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ICQ and AOL - The Buyout and the Fear

This Pages revision history

Our association with Miribilis and ICQ

Miribilis and ICQ - History

AOL Buyout - The Developing Story (links)

AOL Buyout - The Fear

ICQ - A "scary" view of it's potential for disaster

What's the deal with the "Dynamic" Licensee Agreement ?

AOL Buyout - The Fear - is it already coming true??? - Received June 10, 1998 - 14:04 CDT

Links to other "ICQ User" pages relating to AOL's Aquisition of ICQ & ICQ's future

Feedback ??


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- 11 June 1998 - Added "A 'Scary' view of it's (ICQ's) Potential for disaster"

- 12 June 1998 - Added Links ot other ICQ User pages

- 13 June 1998 - "Qualified" the quotes from the ICQ Licensee Ageerment contained in "A Scary view" as being from "my version" of LA.wri

- 15 June 1998 - Added 04-23-98 link to C-Net's Rumor Mill - article, "Trademark pundits: AOL should mind its Ps and ICQs" - 16 June 1998 - Added links to the ICQ founders "Personal ICQ Pager and White Page" listings. - 22 June 1998 - Added a link to an "Insider Info" report published on the "Anti Chain Letter on ICQ Organization" website - link added in the "Feedback" section of this page

- 13 November 1998 - Added ZD Anchor Desk story about AOL / ICQ "Portal Plans" tor the planned new release of ICQ

- 12 December 1998 - Based on an email commentary received concerning this page and it's intent, I have removed the Link to the FTP Site referred to in the 13 November revision. I have been informed that this IS NOT a released version - it is an evolving CLOSED BETA TEST .... other than those individuals invited to be CLOSED BETA TESTERS with access to the "most current build version" directly from AOL / ICQ, there can be no reliance placed on the completeness, correctness, currentness, or safety of "bootleg" copies of this which may be "floating around" !!!!!!! Until the next version is released BY MIRABILIS I would NOT recommend a bootleg versions be downloaded or installed.

NOTE: The Internet is a dynamic medium, as such it must be recognized that "LINKS" to certain documents referenced in this discussion may be moved, removed, or revised. As of Saturday - June 13, 1998 - all LINKS to documents referenced work (although in one case, the document link was revised between the 12th and the 13th and is so noted).

The following >lengthy< discussion is the result of many hours of search and research - that could only be readily available to me as an informed and responsible consumer of internet service. Where the works of others have been incorporated, it's source address has been cited, either directly or embedded in the hyperlink. Portions of those matierals included here are believed to be incorporated under the "fair use" provisions of copyright for the purpose of comment and criticism.

R.E. (Rick) Langdon - June 13, 1998

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"Rick & Linda have chosen ICQ as the preferred method of communication with their friends and listmembers. ICQ empowers members with a very efficient means to exchange messages, chat, exchange files, exchange URL's, and launch other "DIRECT CONNECT" communications applications whenever they like, enableing them to share ideas and discuss similar interests. We encourage all visitors to get ICQ and provide us with their ICQ-UIN (Universal Internet Number). We will list ICQ contact info for all visitors (who do) on our List of "Travelin' Partners" (The List), allowing quick contact with others with a common interest in travel."

With these words, we joined "The ICQ Reveloution"

We were introduced to ICQ, as most members were, thru a "tip from a friend" in mid June 1997. Although we were not exactly among "the first" of the ICQ family, we are among the group of early adopters, and immediately saw the potential of this reveloutionary connectivity utility (ICQ # 1875689). Our online list of friends and "TRAVELIN' PARTNERS" was published 29 June 97 and included in the ICQ List of user created lists on 14 August 97. We have been gratified and pleased with the response and interest created by it's publication. It was the first list in the Lifestyle - Travel catagory, and as of this date is one of three listed - but the only one IMHO that is truely a list dedicated bringing together travelers of the world. We (have been) proud to be included the 5000+ "Listmasters" worldwide who have recognized the power of ICQ to make the world a smaller and friendlier place, and dedicate a portion of our web space - along with a fairly significant amount of time - to bringing people with similar interests together on the net.

