Download of the day: pidgin instant messaging for Linux, BSD, MacOS X, and Windows

by on April 8, 2007 · 4 comments· LAST UPDATED April 8, 2007

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Gaim is a multi-protocol instant messaging (IM) client for Linux, BSD, MacOS X, and Windows. It is compatible with AIM and ICQ (Oscar protocol), MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, SILC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, Lotus Sametime, and Zephyr networks.

Say hello to Pidgin

Now Gaim changes name to Pidgin and releases version 2.0. According to the Gaim Web site, the project has held off on non-beta releases because of an ongoing trademark dispute with AOL over the name of the project:

A few years later AOL trademarked "AIM," and started referring to their IM services using that name. They complained. The issue was brought up on Slashdot, and the Gaim developers at the time got some legal support. That legal support advised that the ongoing discussions with AOL be kept confidential until fully settled, and so it remained. The public thought the issue had gone away then. It sorta did, in that AOL stopped responding to Gaim's legal support for a while.

Our legal support has changed several times, and each group of lawyers have recommended silence & secrecy. Around the time of Gaim's first 2.0.0 beta, AOL came back into our lives in a very strong way, this time threatening to sue Sean.

This represents a clear pattern. AOL received more pushback than they expected, and would sort of let things stand for a while. Then they would threaten a different Gaim developer. Each time a new Gaim developer was threatened, we had to look at new legal support, to prevent a conflict of interest.

This process could not go on forever. As a result we ended up forming the Instant Messaging Freedom Corporation, and making it legally responsible for Gaim. We also had our new legal support work to create a real settlement with AOL that would get this issue dismissed from our lives forever.

Getting a settlement with AOL has taken FAR FAR longer than we would have ever guessed. On legal advice, we have refrained from any non-beta release during this process as a show of good faith, and to keep AOL from giving up on it. Again, on legal advice, we have also kept this information closely controlled.

Now I’m just wondering what the hell AOL is doing here? What they gained from such act? Anyway I never used AOL and it is going to give them more bad publicity they had ever.

Pidgin web site

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 joe April 8, 2007 at 4:58 pm

Ya die AOL die … and what’s up with Pidgin name?

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2 nixCraft April 8, 2007 at 5:03 pm

A pidgin, or contact language, is the name given to any language created, usually spontaneously, out of two or more languages as a means of communication between speakers of different tongues, and usually a simplified form of one of the languages. Pidgins have simplified grammars and few synonyms, serving as auxiliary contact languages. They are learned as second languages rather than natively.

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3 Dave Dawson December 18, 2007 at 9:59 pm

An old story:
An elderly lady died and went up to heaven, finding herself at the Pearly Gates talking to Saint Peter. Peter looked at her; she’d obviously had led a troubled life, but true to his calling, he asked her the same question he asked all souls.
“What you done, Old Woman, to gain admission here?”
“Oh please sir, I’ve been a loyal AOL customer for many and many a year.”
“Ah! Well, you’ve certainly had your share of Hell. Come on in, Old Woman,” said the Saint.
/dave

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4 Vierussik July 1, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Nice website :)

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