Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet

Web Sites Shut Down 211

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the thats-so-not-cool dept.
Over 600 readers submitted that the popular comic strip User Friendly has been shut down indefinitely following the injunction against the site from an, as yet not publicly named person. This adds Illiad's site to Segfault and Bedope, each of which also has gone down following complaints regarding content.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Web Sites Shut Down

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    First off, this can't possibly be a joke. They have been to coordinated (three sites willing to go down all with the same story, etc), too professional (i.e. certified letters, lawyers, etc), and it has lasted too long. Didn't it start almost if not more than a month ago?

    The real question seems to be who is the anonymous threat? As we all saw from the theos.com debacle, lawyers aren't happy when you post there names, letters, etc. without there permission. Therefore it doesn't seem so unlikely that UserFriendly and Segfault have not posted a name.

    Of course, from just the material posted on those sites, one can come to a few conclusions as to who would be peeved.

    The weird thing is, the courts have ruled that use of trademarks and copyrights for parody is legal. This is part of that whole pain-in-the-MSFT-gluteus-maximus constitutional right to free speech.

    "What about free speech?"
    "Well that's not the point, your giving this place a bad name"
    -- Chumbawumba
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Well this changes the situation somewhat....they really went wholehog on this thing then....really long setup, and planning. :>>--
  • by Anonymous Coward
    UF is based out of Vancouver, BC. In Vancouver and Canada in general, we have a tradition of satirising various commercial products. It is perfectly legal to do so, and as such, there is no grounds for the suposed lawsuit to occur. This is a joke taking advantage of the threat he received a week or two ago, pure and simple.
  • Ufies.userfriendly.org and the UF support site are both claimed it was a prank now, so it seems that everything's okay.

    I must say, it was the most elaborate one I've seen in a while.
  • While I enjoy reading The Register, it is not the most reliable of sources. They often don't check their facts before posting a rumour. I certainly wouldn't label them as "evidence".
  • Read the source. There is a comment at the end. Something along the lines of "Happy April Fools' Day from HNN", I believe.

    do the obvious if you want to email me ...
  • Only problem I can see with your analysis is that Bloom County had far wider distribution than User Friendly. UF is only really known by people who already don't like MS, so it's not like UF is doing much to influence public opinion.


    ...phil
  • The 'as-yet-unnamed' complainant is Microsoft's legal department.

    And your evidence for this is...? As far as I know, the unnamed entity is remained unnamed all along.


    ...phil
  • then somebody notify the media ASAP.


    ...phil
  • Posted by WildOne:

    I started the Support page a week ago, opened it 4 days ago. IF this is a joke as people are hoping, I promise I will personally kick Illiad's rear.

    As it is, there are too many problems to be able to get a picture of what is going on. I am trying to get more information so I can let people know what is going on. A press release is being prepared for release, we are going on the presumption that this IS REAL. This is not a laughing matter in anyway. I prank like this would kill these sites, not help them.

    I have had 20 emails already asking about the archive. Yes, I have 99% of the comics from start to 3/31/99. If the site is still down after midnight PST I will set them up online for people. I'll post it here.
  • Posted by Lord Kano-The Gangster Of Love:

    How many among us cheered when the Nuremberg Files website was shut down? If we will stand by when they shut down sites that are on the "fringe" that advocate an "extremist agenda" we open the door for the rich, powerful and influential to paint us as "kooks", and "extremists" in order to shut us down.

    We must remember that the right to freedom of expression is absolute. Let them take it from one of us, and they'll take it from all of us.

    LK
  • Posted by s3fidpsd:


    I could easily see that the injuction would start at the beginning of the month.. Insurance usually doesn't just start on Mar 23 and neither do things like this.

    We will see in 72 hours however.
  • Well, yes M$ has the money, but the US has this provision for a fair an speedy trial. If UF talks to the judge they can force the trial to comence within a few weeks. Given the his buisness is shut down (UF does have ads, don't know if it makes money) ANy lengthy delay in the trial would have to be approved by both parties.

    Don't overlook UF's ability to counter sue. UF has basicly no money, so they have nothing major to lose. Since this trial is not cut and dried for anyone against them (satire is generally considered protected), UF can sue for disruption of buisness, with a greater chance to win.

    I wonder if I can sue. After all I've lose a part of my day, and that is causing pain and suffering.

  • by pb (1020)
    Of all the jokes, this is the only one I'm worried about. Sure, the layout on the three pages looks suspiciously similar, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

    metalabs mirroring download.com is an obvious farce, (that is just offensive) and since they make reference to Linus moving as a reason, and link back to slashdot, that looks like a friendly conspiracy.

    This one, however, was definitely prepared in advance, if it indeed is a joke. If it was, then I admit, you really got me. But otherwise, I'm going to be without my Userfriendly.
  • by pb (1020)
    Okay, you got me, April Fools, I really believed this one. However, I'd like to say that for the record,
    YOU GUYS SUCK!

    Last April Fools Day was obvious, but this one was just... mean, man.