Our ICQ List Status as of 10 June 1998

ICQ List Name: Rick & Linda's - Travelin' Partners
Description / Purpose: To promote ease of connection & communication between friends we've met along the road of life - both in person and on-line.
Searchable Keywords: Travel, Partners, Friends, On-Line, Communication
Relevant Categories: Lifestyle Lists - Travellers & Travel Advice
ICQ ListMaster: Rick Langdon
Organization: REAL Data Services (That's us *grin* R.E. [Rick] and Lin, providing this data as a free service :-)
Location: Forestdale, Alabama USA
Number Of Users: 150,  Number of Countries: 38

27 members have made additional contributions to the "ICQ section" of our website in the form of personal photos, stories, or travel reports.

Last Updated On: 01 June 98

Resources dedicated to ICQ: 198 files, 3.82Mb, 68 pages, & "Lord knows" how much time

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Miribilis - ICQ's History ("pre" AOL Aquisition Status)

05/20/98 - Ranked by 100hot.Com The 4th most popular site for the week of Wednesday, May 20, 1998

05/22/98 - 12,000,000 Subscribers!

05/25/98 - 60,000 New Users Per Day!

http://www.mirabilis.com/icqhomepage.html - Title = "ICQ - World's Largest Internet Online Communication Network" From http://www.mirabilis.com/about.html May 11th, 1998

"A tiny Israeli company has taken the Internet by storm...ICQ is the hottest thing on the web David Einstein, San-Fransisco Chronicle,Feb 1998 Mirabilis has created an Internet sensation with its ICQ software. San Jose Mercury"

Accumulated Number of Subscriptions 
Logged on User hours 



"... The First Movers and the Creators of the Space - Mirabilis was founded in July 1996 by four young Israeli avid-computer users, Yair Goldfinger (26,Chief Technology Officer), Arik Vardi (27,Chief Executive Officer), Sefi Vigiser (25,President), and Amnon Amir (24, currently studying), in order to introduce a new way of communication over the Internet. They observed the fast deployment of the World Wide Web which was propelled by the mounting popularity of surfing and browsing, and watched the growing number of people interacting with web servers. They realized, however, that something more profound was evolving under the surface. Millions of people have been connected to one huge world wide network - the Internet. They noticed that those people were connected - but not interconnected. They realized that if one missing component would be added, all these people, in addition to interacting with web servers, would be able to interact with each other. The missing link was the technology which would enable the Internet users to locate each other online on the Internet, and to create peer-to-peer communication channels, in a straight forward, easy, and simple manner. They pioneered this technology, that way opening a whole new industry.

Thousands of Truly Grass-root, Self-Assembled Internet Communities

At the time of this writing over 5000 User-Created Interest Lists ... have been posted, reflecting the wide diversity of human interest and creating a popular forum for the expression of the whole spectrum of individual tastes and agenda. Provided with a place for people with similar interest to locate on-line each other, tens of thousands of users already joined those lists..."


One of the articles referenced below indicates that the current staff at Mirabilis includes 65 people. The extent of the founders investment in equipment, tie lines, and salaries over this period (July 96- May 98) is not known but has to be "significant". As we all know, ICQ has been made available over this time "free" on a "Time Limited - Beta Test" basis, with no requests for compensation and no advertising support. Feedback over the past year to Mirabilis in responce to "rumors" of their intent to charge for the service or implement advertising support - though not generally favorable - has indicated a willingness on the part of the users of ICQ to pay directly for the service. The totally uncompensated efforts of the thousands of user "listmasters", "chatmasters", and "groupmasters" who have developed supporting web pages or web sites based on the ICQ utility, as well as the "word of mouse" promotion of this product/service by it's users has been "discounted and violated" by this sell-out. I do agree that Mirabilis deserves to be compensated for their efforts in developing this program and it's network of servers. However, I am upset by Mirabilis' disregard for their users in this sale, their violation of user confidentiality, and am particularily distressed by it's sale to AOL. The use of statistical and composite data is a legitimate business use. The transfer of individual data is IMHO a violation of trust and an unethical use of the information furnished to Mirabilis.

CONTACT DATA for the four named founders of Mirabilis LTD - Creators of ICQ

(Listed as of 06-10-98)

NAMEand Links to -

ICQ Personal Communication Center Page


ICQ personal "white Page"

Arik Vardi - ICQ "White Page" 27 ADD Chief Executive Officer arik@mirabilis.com
Sefi Vigiser- ICQ "White Page" 25 ADD President sefi@icq.com
Yair Goldfinger- ICQ "White Page" 26 ADD Chief Technology Officer yair@icq.com
Amnon Amir- ICQ "White Page" 24 ADD currently studying amnon@mirabilis.com

Interesting trivia note: I started the ICQ search initially at ICQ UIN "1" and was advised that the valid range for UIN's was 1001 - 2147483646, it appears that "Mirabilis" just may have started off the UIN counter with some "inflated" user count? I do however, commend the companies founders for listing themselves in their own service.

