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Three little words - You've been sued

Hemos posted more than 15 years ago | from the censor-everything! dept.

America Online 95

Kris_J " ...reports that AOL is suing AT&T for the use of some e-mail related phrases, including "you have mail" and "you've got mail." H: AOL is also cranky about "buddy list" and "IM" Sheesh-I feel like I need to put a copyright by those.

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you got mail ?.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048415)

doesn't UNIX mail take credit for this ?..

No Subject Given (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048416)

Looks to me like copyrights are as stupid as patents when it
comes to software business.

Please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048417)

AOL should copyright "AOL sucks!" to prevent other people from saying it.

The irony is that "You've got mail" is atrocious diction. And how can you possibly copyright a phrase of english words? You can't.

Remember, folks. AOL is Netscape. I knew this was a bad idea.

Keeping the Sharks Fed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048418)

Sometimes you take a bite of a nice big tuna or surfer dude

and

Sometimes you bite into a 24,000 kilovolt power transmission cable some crazed harbor master hoists into his rubber raft.

Where giants tread (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048419)

When dinasour giants scratch each other's eyes out, it only means more scraps for the furry mammals running 'tween their feet.

I agree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048420)

The best AOL could do would be to get rights to:

"Welcome, you've got mail."

Anything else is reaching.

Especially since Unix has had "You have mail" for YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS now.

Buddy list and IM is a possibility. I don't remember anything quite like them before. Although I could drag people into chat or talk.

Does anyone know of any Unix app that simulated the buddy list's display of who's on line or not?

No Subject Given (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048421)

"you've got mail" isn't even proper english. anyone who uses it should be sent back to junior high to learn basic english verb conjugation.

"you have mail" was around long before aol. they have no case, so the court was right to throw it out.

the difference between got and have is ???? . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048422)

I think AT&T should sue AOL for taking "you have mail" from UNIX and BASTARDIZING it into "YOU GOT MAIL "

you got mail ?.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048423)

AT&T's Unix system printed "You have mail"
before AOL even existed...

Americanism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048424)

Let me be the first to tell you that a good number of us on this side of the pond also think its a little loopy.

Amazing isn't it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048425)

It's really remarkable that such resources can put to such questionable use! One wonders, how U.S citizens in the future, will able to even voice their opinions without violating some company or others (TM) or whatever, if this tendency is not promptly put to a swift firm stop.

who, rwho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048426)

very similar concept...

AOL - biggest ISP in the UK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048427)

Similar in germany:
They're claiming to be no. 1 of the world (true), but in germany the no. 1 is T-Online.

From memory:
AOL 700,000 Users in Germany
T-Online 2,500,000 Users in Germany

General Protection Fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048428)

Hehehe.... I think I'll trademark "General Protection Fault" and request a court order that forces Micro$oft to recall all products which make use of the phrase....

GPF - you REALLY want THAT?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048429)

Nah, it's intel terminology (very possibly generic, not sure who it was coined by). It's the name of a processor protection fault, and microsoft are just correctly reporting the name. It's caused whenever a program accesses memory when it should not...

But think of the dough you'd get if you got a royalty every time a M$ product printed it...

:-)

CASE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048430)

If this goes to court and AOL win (because this is a screwed systeme where the better legal team wins, not because it is right and should win...you know itsa dollar thing), I wounder if AT&T will will still use the the phrase but in a different case? The lawyers will love that one...an expensive counter-suite war.

'File' menu copywritten (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048431)

Speaking of 'File' menu copyrights, recall a lawsuite by Lotus against Borland, which according to their claim had stolen their layout!!!

'File' menu copywritten (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048432)

Speaking of 'File' menu copyrights, recall a lawsuite by Lotus against Borland, which according to their claim had stolen their menu layout!!!

