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ZDNN: AOL jilts open source

Aug 14, 1999, 01:36 (12 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Christa Degnan, Scott Berinato)

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"As early as March of this year, AOL... released code related to its AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) client and protocols under the GPL (GNU Public License). The company's intent was to enable developers to incorporate instant messaging features into Web pages, according to officials.

"The GPL requires developers to share changes to source code. By July, however, AOL pulled back the open-source TiK client and TOC protocol, a subset of the main AIM protocol, Oscar. Around that time, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT) launched its own instant messaging service, and AOL has stonewalled the open-source community it once recruited as an ally.

""We did not intend to allow anyone to take this code to run instant messaging services over AOL's network," said Tricia Primrose, an AOL spokeswoman in Dulles, Va.

"'Cat's out of the bag' Open-source advocates and observers say GPL-published code cannot simply be pulled back..."

Complete story.