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AOL Buyout of Mirabilis - ICQ The Story as it Developed (Links)

ZDNet Company Finder - Mirabilis LTD

04-23-98, C-Net's Rumor Mill - Trademark pundits: AOL should mind its Ps and ICQs

05-17-98, ZDNN - ICQ messaging service creeps up on AOL's turf

05-21-98, America Online to Buy Mirabilis for $300 Mln - Israel's Business Arena - Globes

05-21-98, ZDNN - Report: AOL to buy ICQ maker for $300M

05-21-98, ZDNN - Talkback: AOL to buy ICQ maker...now what?

05-26-98, Selling Souls - Israel's Business Arena - Globes

05-29-98, ZDNN - AOL Eyes Instant Message Developer

06-08-98 - Rec'd URL notification from "Nob63" to take a look at the letter to users at www.mirabilis.com & www.icq.com ..... Forwarded this notification to all our "Listmembers" and ICQ friends

06-08-98, ZDNN - Mirabilis buy another branding play for AOL (w/Talkback)

06-08-98, ZDNN - AOL Buys Mirabilis For $287M **** w/ AOL comments & Plans

06-09-98, ZDNN - Jesse Burst, Story: The AOL Lesson: How to Get Ahead by Mistreating Customers 06-09-98, Mirabilis Ltd. - Reactions to ICQ's Future - w/ a link to Mirabilis' "NOTIFICATION" Letter to their users (An "open leter" on their homepage, NOT an ICQ System message as had been repeatedly promised in case of a major change to the service), a link to Mirabilis' 06-08-98 Press Release, and links to many other "Talkback" forums

06-09-98, Mirabilis Ltd. - Reactions Regarding the Future of ICQ - Mirabilis' 2-Way board

06-10 -98, Israel's Business, Globes Arena (the Sale from another perspective) and "Internet Telephony Market Next in Line"

06-11-98, Wired News, "ICQ Fans Rage Against AOL" --- includes comments from AOL & ICQ

11-13-98, Ziff Davis, Jesse Berst's Anchordesk, Liz Enbysk, Managing Editor ZDNet AnchorDesk Rick's NOTE again: On November 7th, I was forwarded THIS LINK "A Link" by one of our "Travelin' Partners" to a FTP search results page for "ICQ99" - no "official release notice from ICQ had or has been issued as yet. What this apparently leads to is an "Alpha" or "Beta" Release of the "new ICQ version" - made available in Russia (ru), Italy (it), the Netherlands (nl), and possibly a few other locations.

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AOL Buyout - The Fear

As expressed by so many ICQ users already in the ZDNN Talkback Forums, and the forums linked by Mirabilis themselves, there is widespread "fear" and mistrust of this aquisition of ICQ by America Online. Many of the comments have been left by former AOL customers (and I am one of these) who are concerned with what AOL intends to "do" with the aquisition of 12 million names, email addresses - and other ICQ User data - worldwide. AOL's history is filled with the abuse of member security and replete with stories of email abuse ("SPAM"), poor service, and slow and unreliable servers.

To our worldwide friends, you cannot imagine the extent of the "Love" (as represented by the number of AOL subscribers) - "Hate" (as represented by the number of ex-AOL subscribers) relationship that exists in the US toward America Online. The link above, and the links contained therein - at the bottom - can only "scratch the surface" in providing insight into the bad feelings associated with AOL's "service".

I have been a "heavy" PC user since the mid 80's and a user of various online services and the "the internet" as well for much of that time. Some of you may remember Ashton Tate's dBase, which was for years and years the #1 selling database application for "DOS" based PC's. It also which went thru many revisions and product upgrades. This was a marviously simple to use product - whose greatest strength perhaps was in it's built in ability to be used as a "programing language" or application development tool for "power users" while still remaining "easy to use" as delivered. Many of you may also remember that it was bought out by a competitor, Borland (who had their own database product - Paradox) with the "promise" of continued dBase development. dBase is now history - only a "distant" (and fond) memory in the tremendously fast paced history of the development of PC's, PC applications, and the internet. And, by the way, Borland is also "all but" history itself.