That's nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048433)

Check the online database again. None of aol's trademarks for YOU'VE GOT MAIL or YOU HAVE MAIL
have been registered. They have simply been filed, and at this point it is up to the PTO to realize that these terms are pretty generic and they may not ever become registered. That's why aol is trying to sue based on common law rights, instead of the registered trademarks...because only Buddy LIst has been successfully registered. I don't think aol has much of a case. It would be different if AT&T were trying to register the same trademarks as well, but I don't think they're that stupid.

-s

sjs87@columbia.edu

Entertaining (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048434)

Am I the only one that finds it moderately funny that AOL has also trademarked the term "give back to the net"?

yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048435)

You forgot "Good Day"

TOO LATE! I just copyrighted it.

Good Day(TM) is © 1999 Anonymous Coward

Time to nip AOL in the bud. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048436)

Okay, AOL, I had hoped that your purchase of Netscape would be a good thing but now you've shown your true colors.

I have recommended several Netscape server products for deployment in my organization. I will now, at some cost to my reputation and clout, reverse those recommendations and see to it that not a single dime I have influence over goes to you.

Also, remember that the net is a collaborative community. Nobody has to route your packets.

You have mail more grammatically correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048437)

And it's apparently spoken not written. Even in English, AOL caters to the illiterate.

There are lots of anti-microsoft pages out there but are there any anti-AOL ones? I think it's time to start a massive campaign to eradicate AOL from the internet, starting by targeting their user base and letting them know that AOL is the cybernetic equivalent of a crack neighborhood and that they should look into moving into better digs.

firewall AOL out of existance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048438)

Everyone, ipfwadm -F -d 159.0.0.0

Deny AOL from accessing your routers/servers/home machines, maybe then aolosers will get fed up that the net doesnt work and switch.

I at least do this to piss em off, dont want AOL to get $$ from clients, looking at my content.

I dare you all to do this, at least on your home machines, at least it might prevent random hackins.

Keep AOL to it self and out of the real net.

-CB

Trademarks gone mad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048439)

<First person> has to object to the over-use of copyrights. <First person> just found out that the word I(TM) has a trademark pending from Microsoft. <First person> does not believe that AOL (though clearly wrong) is anywhere near Microsoft's league. Something has to be done about this. How does one go about getting the USPTO to reject trademarks, both pending and registered? (AOL has trademarked My Home Page(TM). Now I have to change My Home Page(TM) so that I'm not infringing on their trademark.)

Erm, like, biff and who | grep... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048440)

You have mail -- biff y (says you have new mail)


Who is on line:
Make a file (~/.friends) containing usera userb userc userd ... then use #!/bin/bash if [ -f ~/.friends ]; then for FRIEND in $(cat ~/.friends); do who | grep $FRIEND done fi

sure it needs a little tidying, but NIX has had these capabilities for years. (how may of you have written such a 'friends' script?)

Top 10 other things AOL's trademarking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048441)

10) Me too (With apologies to the guy who posted it above)

9) I'm a moron.

8) Want to hot chat?

7) G1V3 M3 W4R3Z!

6) UNIX? What's that?

5) Want to swap kiddie porn?

4) Let's buy Netscape!

3) My internet's not working right!

2) We'll sue you!

And the number one thing AOL should trademark:

1) This is the FBI! We have your house surrounded! Let the 14 year old go and come out with your hands up!

What if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048442)

What if ten thousand slashdotters filed separate countersuits for every phrase they use against any company trying antics like these? I guess they could get it thrown out as nuisance suits, but it could always tie the lawyers up in research and court for the next twenty years :).

Fair means nothing. It's legal terrorism! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048443)

However, since AOL and AT&T are both huge companies, this lawsuit will go nowhere. It's when big companies threaten the little guy with lawsuits that he is forced to roll over and capitulate, regardless of who is right. The little guy simply cannot afford (timewise or financially) to fight against big companies with lots of disposable income to spend on lawyers. In this context, lawyers become terrorist tools.

No, AOL uses proper British. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048444)

'I have' is correct english therefore 'You have' is also correct. 'got' is essentially implied by the context.

