AIM Protocol

Luke Schierer lschiere at
Wed Mar 5 17:51:16 EST 2008

Mark Doliner wrote:
> On Wed, 5 Mar 2008 14:37:40 -0500, Etan Reisner wrote
>> On Wed, Mar 05, 2008 at 02:32:48PM -0500, Justin Rodriguez wrote:
>>> Hey,
>>>     I don't know if its of any use to anybody, but I just wanted to mention
>>> that AOL released a copy of the OSCAR Protocol used in aim. You can find it
>>> at
>>> - Justin
>> Those documents are under the rather unfortunate Open AIM license 
>> and are thus more-or-less unusable. At least given my reading of things.
> We should probably talk about this, since their protocol documentation could
> potentially be useful to us.  The referenced documentation is listed as being
> released under the requirements of these two documents:
> I'm not a lawyer, but I've read through both of those and I don't see anything
> that would be problematic.  A large part of the requirements apply to the
> following four things:
> 1. Presence Tools
> 2. Plugin Tools
> 3. Custom Client Tools
> 4. Web AIM Tools
> These all have special meaning with the AIM license.  More importantly
> Pidgin/libpurple/Finch do not fall under any of these categories, which means
> the requirements don't apply to us. (The requirements are things like, "show
> buddy info," "show buddy icons," "if you have over 100,000 concurrent users
> then use our ads.")
> Another large chunk of requirements applies only to the developer and not to
> the products he creates.  The requirements are reasonable things like, "don't
> break the law," "don't abuse your api key," "don't claim that your product is
> created or endorsed by AOL."
> The only requirements that seem borderline questionable to me are those in
> section V. D. 2: "Restrictions on Functionality of Developer Applications." 
> These are things like, "don't send SPIM," "don't abuse our servers," "don't
> distribute viruses."
> I think it is reasonable for any developer who wishes to read their oscar
> protocol documentation to adhere to these requirements.
> -Mark

I think we should have the lawyers that helped us with IMFreedom look 
things over and give us a lawyerly opinion.


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