Is ICQ to be a repeat of history? Is this going to be a valid comparison? Only time will tell.

Ashton-Tate's dBase : Borland's Paradox = Mirabilis' ICQ : AOL's aquisition of ICQ


AOL's History of violation of customer confidentiality = ICQ's violation of user trust

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ICQ - A "scary" view of it's potential for disaster

By David M. Wilson, sysadmin at Danceart.com - a former "Systems Programmer"

"... Well it is time to come clean on this issue. Even some of my close friends think I'm nutso over my position on the ICQ chat program from Mirabilis Ltd. So, okay, I know I'm on the outer fringes of society, given that millions of people seem to have used ICQ at one time or another. A little too security conscious perhaps? But look at it this way: the people I know in the software industry don't and won't use it either. ..." -------- READ WHY NOT & THINK ABOUT IT

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What's the deal with the "Dynamic" Licensee Agreement ?

It might be time to click your Start | Mirabilis ICQ | Licensee Agreement and reread it's terms - I just did and had not realized (or remembered) giving up so much when I signed up for the service. My current version of LA.wri is dated 12-3-97 00:58 and is associated with my upgrade to ICQ ver 98a

(... I do not have a copy of the original version of this "agreement" - if any other "early adopters" have not upgraded their original version of ICQ to ver 98a, I would appreciate it if you would send a copy of the original Licensee Agreement to me -- see the feedback link below...)

Selected portions of the ("My version of the") ICQ ver 98a Licensee Agreement are quoted below:

... The ICQ Service and Information may also be accessible by other software applications and may be published on the Mirabilis or ICQ websites...

...Mirabilis may elect to grant different grade of service, different levels of access or no access at all and different priorities to different users or to different functions, at any time...

...Mirabilis may elect in its sole discretion to condition the continuation of access to server, on you accepting software improvements, corrections, adaptations, or changes to the ICQ program, or to the ICQ numbers (UIN)....

... By using the ICQ Software or the ICQ Services and Information , you agree to and acknowledge the following: 1) The details you elected to post on the various ICQ Directories, during the registration procedure or thereafter are available and freely accessible by the public; 2) Mirabilis may choose to provide third parties with the content which is available to the public on the ICQ directories and listings or any part thereof, for advertising purposes or any other use....

Friends - it appears that AOL now "has" any and all information which we have provided or listed on Mirabilis ICQ - to do with what they wish - and we're left "swinging in the wind". I trusted Mirabilis-ICQ. I'm not so sure that I can trust AOL. The deal is done - about all we can do now is "wait & see" or delete our ICQ UIN(s) - then delete ICQ - although, this may be just closing the barn door after the horse has already run. AOL by now has an archive record of all our ICQ data.

... 4) Information provided or related to by you may serve for the purpose of target advertising by Mirabilis or other parties, provided that if names are part of this information you will have the advanced opportunity to request that your name will be omitted; ... (emphasis added - and note that requesting that our email address be omitted is conspicuous by it's absence)

...Mirabilis is not responsible for any special, incidental, indirect or consequential damages. In no event will Mirabilis' liability with respect to this license agreement exceed the amount you paid (if you paid) to Mirabilis for the software or of the charge of one-month fee for using the server's service.... (emphasis added)

...The entire risk as to the quality and performance of the Mirabilis' service the ICQ Software, the ICQ network and the ICQ Services and Information and the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, correctness, validity and quality thereof or of any other Information is with the user...

While reviewing user reaction to the AOL buyout of ICQ on June 12th at Mirabilis' feedback/message board, there was a new post "Isn't it obvious why AOL is buying ICQ?" - which contained this statement and link reference - "Well, 1st go read YOUR EXISTING end users legal agreement at http://www.icq.com/download/license.html that's what AOL is buying." and a quote of a section from the LA which is currently associated with ICQ downloads.

Having just reread and reviewed the LA to prepare the section above, I did not "remember" this language being in "my" version of the LA, went back again and found that it IS NOT in "MY" version, nor is (was) it in in the LA version included at Mirabilis LTD. - Terms & Conditions - sublink End User License Agreement. (Note: In checking today, June 13th, I found this sublink location to have been revised to link to the /download/licence.html location.) ICQ users are urged to check back and revisit the Mirabilis LTD. - Terms & Conditions, there is a lot more here than there "used to be".