There is no "proper English" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048445)

There is no absolute right and wrong when it comes to language. Language constantly evolves and there are many variations in usage everywhere. Who is arrogant enough to say that they can decree which variation is the "correct" one. If evereewun desided to spel evereething funetiklee then that wood be correkt english also.

Is not correct American english (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048446)

I have to say this, but computer people don't know everything about english. In standard American english saying You have got mail is incorrect, period. The verb is "to get" the past participle form of "to get" have gotten. A correct usage would be, "In the past, you have gotten mail." So, the correct statement is You have mail. You've got, is a colloquialism, and it is grammatically incorrect.
--English major, Computer Science minor

Is not correct American english (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048447)

I hate to say this, but computer people don't know everything about english. In standard American english saying You have got mail is incorrect, period. The verb is "to get" the past participle form of "to get" have gotten. A correct usage would be, "In the past, you have gotten mail." So, the correct statement is You have mail. You've got, is a colloquialism, and it is grammatically incorrect.
--English major, Computer Science minor

AOL's Early Commercials (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048448)

And who can forget the phrase "Why would I need America Online? I've already got a computer!"

AOLosers.

-cyg

No, AOL doesn't use proper British. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048449)

No, it doesn't. No 'proper' Brit uses "got" like that.

You have "SPAM" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048450)

I just saw this Ziggy comic on a co-workers cube: Ziggy's sitting in front of his computer that is telling him: "You have SPAM." Cracked me up. Perhaps aol should get a trademark on that too.

What I'd like to do is get a trademark on "me too". Then I can sue just about all aolers.

Suo Mynona

No Subject Given (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048451)

WTF so all I have to do is copyright all the letters and I'm rich.

All this is STUPID!
Those big corporate shits are pissing me off.
They're not doing anything good around just fucking around, suing each other and blaming each other.

The only good thing I see is coming from the Open Source community.
Writing solid apps and sharing it around the world. And this is for the REAL coders.

Linux forever.

What if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048452)

Well, that's sortof the point. Even stupid lawyers cost money, and once the cost of maintaining the stupid lawyers starts impacting on the bottom line, maybe the morons on the top will realize that frivolous litigation isnt all that fun after all.

"got" and "have" are different words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048453)

got as in received
have got as in posess
have as in part of the past participle:
"I have been/done/eaten/sent an email"

Amazing isn't it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048454)

That's the spirit. Trademarking is the way to go!?
Toad misquoted: "Free today, TM:d next week!

Question for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048455)

Is Eric Raymond's claim to the trademark open source also nuts?

You can't say open source without using someone's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048456)

trademark. What do you think of that?

Hey, you're using the term open source without the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048457)

proper trademark notice! Eric Raymond says you can't use his trademark that way.

But open source is yet another trademark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048458)

Or maybe that doesn't bother you so much.

AOL is suing for this? In that case.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048459)

You know, since AOL is doing this ... why not just distribute the "you have mail" and "you've got mail" wav files all over the Internet? I bet AOL would love to try to resolve that type of situation..

-- Strider Hiryu (NOSPAM.goten@anime.net, NOSPAM.dquonjr@ccs.neu.edu)

Python mail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048460)

Personally, I prefer my audio clip of "swwwthippd-d-d-d (sound of arrow coming to stop in John Cleese's shoulder) followed by his announcing, "Message for you, sir!"

I love a polite machine.

AOL stole sound from Sun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048461)

I remember the first time I heard the "You've got mail" clip from AOL being amused because I thought it was stolen from Sun.

Sun used this sound in their old OpenWindows/NeWS interfaces - it wasn't turned on by default, but I believe it was loaded with OpenWin/NeWS. I know it was in OW3, and possibly OW1 and 2 as well. It may have originated with the ill-fated 386i, I'm not sure on that point.

Anybody have an OW3 CD out there to verify this?

(BTW: The 386i had some cool capabilities that never made it into other Sun machines - things like the ability to place printcap entries in a YP map. This capability never showed up in other systems. Bummer.)

