someone else's web site"; they have an obligation to guarantee access for three years, which they can't do for a site run by anyone but themselves).

It has NOTHING to do with whether they modified the source or not, OK???

What about AOLServer? (2)

danmil (11416) | more than 13 years ago | (#204897)

One of the claims of the article was that AOL never, never releases anything to the Open Source community.

What about AOLServer [aolserver.com] , which was released under the GPL (I believe), thanks to a lot of work by Philip Greenspun and the folks at Ars Digita?

-Dan

Re:Question (2)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 13 years ago | (#204898)

Linux is actually a special case because Linus has modified or clarified the GPL to allow certain things:

1) Proprietary and non-GPL applications CAN include the kernel headers. Otherwise the entire system would have to be GPL.

2) You can even load closed source modules directly into the kernel, something the Stallmanites would oppose, although the GPL totally unclear here.

Like you said, this all hinges on the interpretation of "link". However, Linus has offered his opinion, and the developer community has gone along with it.

(In my view, the "link" and "major components operating system" issues are the things in most dire need of clarification in the GPL. Both for binary runtime loading (plug-ins or modules or components) and also to accomodate optional runtime enviornments like Java.)
--

Re:Maybe we need a standard GPL-violation Form Let (1)

rhavyn (12490) | more than 13 years ago | (#204901)

Not to challenge your main point but ... since when has the divx codec been illegal? AFAIK, divx is just MPEG4 compression. If I was mistaken in that, please give me details so that I can do further research.

Re:Sheep among wolves... (1)

rhavyn (12490) | more than 13 years ago | (#204902)

Actually, TiVo fully complies with the GPL. You might want to check out www.tivo.com/linux for more information.

Re:AOL is totally cool (some corrections) (2)

rhavyn (12490) | more than 13 years ago | (#204903)

They do need to provide the source. They don't need to provide it in the machine. The GPL requires that the text of the GPL license be included with the distributed software and that either the source comes with the software distributed or is available by some other means by the distributor.

So, AOL doesn't need to put the source or the license in the appliance. But they do need to put the license somewhere in the box and they need to provide the source code.

Article tries to make AOL look bad (1)

Erik Hensema (12898) | more than 13 years ago | (#204904)

The article tries to make AOL look bad by implying they have violated the GPL. They probably didn't. The source to Mindori Linux is available, so there shouldn't be a problem there.

AOL just didn't GPL their own software. It's perfectly legal for them to license their software anyway they see fit.

The article's author was just trolling and we took the bait.

Re:AOL is totally cool (some corrections) (2)

Dunedain (16942) | more than 13 years ago | (#204905)

I'm glad to hear that AOL has been friendly and easy to work with; that makes me much more inclined to believe that this is an accident and soon corrected. However, sending patches back to be incorporated into Midori and giving a pointer to the source is insufficient.

The GPL requires that they include a notice that the software is under the GPL and either the source or a written offer for the source.

Re:Article tries to make AOL look bad (2)

Mike Schiraldi (18296) | more than 13 years ago | (#204906)

AOL is likely assuming no one will have the money to properly sue them, or perhaps they think they'd be able to have the license found invalid, or possibly they think they're in the clear by putting it all in a box that's not supposed to be open.

Or it just slipped through the cracks without being noticed, and will be fixed in the next release now that we've brought it to their attention.

--

AOL? (1)

Evro (18923) | more than 13 years ago | (#204907)

Why is the blame in this article being placed almost exclusively on AOL? With AOL and Gateway having invested such huge sums of money in Transmeta, perhaps they were able to secure a different license than GPL. Just because Transmeta released Midori Linux under GPL doesn't mean that that is the license under which AOL received it. This article is pretty screwy.

__________________________________________________ ___

Using other languages than TCL with AOLserver (1)

cpeterso (19082) | more than 13 years ago | (#204908)

There are patches to use Python or Perl with AOLserver, but I don't know how well they are supported. PHP 4.05 supports "out of the box": server API versions for Apache, AOLserver, ISAPI and NSAPI [php.net] .

Re:Question (1)

AstroJetson (21336) | more than 13 years ago | (#204910)

This is correct as far as it goes, but there's more. If your code is linked to GPL'd code you must GPL your code as well. Even this is still an oversimplification. The complete license itself is here [fsf.org] .

Re:So what good is this article? (1)

kubrick (27291) | more than 13 years ago | (#204911)

But they don't even give a list of the software that they found. How are the copyright holders suposed to know if /their/ code was stolen and put inside this box.

You mean this link from the list of links at the bottom of the article?

The exact violations [observers.net]

Not the point... (3)

schon (31600) | more than 13 years ago | (#204912)

The source to Mindori Linux is available, so there shouldn't be a problem there.

There is a problem there.

The GPL says that the distributor of the binary has to make the source available.

