Re: AOL aid in an open source IM project

Date: Tue Apr 03 2001 - 01:02:51 PDT

Gordon Mohr <> writes:
> Then for whatever definition of "too short to copyright" that
> might be accepted, the passphrase can be a little longer.
> My point remains that if copyright law is AOL's ally on this
> case, it's not necessary for them to use a copyrighted key
> as big as aim.exe. (A haiku is long enough to copyright,
> isn't it?)

Yes. But the bigger the key, the more subsequences of it there are.

> Another tack they could take, which makes more sense to me
> than using copyright law: make the passphrase, however short,
> include a trademark. Compatible software would then have to
> echo an AOL trademark back to AOL -- which strikes me as
> quite analogous to the illegal misuse of anothers' trademark
> to deceive humans. That is, if I can't pretend I'm AOL in
> public, why can my software pretend that it is from AOL
> over the wire?

You should really read Sega before you comment any further. It's not
clear what the answer to the above would be in this context, but Sega
is a starting point.

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