Who said the BSOD was hard-wired? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2048462)

Man, you need to read more carefully. He said it was Intel terminology; not that the CPU prints the "general protection fault" message on the screen. Have another look:

Nah, it's intel terminology (very possibly generic, not sure who it was coined by). It's the name of a processor protection fault, and microsoft are just correctly reporting the name.

"got" and "have" are different words (1)

Gleef (86) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048463)

BonzoDog wrote:

The interesting thing in my mind is that on the screen it says: "You have mail" and the annoying voice says: "You've got mail"

Not only are people more forgiving of bad grammar in verbal communication than in written, but in many cases the good grammer "sounds" wrong when spoken. I'm sure the discrepancy between the screen message and the soundbite is the result of focus groups saying "Yeah, I like that better", and walking away with their free lunch in their belly and ten bucks in their wallet.

They're that good? (1)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048464)

"Just wait until you get a call from an AoL lawyer"

They've progressed, both mentally and physically, to the point at which they have the motor skills necessary to use a telephone?

-A.P.
--


"One World, One Web, One Program" - Microsoft Promotional Ad

collection of words for collection of money (1)

sar (398) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048465)

I think what they did, and what a lot of M$ lookalikes do is get a collection of common words and phrases, and use them for 1 advertisement, then trademark them. If anyone remembers, the term Wardialer has been around A LOT longer than AOL has. Maybe it isn't too late to start trademarking "a", "the", "with", "and", "or", and "I". ??

sar

"Buddy list"??? (1)

Brandon S. Allbery (500) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048466)

I think TAPR has prior claim on that phrase. Watch it, AOL, you're getting too big for your britches.

You have mail. (1)

Brandon S. Allbery (500) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048467)

(1) In my personal experience it goes back to 1981. I'm quite certain it goes back even farther.

(2) On V7 and BSD-ish systems it's printed by login; on System III/V-ish systems it's printed in /etc/profile.

That's nothing... (0)

Trepidity (597) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048468)

AOL - for all your War Dialing (tm) needs.

hmm (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048469)

Well, "You've got mail" could possibly be legally allowed as a service mark. I haven't seen it used by anybody else before AOL, and yes, you can trademark phrases (as Sun did with "The network is the computer"). "You have mail" however, isn't trademarkable, since lots of programs (including UNIX's mail) said "You have mail" before AOL was even around.

As for Instant Message, I'm not sure. I'm pretty sure I haven't heard anything other than AOL's Instant Messanger called an "Instant Message" until recently, so it's possible AOL invented the phrase. I personally used to call it "real-time messaging" or "one-on-one chat" or other such phrases.

I agree. (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048470)

Well, the question *isn't* whether AOL invented a list of names - they're not trying to patent it. The question is whether they invented the term "buddy list." They're trying to trademark (or servicemark or whatever) the term, so other can have buddy lists, but they have to call them "notify lists" (like IRC) or "list of friends" or "online friends" or something other than "buddy lists."

You've got mail, You've got mail, You've got mail! (1)

Special J (641) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048471)

I think I'll get a copyright "You"*, "got"* and "mail"* individually and then sue AOL for all three! That's about how much sense AhOLe makes with their suit. Hmmm...While I'm at it, I think I'll have to have a discussion with the worlds postal services regarding their use of the word mail*.

*copyright Special J. All rights reserved.

you got mail ?.. (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048472)

Posted by Stephen "The Carp" Carpenter:

Yes "Look And Feel" that disgusting
concept that some large companies feel
is something they have a right to sue about

This is still frivolous at best

Idiots (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048473)

Posted by Jeremy Witt:

Just one more indication that they're handing out law degrees like Halloween candy these days.


JWitt

AOL - biggest ISP in the UK? (1)

Dom2 (838) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048474)

Demon probably aren't the biggest (about 250,000 users as I recall), but they do have the lowest churn rate. Most Demon users stay Demon users, whereas most AOL users only use it as a springboard whilst they learn about the Internet.

And Demon are still using MMDF to do customer mail. Sob.