The article doesn't mention who they spoke to at AOL, but the response they got ("look on the web for info about the GPL") was the wrong answer.

The correct answer should have been "You can download it from our server", or "we will send you out a CD with the source on it."

Re:Slashdotted???? (2)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 13 years ago | (#204913)

As is obvious, Observers.net is an AOL watchdog

Forbidden
You don't have permission to access / on this server.


Observers.net may be an AOL watchdog, but something tells me they need to keep a better eye on their own site!

Re:Not the point... (1)

Zurk (37028) | more than 13 years ago | (#204915)

they make it available thru a link in the about box on the client. see this post : http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=01/05/22/15342 47&cid=78

I might be wrong (2)

oolon (43347) | more than 13 years ago | (#204916)

I was my belief that under the GPL they only have to supply the GPLed code to people who actually buy the thing. AOL do not have to release the changes to everyone, they can keep them all under wraps till they sell the first one, after all they could just bundle a CD of the source code with the device, no reason why they HAVE to supply it on the internet. Most people do cause for them it is easiest.

James

Re:Maybe we need a standard GPL-violation Form Let (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#204917)

grr.. and I just got modded down as troll. Slashdot is so fuckin' owned.

Re:Maybe we need a standard GPL-violation Form Let (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#204918)

Credit is not the issue. The issue is their product is closed source and Avery does not want to relicense his code to them because they are distributing the illegal divx codec with their product and Avery has worked very hard to disassociate VirtualDub with the divx codec and video piracy in general.

Re:Maybe we need a standard GPL-violation Form Let (2)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#204920)

*cough* vidomi [vidomi.com] *cough* Ask Avery Lee how he feels [virtualdub.org] about GPL violators. Why does Slashdot not post a story on this regardless of the fact that a few hundred people have submitted it? You're guess is as good as mine. Maybe they're too busy posting linux is dying trolls to the front page.

Real GPL Violations?! (5)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#204922)

I don't get it. Why do you post this crap when real GPL violations [virtualdub.org] by shady companies [vidomi.com] are currently going on? How many times must the story of Vidomi ripping Avery Lee's GPLed code to VirtualDub be submitted before the Slashdot editors stop ignoring it?

Re:In other news. (2)

Velox_SwiftFox (57902) | more than 13 years ago | (#204924)

What are those dastards trying to do, make a profit or something?

In other news. (1)

llzackll (68018) | more than 13 years ago | (#204925)

AOL is raising their prices by $1.95, up to $23.90 per month for their unlimited plan.

Re:Slashdotted???? (1)

Lxy (80823) | more than 13 years ago | (#204928)

I'm going to step out on a limb here and say that these people didn't like getting Slashdotted and locked out read permissions.

Mod up!! (2)

barneyfoo (80862) | more than 13 years ago | (#204929)

Why do slashdot editors post stories without backup research or verification, that are trollish, and probably for the sole reason that hundreds of people submitted it.

In a perevious front-page post about some Mundie PR ass-talking, CmdrWeenie said the only reason he posted the damn thing was because he was inundated with requests. Goddamnit, that's just gonna make astroturfing easy and acceptable practice for MS and other lobbying groups.

When MS really turns up the heat on linux even more than they have recently, expect Slashdot editors to follow like sheep and serve the purposes of Microsoft in their massive pr campaign. The proper behavior is to ignore trolls like Mundie and continue along on your merry way.

Re:Maybe we need a standard GPL-violation Form Let (1)

rapett0 (92674) | more than 13 years ago | (#204930)

Here [vidomi.com] is a link to a dicussion about this topic on their site, including giving credit to those poor GNU souls. Probably added this after your post :)

Clear-cut license violation (1)

wls (95790) | more than 13 years ago | (#204931)

Then now's the time to set legal precedence... because if you let one corporation get away with it, you've opened the doorway for others to do the same.

Even better, what's been done? (1)

avoisin (105703) | more than 13 years ago | (#204933)

There's been several stories about GPL violations in recent months - so what.

Lots of complaining, of course, but I don't recall a story "Company X sues Company Y over GPL and wins." Does anything happen? Or does Company Y just tromp along on its merry way?

Re:AOL (2)

DrXym (126579) | more than 13 years ago | (#204935)

How the hell can you claim AOL "is not friend of open source" when the very reason Mozilla exists is because of them?

Mozilla is an epic 3 years in the making and conservatively must have cost AOL hundreds of millions of dollars to fund and promote. And yet despite this enormous cost to them, they're giving the thing away!

And they're not doing so under the terms of some weasel-worded crappy Apple/Sun style licence, you can distribute the thing under the MPL or the GPL.

Summing it up (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 13 years ago | (#204937)

OK. AOL did something stupid/bad/annoying/lame/strage/etc. Wow, didn't see that comeing. Let's try to see what we can DO about it.

