[Cabal] Bad news from Virginia

Sean Egan seanegan at gmail.com
Fri Jan 26 22:16:36 EST 2007

On 1/26/07, Kevin M Stange <kevin at simguy.net> wrote:
> > I don't understand this: is it illegal to say what's holding up 2.0?
> I think the idea has been that, in good faith to AOL, we didn't want to
> sic the open source community upon them, which could very well have done
> more harm than good... and created a lot of negative press.

The lawyers recommended we keep silent about everything, just because
that's the way the lawyers like to work. If everything's nice and
calm, we have a much easier time negotiating, in part because we keep
the possibility of a confidentiality clause open, which we may have
had to consider accepting in exchange for something else, had they
requested it.

They didn't request one, so once the contract is signed, we'll have
nothing holding us from baring our collective soles. I plan on writing
a good two months of pidgin.im blog entries about what we went

> For what it's worth, I think given the amount already invested in
> Pidgin, the name might as well change and get AOL to give up the stupid
> name game.  I agree with Daniel that Pidgin does not stand to be a major
> target in the grand scheme of IM clients that connect to AOL services,
> unless they want to try to claim we're disclosing trade secrets by
> providing an open implementation using their protocol.

I should have mentioned, as part of considering the settlement, AOL
did ask all its IP attorneys to take a look at it, and none of them
had any beef with us. We were assured that  they wouldn't have
negotiated all this with us, at great expense to them (each phone call
probably cost AOL $500) for over a year and not have brought up other
issues they have. They're just not willing to put that on paper.

Their reason is that *somebody* in the company might realize that
we're secretly doing something really nasty, and the higer-up lawyers
aren't willing to say that isn't the case.

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