Dom, ex-postmaster@demon.net

.

This is INSANE^H^H^H^H^H^HPRESS!! (1)

BadlandZ (1725) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048475)

"There's not such thing as bad press(TM)" :-P

AOL is hoping cash in a little on

You've got Press^H^H^H^H^HMail.

Personally, I disagree with AOL, and thier case, and agree with you. But no it's not a hoax, it's a bunch of lawyers and buisnessmen in suits in an office that have just saw a preview for the new Tom Hanks movie and decided to get thier names in the papers.

Personally, I am supprised AOL hasn't spam mailed anyone yet. They seem willing to do anything to get more attention, and I sure get enought junk mail from them in my REAL mailbox (but I do have a nice set of AOL/CD/Coasters for my beer!).

you got mail ?.. (1)

iabervon (1971) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048476)

AOL appearently doesn't think they're different; the case is against AT&T for using "You have mail." when AOL uses "You've got mail." (at least, according to the article). Since trademarks are on exact wording, and single sentences can't be copyrighted, AOL doesn't even have any reason to complain if they were first, which they were not. This is why I think that countersuits should not need to be valid-- AT&T ought to be able to countersue despite not having a trademark or copyright, just based on the fact that AOL thinks there's something wrong.

Prior Use (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048477)

AOL's claim is nuts. They've been using the phases since ~1989, and yet, they only bothered to file in May 1998. In the words of a spokesman
"We think AT&T is trying to free-ride on a term widely used and historically associated with AOL," said Tricia Primrose, a spokeswoman for America Online Inc. [washingtonpost.com]

Apparently AOL wants to prove that there are enough morons who associate the phrase with AOL to give it common law rights. My guess is that AOL will try to claim trademark rights to "The Internet" next.

Incidentally, is the offending code mentioned in any of the "annotated source code" books out there-- e.g. "The Lions Book"? I'd love to see a copy of "login.c" from 1989, but I can't find an appropriate Web/Gopher/FTP resource-- Linux dates from 1991, and I think the FreeBSD varients date from the same period.

In that case... (1)

Millennium (2451) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048478)

Excuse me. I need to go get my copyrights on "How are you?", "What's up?", and "AOL sucks."

AOL - biggest ISP in the UK? (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048479)

However, I'm pretty sure Demon Internet are still the most successfull ISP. They're certainly a damned site better than AOL - it's still considered the mark of a loser having an AOL account ...

It's all a matter of perspective. Demon has long been the UK's biggest ISP, but Compuserve (i.e., now AOL) has more subscribers -- the difference being not all of Compuserve's users use it for internet access. Hence both can claim to be #1, and both will be right depending on how you look at it.

It'll be interesting to see how FreeServe affects the market (they're rapidly approaching the top spot) when Energis stop paying for it. It can't last forever on the income from support calls alone.

you got mail ?.. (1)

bpechter (2885) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048480)

Well strings on login on SunOS 4 shows
"You have mail"

So, since login came from the official AT&T
System V sources (about 1983 or so) they should
be ok on "You have mail" -- however, You've got mail may be another story...

However the layers of legal @#$%^&*( that
cause this stuff is just plain silly. You should
NOT be able to trademark or copyright "You've got mail"

I want to copyright and trademark the following:

Username:
login:
and
Password: or password

--bill

That's nothing... (1)

Ralph (2956) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048481)

How about them trademarking "Spammer's Heaven", "Clueless Providing" and "Me Too" also?

Now that at least would have something to do with inventings stuff concerning the net ;-)

Ralph

No, just the preliminary injunction (1)

shimpei (3348) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048482)

If you read carefully (the Wired article isn't written very clearly), the judge denied AOL's request for "a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction" against AT&T--i.e., forcing AT&T to stop using these alleged trademark violations pending a final court decision. This judge clearly did not buy AOL's initial presentation of the story, which doesn't bode well for AOL--but nothing has been finalized yet.