So first up, who can sue them? I don't see how the GNU organization can because the are not directly involved in things, the only people that I can think who would be able to are the people who make the linux distro/etc. I think that it would be very hard for one of the programmers to get a suit even infront of a judge about this, at least in the US (strange considdering all the "pay me $1 mil because your manual didn't say I couldn't dry off my cat in the microwave and now you've caused me untold emotional damage" suits.)

But as has already been said there is a good chance that they didn't have to change anything to make it run on the hardware. The only thing they probably did was not use the default install options (what to install and where), and if that is a violation of the GPL, I think most /.ers are violaters too. As for applicatoins they added, those aren't covered under the GPL, otherwise companies like MetroWorks with their CodeWarrior product would be required to give it away (and I could get some great commercial software with my budget).

My suggestion of what we ACTUALLY do is this: scare them. We all know that if they did indeed violate the GPL (we don't know they did for sure) then something has to be done otherwise peverbial hell could break loose. Red hat would be able to change one line of code in the Linux kernel, for example, get a pattent on it (with one-click pattents, etc this can't be too hard) then sue everyone else who makes a Linux distro. Given RedHat is nicer than that but I know a few Redmonians who might not be...

So how can we scare them? Petitions are good but there is nothing like (inter)national media to get the job done. Surely someone out there has a job in the news industry (even just a small local reporter). If so I think you should try to get the facts and write an unbiased article on it (which we don't have yet, because that isn't journalism through that link, it's an editorial masked as news). Maybe get a blurb on CBS News (not that Dan Rather is unbiased, but that's another story) or even The Daily Show or the news segment on SNL. If you can't do that then I suggest that all us /.ers do what we've been doing ever since we got brain cells: persuadeing everyone we know to give up AOL and any company they partner with (like Gateway in this case) and basically boycott them.

PS: I realize some of the things I've said here (Dan Rather, etc.) you guys would probably like to discuss further, but this topic in this form is not the place. E-Mail me if you really care about it that much.

Re:Article tries to make AOL look bad (2)

Mark Imbriaco (133740) | more than 13 years ago | (#204938)

Make sure you root around the Internet and sue anyone who distributes a binary copy of a GPLed package while you're at it. You'll find thousands upon thousands of FTP sites that distribute binaries that don't explicitly distribute the (unmodified) source that was used to create them.

If Transmeta has already rolled in the changes from AOL, then requiring AOL to provide yet another channel for distributing the source seems a bit on the pedantic side to me. It's not like they've made changes to the code and they're not giving them back to the root project. Perhaps they're violating the letter of the GPL, and that's not even all that clear, but I don't think they're violating the spirit of it.

Prior GPL violations (2)

Faux_Pseudo (141152) | more than 13 years ago | (#204939)

There was a case a few months ago about some kind of GPL messaging client that some how ended up being ported to windows. No mention of GPL or the parent app was included in the comercial windows port, but the port was so compleat that in the About menu it had the url of the linux based gpl app. It was mentioned on slashdot at the time in its own story.

Re:Article tries to make AOL look bad (1)

startled (144833) | more than 13 years ago | (#204940)

That's actually what I think, too, and I meant to put it in its own sentence at the end. And then, of course, I forgot. That's what I get for not using preview. Between AOL's choices of fighting a pointless lawsuit, and putting a few text files on a hard drive no one will ever look at (except these crazy ass observer guys), I think their choice is pretty obvious.

Re:Article tries to make AOL look bad (5)

startled (144833) | more than 13 years ago | (#204941)

Actually, it's an extremely clear-cut license violation. First, from the article:

While the inside of the Tech Pad was mildly interesting, most striking was what we didn't find. For software allegedly released by its manufacturer under the GPL, curiously missing were most of the things required by the license.

No notices of copyright holders. No disclaimer of warranty. No source code and no directions on where and how to get the source code. No copy of the GPL, or at least none accessible or viewable from the interface provided by Gateway or America Online. No notice in the interface or help files about what is and isn't covered under the license.


Now, from the GPL:
3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:

a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,

b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,

c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer to distribute corresponding source code. (This alternative is allowed only for noncommercial distribution and only if you received the program in object code or executable form with such an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.)


I don't see how there's any way you could claim this is anything but an egregious violation of the license. If you'd like to review the license yourself, it's at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html [gnu.org] . AOL is likely assuming no one will have the money to properly sue them, or perhaps they think they'd be able to have the license found invalid, or possibly they think they're in the clear by putting it all in a box that's not supposed to be open.

AOL is totally cool (some corrections) (5)

Daniel Quinlan (153105) | more than 13 years ago | (#204943)

Disclaimer: I am not speaking as an official spokesperson of Transmeta.

As one of the Midori developers, I feel the need to say something here.

1. AOL has a pointer to Transmeta's Midori Linux site in the "About" box of their client (which is the primary GUI application on the box).