I believe these LA revisions come as a direct result of AOL's buy-out of ICQ. Witness - recent revisions to AOL's TOS agreement. As reported in a June 12 article on ZDNN - "America Online Agreement Ticks off Writers" the revised language of the AOL TOS agreement seems to be suspiously similar to the language in ICQ's recently revised Licensee Agreement. This has to be deliberate. This CAN NOT BE, as AOL's response in that article indicates, "a misunderstanding".

In a related and linked story, "FTC exec: Privacy major focus", there is a quote form Mozelle W. Thompson, a Commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission, "If the technology industry puts as much effort and creativity into protecting consumers privacy as it has into building up the internet, consumers can put many of their fears to rest." These remarks were either made late last year before being confirmed as a Commissioner -or- in an interview Friday with ZDNN at the White House - sponsored Internet Summit on Digital Media Content for Children and Teens. It seems that the FTC needs to be made aware of what is currently becoming "common" practice with services and providers in terms of deeply "hidden" and dynamic TOS and Licence Agreement language and the providers failure to notify consumers of unilateral changes to the language in these "agreements".

The language used here is distirbingly similar to an Employer/Employee "Intelectual Property Agreement" that I was forced to sign a few years back as a (long after the fact) condition of employment. That relationship however, was between employer and employee - not supplier and (uncompensated) user. It seems that AOL, and their lawyers, are attempting to re-write copyright law and recent copyright rulings. Also, based on the FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION DECEPTION POLICY STATEMENT, without direct notification of revisions to TOS or LA Terms, I (personally) do not think these terms would be "enforceable" - and that AOL, ICQ, AT&T Worldnet (see previously prepared posting), and probably many others in the software and internet access industries are guilty of Deceptive Trade Practice with their "dynamic service agreements", the terms of which are buried "somewhere" deep in the bowels of a website.

Finally, from Mirabilis LTD. - Terms & Conditions - sublink Mirabilis’ Privacy Policy

All of this taken together is scary isn't it !!! If all of this it true and "legal", we - as users of a product or service are purely at the whim and whimsy of the provider of the product or service?

Give me back the days when a man's (or company's) word was his bond - and "we" could do millions of dollars worth of work on the strength of that word and a handshake !!!


(... I do not have a copy of the original version of the ICQ Licensee Agreement - if any other "early adopters" have not upgraded their original version of ICQ to ver 98a, I would appreciate it if you would send a copy of the original Licensee Agreement to me -- see the feedback link below...)

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AOL Buyout - The Fear - is it already coming true??? - Received June 10, 1998 - 14:04 CDT -

At the stated date and time, while I was working on this page, I received the following email message. I have no idea whatever who "********@aol.com" is, nor do I recognize any of the addresses listed - other than my own. Is this "the start" of a flood of SPAM EMAIL as the result of AOL's aquisition of ICQ? Is this what we can expect? Are we going to be forced to leave ICQ behind as well? ----- I "hope" not!!!! ----- ICQ is to valuable and useful as an internet connectivity utility to be ruined by AOL's aquisition ... I hope!!!!

... In the intrest of fairness and anti-spam, and on the off chance that the sender may in fact be someone we know - who is still an AOL user - the specific email addresses have been masked out ...  11 Jun 98

Subject: Fwd: The Dead Frog..........

Date: Wed, 10 Jun 1998 14:40:30 EDT

From: ********@aol.com

To: **********@aol.com

CC: *********@aol.com, *******@bellsouth.net, **********@aol.com, **********@worldnet.att.net, *******@aol.com, *********@aol.com, ******@mindspring.com, *******@aol.com, ********@aol.com, *********@aol.com, *********@aol.com, **********@aol.com, *****@aol.com, **********@aol.com

Subject: The Dead Frog..........

Date: Wed, 10 Jun 1998 11:36:36 EDT

From: *****@aol.com

To: *******@aol.com, ******@aol.com, *******@aol.com, *********@aol.com, *********@Compuserve.com, **********@aol.com, **********@aol.com, ***@Strato.net, ****@CALWEB.COM, *****@Gate.net, ********@OneCallinc.com, *******@aol.com, **********@aol.com, ********@aol.com, ******@aol.com, ********@aol.com, *****@Strato.net, ********@aol.com, ********@aol.com