This is ludicris (1)

zilym (3470) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048483)

AOLame -- get a clue. If you win, soon it will be illegal for me to put phrases like "Press any key to continue" into my programs. This is nuts. I hope AT&T counter sues you and wins for this outrage.

You have mail. (1)

Pascal Q. Porcupine (4467) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048484)

porcupine login: pascal
Password:
Last login: Mon Jan 4 23:51:14 on ttyp1 from 164.tuscon-05rs1.
You have mail.

The state law of Pennsylvania prohibits singing in the bathtub.

pascal@porcupine:~> /P?
---

hmm (1)

Pascal Q. Porcupine (4467) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048485)

Actually, it's /bin/login, IIRC.
---

AOL - biggest ISP in the UK? (1)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048486)

In the United Kingdom, AOL are currently running adverts claiming they have more subscriptions than anyone else. That seems to be the inference one is supposed to draw from ads stating they are "number one in the UK".

However, I'm pretty sure Demon Internet are still the most successfull ISP. They're certainly a damned site better than AOL - it's still considered the mark of a loser having an AOL account ...

IP law threatens freedom of speech (1)

Nemesys (6004) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048487)

Yeah, but that was in defamation, nor for copyright infringement.

Still, intellectual property law is now starting to butt heads with freedom of speech. For once I think I want freedom of speech to win.

Where giants tread (0)

jwhyche (6192) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048488)

I take this to mean we're the furry mammals and we're just waiting for the killer komet(TM).

Lawyers? (1)

ilkahn (6642) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048489)

Here is a stretch, but if there are any lawyers out there, is this even viable? Or is this an attempt on AOL's part to just cause so much trouble that AT&T just decides to change the message instead of wasting money on legal battles?

You Such a Cute Little Plurl Elitest (1)

Cosmo (7086) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048490)

Wow, I didn't think people like you really existed.

Lawsuit was rejected (1)

Pudding (9094) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048491)

Wired News [wired.com] reports that the lawsuit was rejected by the courts.

Maybe common sense is coming over your country's judicial system?

Word Eater... (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048492)

An odd thing.. As a few of you'll probably notice, my name comes from a white wolf roleplaying game 'Vampire the Masquerade'...
In the clanbook for the clan Malkavian, there's a peculiar critter called 'Word Eater'.
Word Eater is generally detested by all that know it, as it lives by eating ideas. Ideas are couched in words, and as Word Eater eats the words, they become lost, and the world become duller, more mundane, and less flexible.
This seems to be exactly how AOL (I know this acronym to mean 'Assholes On Line', and it seems with awful good reason right now) is behaving.
In the clamour for 'intellectual property', certain companies seem to be hell bent on removing concepts from general use. What they fail to comprehend is that for new ideas to be born, sometimes, older ideas need to be an integral part. Without these new ideas, there will BE nothing new...
Sooner or later, these 'Word Eaters' will have nothing new to claim. All that'll be left is the ruin of a once bright and developing place. And they'll be reduced further and further, trying to fight for the scraps that are left.
The world in general will probably be set back by about 20 years or so in development. Research will be stymied. The net could very well be a dark and dismal place.
I wonder if someone would care to claim the naming of TCP/IP, or 'internet' or 'World Wide Web'... Now, where would AOL be if they mentioned they allowed you to hook up, but couldn't mention 'Internet' or 'World Wide Web' or 'Web'... Or their engineers couldn't write docs that referred to TCP/IP...
Language arose for a very good reason; it allowed us to develop a framework in which we could relay concepts to one another, to allow humankind to develop past the pack animal to create many wonders, and, in the hands of the misguided, many atrocities. But each step has allowed us to learn.
It seems now, that in the hands of the legal system, the greedy few can persue a method of removing the product of thousands of years of development and refinement by a whole race, and all in the quest for a small amount of money, which'll soon vanish and dry up.
The burning of books was only one way to limit the spread of knowledge... One can but hope that the laws protect our most valuable asset... Our words... After all, they're owned by us all (think if language as a business partnership.. We're all responisble for it's development). If one person in a partnership decides to remove an asset from the company and claim it as it's own, it's termed 'embezzlement', or fraud (I'm no legal hotshot.. Quite which applies, I'm not sure)..
Maybe it oculd be argued that anybody could countersue as a representative of the 'Public Domain' company for theft of a concept. After all, I'm sure even back in the the days of Ancient Egypt and before, ever since the dawning of writing, some people were saying the very equivalent of 'You've got mail'. And I'm damn sure AOL wasn't around back then.
I just find myself baffled at the sheer arrogance, stupidity and short-sightedness of anyone who believes they can claim the creation of any phrase so commonly used...
So, as clan Malkavian plans to 'Prank' Word Eater in such a way as to cause it to cease it's practices, so I aim to 'Prank' AOL. And no, I don't mean hack.
Every company relies heavily on it's 'Corporate Image'. They spend millions on advertising to make this seem slick and competent.
The greatest Prank is to show everyone you can just how utterly inept, incompetent and grabbing they really are. Your words spread to others who learn from you. And in turn, people learn from them, and so on, and so the ripples spread.
In the long term, this'll cost AOL more than just the legal costs, as long as the joke lasts.