2. All of the source code changes to GPL code made by AOL have already been rolled back into Midori. (In fact, AOL regularly sent us diffs of their tree.) The source code is at midori.transmeta.com [transmeta.com]

3. No partitions are encrypted. It's just a different partitioning format to allow sub-partition upgrades of cramfs. (It's all part of "packcramfs" which is part of Midori Linux.)

I should also add that we have enjoyed working with AOL.

Dan

Re:Question (3)

YetAnotherDave (159442) | more than 13 years ago | (#204945)

As I understand it, if they just used the code then they just need to say 'we used this stuff' and point prople to where they can get the source. But if they modified it, they have to show the source for their modifications as well.

This could be an over-simplification...

Re:A left and a right... the GPL takes it, though! (3)

Bluesee (173416) | more than 13 years ago | (#204946)

"You said the magic word and win the prize!"

Yes, this will play into the whole MS debacle and their fight to undermine, criminalize, and destroy the GPL virus. Think on it: the GPL exists to foster the on-going creative process of programmers freely writing code for the community and allowing that in itself to enhance their own notoriety, taking on the task of being their own agent. This in contrast to MSerfdom, which is the preferred model for an existing large business.

It is in AOL's interests to be sued by GPL authors and prevail. It is also in MS interests, and any other software house built on the traditional pyramid model. Once a court disqualifies the GPL as a valid contract, precedence will have been set, and then GPL will die.

Do you imagine that there is a company that hasn't considered the business aspects of the GPL? I know many have. And what do you think they think about it? Travel with me, if you will, into the mind of a corporate CEO. Careful, don't step on it, it's pretty small..."

"If I could only get the GPL code and keep it, it would be like having thousands of programmers working for me day and night for free! But if I can't keep what I write, then it would be like giving my profit away. Gee, if I could only find a way..." "Darla, get MyCongressman on the rotary phone."

Yes, if they could only get all that lucrative software, use it in their products, and then not have to re-release it! That would work for about a week after the courts rule that the GPL is unenforceable. The courts would basically allow this to happen, programmers stop releasing code, and go to work for large corps, and things go back to the Way They Were.

And Andy Grove, who scoffs at the thought of a New Economy, would be right. There is now a glimmer of hope that Linus and Richard's baby could re-invent this economic system, empowering people at the expense of corps.

But if GPL-holders sue AOL and lose, this glimmer would die. It would also die if they failed to sue, given that AOL has actually violated the contract. It would be a signal to all other CEO's to scoff up what they could and use it, and then try to keep it.

So it is very important here that the FSF win this one, a big case against a big company.

Because if not, MS will be the next violater, if they aren't already.

Re:AOL is totally cool (some corrections) (2)

Software (179033) | more than 13 years ago | (#204947)

Here it is:
You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do one of the following:

a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,

b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,

c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer to distribute corresponding source code. (This alternative is allowed only for noncommercial distribution and only if you received the program in object code or executable form with such an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.)

Which of these three did AOL do?

Re:A left and a right... the GPL takes it, though! (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#204948)

Reminds me how the meatpacking industry overlooks the contribution that cattle make. Well It seems like it is time to hold some feet to the fire.

Although I wonder if this could play into the hands of Microsoft in their arguement against the GPL?

Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

Considering the target market, this is a great box (4)

ChrisCampbell47 (181542) | more than 13 years ago | (#204949)

The observer.net article slagged the usefulness of the box, so I felt I should say something.

I was one of the first people to buy one of these. I had been waiting since November 1999 for someone to come to market with a net appliance that would work for my mom. ThinkNIC? No. Audrey? No. MSN Companion? Dear God, no. IMac? Sorry, I don't know anything about Mac's, so I wouldn't be able to support her.

I paid $650 for one of these as soon as it came out (it's way cheaper now, see below). The AOL-only factor is actually a positive for me, because it's great for old-lady types like my mom (and probably yours). No porn SPAM, no three hour calls trying to explain to my mom what a VBS script virus is, no Comet-cursor privacy crap.

AOL and Gateway are marketing this as a second terminal for your household, but it works great as the only terminal. Built-in modem.

The whole thing is just really well designed and rock solid. Well, it's rock solid and fully featured now after a few more months of software upgrades. Hell, the thing upgrades itself! Back in March, AOL/Gateway/Midori released an OS upgrade that downloaded itself (24 MB, ugh) and installed itself. She just let it chug for an hour and it was done.

I'm 800 miles away and have better things to do than provide phone support to my mom.

My only complaint is that it's a little slow.

And now, if you try hard, you can buy one for $200 [kenseglerdesigns.com] , and even hack it into a pure linux/windoze box if you're so inclined. Come on in guys, the water's fine.

AOL (1)

mizhi (186984) | more than 13 years ago | (#204951)

While I know AOL is no friend of open source (and I also don't like AOL)... it should be pointed out that they have not made any moves against Mozilla nor have they prevented Transmeta from releasing their Midori Linux with open source... they ARE using it, which I believe is perfectly acceptable under the GPL... they are allow to make closed source software for use on open source systems, correct?