One day a twelve year old walks into a prostitute house dragging a dead frog on a string behind him, slaps a hundred dollar bill on the counter and says, "I want one of your women. The madam looks at him and says "don't you think you're a bit young for that?" He slaps another hundred on the counter and says "I want one of your women." The madam says "okay, have a seat, she'll be down in about thirty minutes." He slaps another hundred on the counter and says "she has to have Active herpes." The madam starts to sputter and ask why, but he slaps another hundred on the counter and says "active herpes." She responds, "okay, have a seat-it'll be about five minutes." Two minutes later, a woman comes out, they go upstairs (dragging this dead frog) and do their deal... As he's leaving, the madam asks him "okay, why did you want someone with active herpes?" The twelve year old replies... When I get home, I'm going to sleep with the baby-sitter, and when mom and dad get home, dad will take the baby-sitter to her home and sleep with her on the way. Then, when he gets back, he and mom are going to go upstairs and do it. And tomorrow morning after dad goes to work, the milkman will come in and mom will sleep with him, and he's the bastard that ran over my frog.

After leaving AOL in September '96, and signing on with AT&T Worldnet, I have tracked and stored all unsolicited (SPAM) email that I've received. Fortunately it has not been "to" extensive - "0" from 10-96 thru 06-97 - and 76 pieces between 06-29-97 and 06-01-98. Since signing up with WWISP in Feb '98, as a secondary ISP, I have received NO "spam" email at WWISP. I have created a new folder for "spam" mail received after 06-08-98, the date of the announcement of AOL's takeover of ICQ and will be anxiously waiting the anticipated future flood of SPAM. (See our published Unsolicited email policy)

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- 12 June 98

Links to other "ICQ User" pages relating to AOL's Aquisition of ICQ & ICQ's future

http://www.vermill.net/aol-icq/ -- Lee Smallbone from The UK expresses his experiences with AOL/UK and includes a user survey to cast your opinion Re. AOL's Aquisition of ICQ

http://www.aolwatch.org/ ----- From AOL Watch - Updated Daily! - (all you never wanted to know)

" ...AOL's faced other lawsuits in the past--including one alleging responsibility for an on-line sex predator. One AOL executive likes to boast that half their subscribers are women -- but then adds that every instant message sent by AOLers consists of the text "What are you wearing today?" Maybe that's why ICQ users are so upset that AOL acquired ICQ... "

http://members.xoom.com/absolutez/ --- AbsoluteZ Polls Where The ICQ Users Have A Voice

--- This site has apparently been around for a while. Steven Taylor - an individual - ( ICQ UIN 251907 ) Provides an excellent set of polls, ICQ news, and a webboard for ICQ Users.

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Do you have comments on this page, the aquisition of ICQ by AOL, or questions about the continuation of "Rick & Linda's Travelin' Partners ICQ List"?

(The List WILL continue to exist. If it continues to exist as an "ICQ List" remains to be seen - it will continue as an ICQ List for the "near future" at least.)

Despite all of the concerned references to the ICQ (now ICQ/AOL) Terms of Service and Licence Agreement language and what appears to be their dynamic nature, it is us - the users of ICQ - that have opted to enter or not enter information which aids others in locating "us" within the ICQ service - a people to people service. As long as AOL honors the spirit by which the ICQ service has grown - even if they introduce legitimate advertising to the service (not AOL's spam email) - the service will remain (IMHO) the best thing that has happened on the internet, and a true force for world peace and understanding.

What concerns me most, repeated here for emphasis, is the condition of the ICQ Licience agreement -...Mirabilis may elect in its sole discretion to condition the continuation of access to server, on you accepting software improvements, corrections, adaptations, or changes to the ICQ program, or to the ICQ numbers (UIN).... and ... according to Vardi, concerns that AOL ownership will taint the ICQ service are largely unfounded ...."I believe that what matters is the quality of the offering and not the ownership," said Vardi. "We will continue to do our utmost to provide our users with the most fantastic Internet experience the world ever knew.... Wait a few weeks until you see our new client, and please judge for yourself."

This Report was published on the ACLIO (Anti-Chain Letters on ICQ Organization) website over the weekend, and seems to be "in line" with the big fear repeated above. However, I have a report from one of our List Members from Australia who says she caught the end of an interview with Steve Case (AOL) over the weekend - the final question in which was "Will ICQ remain free" and Case's answer - "yes" - I guess time will tell. (It appears that Mirabilis may be being "up front and honest" - while Steve Case/AOL is being the same double dealing, double talking outfit they've always been.)

Please - Rick

The Listmaster

"Rick & Linda's Travelin' Partners ICQ List" .... (Currently exploring alternatives to "ICQ")

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