Malk.

This is ludicris (1)

RedOctober (10155) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048493)

ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous
ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous
ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous
ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous
ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous
ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous
ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous
ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous ludicrous

There's more if you run out.

AOL is the MicroSoft of the Internet.... (1)

cholko (10212) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048494)

If they are not there yet, they are aiming to be.

It isn't MS that we have to be worried about when it comes to the Internet. MS may control the desktop and wants to make the software that drives the net. However the real money is who controls the content. This is where MS cannot go because to do so means having to fight very established players like AOL. About the only way to get people to leave a service like AOL is to make it free elsewhere and then give them all their friends on AOL. Its not going to happen. (personally I thought AOL only made coasters)

Still, AOL is now showing what big business is really about. Through the Justice department they managed to build share strength for both them and Netscape just so the merger would be palatable to their respective share holders.

Stop MS from taking over the server market, and keep AOL from buying up the net. Screw the desktop - it was lost 3 years ago. Justice should be looking toward the future, not correcting their errors of ignorance from the past.

..

This is INSANE! (1)

VValdo (10446) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048495)

What the fuck is this all about?!! Tell me it's a hoax...it IS a hoax right? "mail" is a totally common, non-company specific thing. They want to assert the sole right to tell someone they have mail??? (as Unix already does...) Not "You've got AOLMail(TM)" or "You've AOL-got(TM) mail" But the simple "You've got mail"?!!!!! And "Wardial"??!!! Christ!

Whomever said the comment about "Press any key to continue" is right on. Ok, that's it, I'm going to have to trademark "CTRL-ALT-DEL", the "File menu" and "Establishing Connection..."

W

PS THIS is the AOL that's just bought Netscape, everyone. The new "enlightened," open source embracing, freedom loving AOL. Ya right. I still say that deal is the worst thing to happen to the net so far.

"Even our masters don't know the web we weave" (2)

jmce (10597) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048496)

I've just sent the comment below to AOL.
The quotation is from "The Dogs of War" by Pink Floyd. By the way, I find the full lyrics of
that song (see for instance http://holly.colostate.edu/~xartan/lyrics/moment.h tm) to best most appropriate for describing what is happening with the media and, unfortunately, more and more on the Internet too.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Good morning, America Online, Inc.

You have mail.
From me.

To show my indignation concerning your arrogance
on your presumed ownership of the expression
"You have mail".

Currently, it can only be expected that companies
like you are going to try to trademark every
single bit of our lives, including our language. And then sell us what
used to be free.

Please stop trying to convince us about some
form of AOL commitment to open source development.
You have shown your true face even to those naive
enough to have believed you.

Have a nice day, America Online, Inc., and thank you for your attention
to these "consumer comments".