So what good is this article? (1)

bahamat (187909) | more than 13 years ago | (#204952)

Ok, so at the very least AOL has included software that they claim to be theirs that is covered fully by the GPL and at the end the article says "it's up to the copyright holders". But they don't even give a list of the software that they found. How are the copyright holders suposed to know if /their/ code was stolen and put inside this box.

Now it's true that closed source programs can be written to run on top of GPL software (such as Netscape 4 running on Linux). But at the very least, according to the terms of the GPL since AOL is releasing this product, they also must include with it a copy of the GPL and make available the source code for the non proprietary code. Also, if they have changed any GPL code, they must GPL their changes.

I don't know how far this thing goes, but as far as I'm concerned, if AOL doesn't start getting in compliance that the FSF sues. Because of the terms of the GPL, and we have very probable cause to believe that AOL has violated those terms, if we in the Free Software movement push hard enough we can probably get the full source code for this entire box (including the so-called proprietary portions) disclosed at least in court so that it can be audited for GPL code.

Re:Enforcable? (2)

bahamat (187909) | more than 13 years ago | (#204953)

Do you work for AOL?

Re:what can you do about it? (1)

ichimunki (194887) | more than 13 years ago | (#204954)

Considering the machines are being sold by Gateway, I don't see why they would sue AOL.

holy phpnuke batman! (1)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 13 years ago | (#204956)

They are also using the GPL'ed PHPnuke to serve up their webpage.
Now THATS a ghetto company. I bet they don't contribute to that either.

"just connect this to..."
BZZT.

vidomi (1)

7-Vodka (195504) | more than 13 years ago | (#204957)

well, after reading their BB I don't understand. They are trying to argue with visitors to the site how they can make their stuff GPL compliant. Why did they not email FSF or RMS himself? I'm sure they would get a clearer, more meaningful response that way.

"just connect this to..."
BZZT.

Inflammatory garbage. (2)

Gannoc (210256) | more than 13 years ago | (#204958)

I didn't see a long thank you list included with my Tivo either.

More specificly, if I build a computer and install Redhat Linux on it, i'm not responsible for including a long list with it "thanking" every person who wrote every line of code in linux. Thats not my job, thats Redhat's. In this case, its Transmetas, and I bet you can get the information off their web site. I can even bundle a non-free program on my machine, as AOL did, without violating any licenses.

The author of this article hates AOL more than Jon Katz hates his high school.

Re:AOL (2)

Vann_v2 (213760) | more than 13 years ago | (#204959)

Yes, you are correct, but that isn't the point. The GPL places the burden of distributing GPLed code on the distributor, not the creator, which is Transmeta in this case. They also have to include a copy of the GPL and information about how to get the source code within their distribution, neither of which they did.

Re:Maybe we need a standard GPL-violation Form Let (1)

update() (217397) | more than 13 years ago | (#204960)

Thanks for pointing that out. (Also thanks to the AC who mentioned Gentus.) In the Vidomi case, I'm certainly sympathetic to Lee although I wonder how his case would fare in court. It sounds like Vidomi's lawyers think they're clear and, of course, it's not at all clear what happens when the GPL lands in court.

Anyway, I wasn't suggesting that other cases of premeditated infringement didn't exist, but that the vast majority of the "incidents" that get hyped around here should be settled in a far less confrontational way. And as it turns out, the AOL case is just another example. Whether there may be some technical GPL violation that needs to be remedied is unclear but it's clear that AOL is intending to comply with the relevant licenses. (As should have been obvious from the begining -- why else would they conspicuously comply with the other free licenses affecting them?)

A publicity hound got his site linked, the zealots got to rant about suing and the free software world got a little less friendly.

By the way, what the hell is up with moderation? Naturally the Slashdot editors would never bother to tell us what's going on but the troll sites (that I have to read to keep up on Slashdot's status) aren't talking about anything unusual affecting moderation, except for a campaign to target Michael Sims.

Unsettling MOTD at my ISP.

Re:Maybe we need a standard GPL-violation Form Let (4)

update() (217397) | more than 13 years ago | (#204961)

With the exception of the guy misusing the Quake source, has there been a single instance where one of these "Possible GPL Violation!!!" stories involved genuine malice? I think every one of them (excepting, again the Quake case) involved a simple oversight. Usually a legal department unfamilar with free software licenses throws in some boilerplate that conflicts with the license, sometimes a company neglects to post some source, sometimes the complainant is simply wrong.

I think your idea would be great if the goal were to settle these matters in a polite, cooperative way that builds the free software community and makes companies want to involve themselves with it. In fact, the goal is to launch one jihad after another, boosting Slashdot's page hits and building the profile of whatever "advocate" started yelling first. Actually calling the company involved and finding out what they plan to do about the problem always gets postponed until, at the earliest, the Slashdot article has 150 rabid posts calling for blood.

Unsettling MOTD at my ISP.

A left and a right... the GPL takes it, though! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 13 years ago | (#204962)

Nice to see how the big corps overlook (under-observe?) the contributions of volunteer programmers, document writers, paper shufflers, organizers, and those who drop a polite reminder email, now and then, to see how things are going.

Reminds me how the meatpacking industry overlooks the contribution that cattle make.

--
All your .sig are belong to us!

Re:Fire their Programmers (5)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 13 years ago | (#204963)

Whom to point the Gnarly-Finger-O-Blame at, though?

Programmers? Only if they used GPL without notifying their Analysts.

Analysts? Only if they failed to notify their Project Managers.

Project Managers? Only if they failed to alert their Technical Writers.

Technical Writers? Only if they failed to notify Marketing.

Marketing? Only if they failed to notify the Lawyers.

Lawyers? Don't be silly, lawyers are never to blame, and they'll sue your ass silly if you try.

--
All your .sig are belong to us!

Re:AOL (1)

mtvsucks (223302) | more than 13 years ago | (#204965)

Aol might not be encouraging open source or free software for everything (like ibm), but didn't they release the aol webserver software. and the initial tik client. i think the installer that winamp uses. and they tollerate those guys at nullsoft (gnutella, the aim cliented hacked with a winamp pluging instead of adds).

---
pack

Re:So what good is this article? (2)

KellyHallissey (229271) | more than 13 years ago | (#204966)

Thank you, I was just looking to post that link. =)

A few random comments to the overflowing posts here if I may....

Yes we are called an "anti-aol" site. Yes many who work on the site are "anti-aol" or hate them, moreso I would say that the majority of us simply see the crap they pull on such a daily basis that we have become rather cynical in our views towards them. Some of us have been doing this, involvment with sites concerning AOL and its behaviours, for upwards of 7 years. After years of hearing the same thing daily by the same company screwing over yet more people, you do tend to sound like you "hate" them.

The violations are listed in in the seperate link at the bottom of the page along with other previous articles on this Client/Appliance. Again the link: http://www.observers.net/gamera2/gpl.html

Yes the site has had some issues with the onslaught of "attention" the readers here have chosen to give it, therefore there are mirrors in the following locations:

For the article alone:

http://www.hypr.net/observers
http://www.kraproom.com/obs/

For the entire site should anyone feel that masochistic to view :;grin::

http://leguin.org.uk/mirrors/www.observers.net/

For the downloads of the software:

http://www.soldierx.com/gi.html
http://eso.nu/~bball/gi.tar.gz
http://kungfoo.net:2080/gi.zip
http://wilmer.linuxfriends.org/gi.zip

(Additional mirrors will be posted should the need arise)

For those questioning the motivations behind the article we posted on observers.net, I have this response.

When I originally received the "Baby G" as we call it, known to the open market as The Touchpad, we had already been tipped by an internal employee that there were possible infractions of the GPL. This is true of much information that comes through our site, not much of it is sought out, its normally handed to us.

Truth be known, prior to our tip, our only interest in the appliance was the linux based client and if it would spread out beyond just the appliance.

If there are any other questions or comments that anyone would like to have addressed, please feel free to contact me via email or to post it here and either I or a member of my staff will attempt to address it in a timely fashion.

On the entire issue of AOL violating the GPL, my comment is simply an echo of another poster. And who is truly surprised by this?

Sincerely

Kelly Hallissey
webmaster/owner
www.observers.net

Re:what can you do about it? (4)

hillct (230132) | more than 13 years ago | (#204968)

Regardless of weather or not AOL violated the GPL (and it looks like they have), I can't say I'm vary impressed wth Observers.net.

In the article, instead of adressing the issues, they resort to an ad hominem attack, for no aparent reason:
Not known as one of the industry's deep thinkers when it comes to technical issues, [Steve] Case nevertheless managed to sound enthusiastic and only mildly inept, claiming that AOL hoped to "rally even more support among developers in the open source community.
OK, so the author thinks Case is an idiot (and he may not be wrong about that). Fine, but it doesn't add anything to the article, or the case the author is trying to make. In fact, it makes the author look petty and does damage to the creadibility of the organization. I'm not a big fan of AOL, but you have to wonder about watchdog groups what may be inappropriately biased, (or at least those who make the mistake to show that bias in public)

--CTH

--

Re:Inflammatory garbage. (1)

sheetsda (230887) | more than 13 years ago | (#204969)

More specificly, if I build a computer and install Redhat Linux on it, i'm not responsible for including a long list with it "thanking" every person who wrote every line of code in linux.