"For hard cash, we will lie and deceive
Even our masters don't know the web we weave"

P.S. I hereby deny America Online, Inc.
permission for usage of my email address for any purposes---except
replying to this message or reproducing it in its entirety on the World
Wide Web---including but not limited to marketing purposes or disclosure
to third party companies, government officials and law enforcement agencies.

you got mail ?.. (1)

alight (10842) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048497)

No kidding. I don't recall which brand of UNIX,
but that's the message that's shown up
on my csh accounts since I got online in 1988.

Just incredible. Perhaps AOL will trademark
"Season's Greetings" and "Merry Christmas",
in hopes of cornering the holiday market. . . .


Alan

I agree. (1)

nikc (11398) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048498)

Does anyone know of any Unix app that simulated the buddy list's display of who's on line or not?

I have dim memories of a program called "Merlin's Buddies" (or possibly "Merlin's Buds") from around about 1993 or thereabouts.

A brief web search doesn't turn it up, but my access if pretty slow at the moment which doesn't help.

Anyone else remember this piece of software?

N

In that case... (0)

BonzoDog (11608) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048499)

You forgot "Have a nice day" ;-)

Preliminary injunction was rejected (1)

BonzoDog (11608) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048500)

The lawsuit goes on. So, for the moment, they can continue to use the annoying "You've got mail!" phrase (But why they'd want to...)

Actually, it is proper English (1)

BonzoDog (11608) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048501)

"You have got mail" OK for American and British dialects

"You have gotten mail" OK for American dialect only. "Gotten" transformed into "Got" sometime after the Colonies were founded.

But in any case "You've got mail!" in the breathlessly excited voice is ANNOYING.

End of language rant...

Actually, it is proper English (1)

BonzoDog (11608) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048502)

No, I think you're splitting hairs on this one.

"You have got mail in your mailbox and you need to check it." is perfectly OK.
"You have mail" would be perfectly fine, too.

For more on "have" and "got" and American "gotten", see John Lawler [umich.edu]

Unix uses proper english. (1)

mattc (12417) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048503)

On unix it is:

You have new mail. (or "You have mail.", depending on whether or not you've read it yet)

On AOL it is:

You've got mail. (aka You have got mail.)

AOL has to be hillbilly-literate you see..

makes me laugh!! (0)

Grifter (12763) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048504)

"You've got mail!"
"You've got mail!"
"You've got mail!"
"You've got mail!"
"You've got mail!"
"You've got mail!"
"You've got mail!"
"You've got mail!"
"You've got mail!"


Now America Off-Line can sue me too!

That's nothing... (1)

tregoweth (13591) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048505)

According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's nifty online database [uspto.gov] , some of AOL's registered trademarks are: My Place, Buddy List, FullDisclosure, My Home Page, E-VIL, You've Got Mail, "the spoken words 'you've got mail,'" You Have Mail, and (my favorite) War Dialer. -jon

What about Bob??? (1)

inki (13605) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048506)

I better copyright my name before i have to pay royalties every time i sight a check!!!

Ooops..looks like Microsoft already has it.

Umm... Hollywood?? (1)

Dr.Claw (78885) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048507)

Obviously they think they're gonna make some money off of that new "You've Got Mail" movie coming out... well DUH, that's why they're doing this. They want to make it look like they INVENTED EMAIL or at least the phrase. Sometimes this country makes me sick... (yes america DAMMIT)

Post Office (1)

lugnut (94670) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048508)

This is just plain stuipd on AOL's part. As a matter of fact, I'll bet that some lawsuit hungry postal employee is steaming right now. Just imagine...How long have they been using "You've Got Mail", and it's associated derivatives? They could've copyrighted it and charged us for it all along!!!!

nathanunderwood@yahoo.com

Lawyers? (1)

bitwize (137998) | more than 15 years ago | (#2048509)

MCI owns this phrase:

"Is this a great time or what? :-)"

They have not yet tried to claim the ":-)" as a logo of some sort. Woe be unto you if they do.
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