True, but you are legally obligated to abide by the license under which you obtained the software. The article is a bit unclear on whats going on. Obviously, AOL included some proprietary software in the box, along with Midori Linux. Its claiming somewhere, there is a GPL violation. Is it in Midori Linux, or AOLs software? It can't be the latter, which isn't distributed under the GPL. Did AOL modify the version of Midori included in the box? The article implies this case(and as the thing has only something like a total 128 megs(96 of which is RAM), I'd say its fairly likely). If so, it may very well have violated the GPL, if AOL, for instance stripped any GPL notifications out of the software. If AOL didn't modify Midori, then, either the author is just an AOL hater, like you said, or Midori, and therefore Transmeta, violates the GPL. IMO, the article needs to be a bit more clear on what part of the software has No notices of copyright holders. No disclaimer of warranty. No source code and no directions on where and how to get the source code. No copy of the GPL, or at least none accessible or viewable from the interface provided by Gateway or America Online. No notice in the interface or help files about what is and isn't covered under the license.

"// this is the most hacked, evil, bastardized thing I've ever seen. kjb"

Where to email AOL/TW investor questions (3)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 13 years ago | (#204970)

The correct email address for AOL/TW shareholder concerns is: AOLTimeWarnerIR@aol.com in case you wanted to write a letter about this.

I already did ...

Re:Question (2)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 13 years ago | (#204971)

Applications written on top of the kernel do not have any restrictions imposed on them.

Sorry, just had to pick a nit. (The rest of your comment is great.) Applications written on top of the kernel DO have to have restrictions placed on them - they have to be released under the GPL or LGPL. The term "link" has very broad meaning, and it includes making direct system calls to the kernel.

That's the reason that libc is released under the LGPL - so you can link to it without restriction. It serves as a technical buffer (to simplify and standardize OS calls), and also a legal buffer to people who want to write non-GPL software.

Figures. (1)

man_ls (248470) | more than 13 years ago | (#204972)

It figures that AOL would do something like this. They have the whole "control the Internet" mentality (I quote CEO Steve Case: "I look out at the Internet and think...'what a great opportunity'" on this matter), but there really isn't anything they can do to fight it. The GPL is the most (un?)restrictive of the licenses, but it requires that all parts of the system using it be open-sourced, while some other licenses don't. I don't think anyone has the power or resources to go after them, though.

What about AOLServer? (5)

rohar (253766) | more than 13 years ago | (#204973)

The article seems to go off on a rant about AOL with Netscape, but neglects to mention that they purchased NaviSoft and then allowed NaviServer to be revamped as an open-source package. I have been using AOLServer [aolserver.com] with Oracle for a couple of years, and am totally in love with it. If I remember right, there was a request by Philip Greenspun [greenspun.com] of MIT to AOL to release AOLServer as open source, and they said agreed to it.

Re:Maybe we need a standard GPL-violation Form Let (2)

markmoss (301064) | more than 13 years ago | (#204974)

According to the article, this device is an internet terminal running Linux with: "No notices of copyright holders. No disclaimer of warranty. No source code and no directions on where and how to get the source code. No copy of the GPL, or at least none accessible or viewable from the interface provided by Gateway or America Online. No notice in the interface or help files about what is and isn't covered under the license."

If that is accurate (and I'm sure not spending $500 for a crippled laptop to find out for myself), that is 4 violations of the GPL. Maybe it's accidental -- like "I didn't know the gun was loaded" is accidental. But in a civil suit, accident is not a defense -- it just keeps you from maybe paying triple damages for malice. Furthermore, according to the article they didn't indicate any intention to correct this situation when the reporters called up to ask about it. That is, they are now getting into the situation where they provably know they are violating copyright, and keep right on doing it... IANAL, but if the copyright holders call up and get the same answer, it is definitely time to go to court.

Re:Article tries to make AOL look bad (2)

markmoss (301064) | more than 13 years ago | (#204975)

just slipped through the cracks without being noticed, and will be fixed in the next release IANAL, but as I understand it they already owe damages. The copyright notice included in the GPL license information was notification. They ignored it, and didn't meet the requirements of the license that would have allowed copying. Since real damages are hard to prove for open source, I expect this would be the "statutory damages", a fixed minimum amount, which might not be worth a big court case.

Second, the article claims the reporter called AOL and Gateway and asked about this, and received a dismissive answer. Doesn't sound like they intend to fix it until forced to.

Slashdotted???? (1)

dossen (306388) | more than 13 years ago | (#204976)

Am I the only one who gets 403 forbidden from observers.net??? If not, does anybody have a mirror???

what can you do about it? (2)

nilstar (412094) | more than 13 years ago | (#204979)

So, if they did violate the GPL who can get them to conform?

Would the GNU organization be able to sue for breach of licence? Or could someone else/organization do that?

Re:Question (1)

warmiak (444024) | more than 13 years ago | (#204981)

Are you sure ?
I remember reading ad for an alternative commercial version of libc for Linux which was definately NOT under GPL or LGPL.

Re:Sheep among wolves... (1)

warmiak (444024) | more than 13 years ago | (#204982)

Well, from business point of view GPL and FSF are clearly a joke. People willingly part with their money to obtain AOL services while FSF is forced to beg for donations.
Interestingly, while some advocates of Open Source Software claim that relative popularity of few packages like Apache and Bind is a validation of their concept they seem to forget that commercial products cost money and STILL manage to do well in the market where there are free alternatives available. That tells you something about quality of Open Source software.

Re:Inflammatory garbage. (1)

Ryan_Terry (444764) | more than 13 years ago | (#204983)

...In this case, its Transmetas, and I bet you can get the information off their web site.

In fact you are correct. They do credit GPL here [transmeta.com] , on the Midori home page.

DocWatson

Probably a mistake (1)

Lord INH (448816) | more than 13 years ago | (#204984)

It always happens. We have a GPL violation story every few weeks. And every time, it turns out to have been an honest mistake. True, AOL should be able to afford enough lawyers to know what it's doing, but it seems to me that they got tripped up by a misunderstanding. I'd bet good money that they thought linking to transmeta's ftp servers would be enough. Of course it isn't, but I predict that once they realise the mistake AOL will switch to complying with the GPL. 'Course, I'll probably get flamed for supporting AOL...
--

Question (1)

PYves (449297) | more than 13 years ago | (#204985)

I have a question, since I'm not as familiar with GPL as most slashdotters.

According to GPL, AOL should have to show all of the source code in that internet console? Or just the code that they borrowed?

Re:What about AOLServer? (1)

wubc (450153) | more than 13 years ago | (#204986)

If I remember right I took a web database class in college and we use AOLServer to serve up web pages from Greenspan's start up company (I forgot the name, I think MIT and several other colleges are doing that right now). Personally I don't like it due to the fact we are using tcl as scripting language instead of writing it in jsp or php.

Monopoly? (1)

Johnny5000 (451029) | more than 13 years ago | (#204987)

One thing that stuck out in my mind was
"...despite its claims of support for industry-wide standards for programs like instant messaging. "

Industry-wide standards as long as it is THEIR standard, and they are the only ones who are creating the software to conform to this standard. Sounds more like they want to have a monopoly than anything else.

But looking at their business practices, it should be no surprise that they'd love to be The One Big Corporation that will control everything.

They'll be more than happy to give credit (1)

s4ltyd0g (452701) | more than 13 years ago | (#204988)

Just wait till you call in for support

Re:AOL is totally cool (some corrections) (1)

Hello New users! (453185) | more than 13 years ago | (#204989)

Please quote chapter and verse. It's available at www.gnu.org

I'm waiting...

Re:A left and a right... the GPL takes it, though! (1)

sjhs (453964) | more than 13 years ago | (#204990)

Oh yes, AOL is getting a free OS with free software and Steve Case thanks the Open Source god who magically provides him with free labor.

Re:Sheep among wolves... (1)

sjhs (453964) | more than 13 years ago | (#204991)

>> The GPL, as I understand it, doesn't require you to do anything until you make modifications to GPL code, or use it in your own software, in which case it becomes a virus, requiring you to release the entire program containing the "free" code to the public under the same viral, "free" license.

It is not a virus. Viri are not self-replicating--the GPL is :-)

Seriously, though, what's wrong with free software? Would you rather give the freedom to use the software to anyone who wants it or give AOL the discression to decide who can see the source?

>> As mentioned many times before, the "free" software movement is a hypocritical joke, severely in need of a clue beating.

What kind of clue beating? With the candlestick? In the library? I don't know what hypocritical means, but I think AOL is more of a joke than GNU.

Re:Article tries to make AOL look bad (1)

JacobD (454288) | more than 13 years ago | (#204992)

America Online did not plan on another release of the software for the Gateway appliance. The appliance has actually bombed like every other internet appliance. Yes, there will be updates to the software as per the norm of the AOL clients, but an update is a totally different animal than an actual release. America Online has even discontinued beta testing according to the Instant AOL Beta area on America Online (kw: instant aol beta). Although, it's not going to do much good for anyone to attempt to access that area unless they are a part of the now defunct beta program. Jacob Observers Staff

Re:I should have thought of this... (1)

JacobD (454288) | more than 13 years ago | (#204993)

Phantasm can be reached at phantasm@observers.net or you can email me directly at jacob@observers.net and I will be happy to forward the email along.

Thanks,
Jacob
Observers Staff

Re:Slashdotted???? (2)

JacobD (454288) | more than 13 years ago | (#204995)

We are currently looking for mirrors of this article. Our host was slightly overwhelmed by the readers from this website. ::cough::cough:: They had a stroke. If you are interested in mirroring this story, please contact me directly at jacob@observers.net Thanks, Jacob Observers Staff
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>