  • I'd like to believe it's a joke but how is this a good strategy for getting people to go to your site? Why am I going to look for User Friendly tomorrow if it has been closed down? Suppose yesterday I was telling someone to go check out one of these sites and they go there and find it gone? What is going to make them try again?

    As a joke it is ill considered. The last thing people want in a website is for it to be down.

  • First hint: the demand for portrayal in "a more positive light." Large corporations hire expensive law firms that can afford lawyers that wouldn't toss something this silly in with a defamation claim.

    Second hint: shutting down under advise of councel. The alleged claim is silly; the chances of advice this bad coming from all three lawyers is slim.

    Third Hint: the injunction itself. In the U.S., there is no prior restraint, saving only dire security issues, such as shipping schedules during a declared war. Lesser security matters and defamation are left to the courts after the fact. While there was a rogue court order a year or two ago blocking a publication, it was overturned immediately.

    Fourth hint: the secret plaintiff. You're not going to get an ex parte temporary restraining order in a sealed case. Won't happen.

    OTOH, when I think of some of the lawyers nand a few of the judges from my practice . . .
  • Deep down, I'm pretty sure this is a 4/1 hoax.
    However, here's another bit of evidence that
    it might be the case:

    Last year, several major comic strip artists
    got together and did a switcheroo of their strip,
    with the classic example of Scott Adams drawing
    Family Circus, and Bill Keane drawing Dilbert.

    This year, several on-line strips are repeating
    the same thing (The main page for this can
    be found here: http://grove.ufl.edu/~normal/switch.html

    If you look at the bottom of the page, apparently
    Illad and UF was supposed to participate (swapping
    with 'The Deep End', which incidently is still
    up with no noted problems). Did this 'gag' by
    UF, segfault and bedope have more priority for
    Illad than this comic switch, or did UF really
    get C&D'ed?

    (Also, I do find it ironic that all 3 sites have
    completely shut down, instead of just removing
    the offending material, which is generally what
    is done in the C&D type cases...)
  • ...that this should happen today -- same day as /. starts having cookies with 'sexual orientation', 'religion', 'high school gpa' and 'mothers maiden name'.
    What surprises me the most is how they got my high school GPA, since there is no translation from Danish to US grading systems.
    I'd better stop before I make a fool of myself. After all, we wouldn't want to start a new month that way, would we?

    -Lars thinks it's overdone
  • Dilbert [dilbert.com] periodically pokes fun at almost every large IT firm, and I don't notice that having been taken down.

    I want details, but until they are available, it seems only safe to assume that this is another example of "We can afford expensive lawyers. You can't, so the legality of your actions are irrelevant as we will prevail in any legal action".

    I'm no lawyer, but I was led to believe that US law had been shown to protect satirists.

    I can easily find bandwidth in the UK for any of those sites taken down if necessary.

    Matthew.

  • All we need is the company name and the email address of those responsible at the company, and I'm sure we'll see a slashdot effect like no other.

    I thought the 1st amendment covered satirical works like those on User Friendly and Segfault. I'm losing more and more faith in the US than ever...
  • by Nethead (1563)
    After the border crossing to the US side from Victoria, BC, I can state that the US considers it a forign counrty! It must be the deadhead sticker.

    Maybe it was the Canadain Goverment halting him because he didn't mirror his page French.
  • Standard legal practice in any litigation is to say nothing until your counsel has met with opposing counsel (i.e. take no action that might jeapordize "good faith negotiating"). Once counsel for both parties have met and determined what the _real_ demands are, then all bets are off on what to do... could be keep quiet, could be announce the case to the world.

    But for now, everything is running according to "the way it's done."
  • Michael Scott DeWitt, Legal Counsel for userfriendly.org, to invent such a name for a joke, where would you get such a name? Hmm, I tried to figure out if there was any real basis to this persons existance, and a net search showed no Michael Scott DeWitt that I could find. A porn site, michael-scott.com exists. Wonder if Illiad is spending a day reading that insted... and it was is insperation as for the creation of the name of the legal counsel...

    There has to be a way to see if the name Michael Scott DeWitt is registered as a lawyer somewhere. Where is Userfriendly located, it might be likely if this were real that he would hire a lawyer in his area, and a quick search of a local phone book might back up his story. If this isn't a joke (which I believe it is, as are most things that will be on /. today), then I would say that verifying the existance of Michael Scott DeWitt may be the key to uncovering the legitmacy of this shutdown.

  • I would like to think it's an april fools joke as well. But I have seen cases where the person being sued is threatend with even more legal actions if they mention who is sueing them. If this turns out to be a gag I will be very pleased.
  • Even if the UF server was moved Illiad would still be in Canada. If this is serious he'd still be in legal jeopardy.
  • NO! NO! Illiad must be allowed to create UserFriendly!! it's the best comic out there!

    That, and how come slashdot knows the last time I brushed my teeth, and my social security number?

  • y'know, if segfault were up today, they'd be reporting REAL news! :^) that'd be humorous...
  • Something tells me you won't have to wait more than 24...
  • Unlike UserFriendly, Dilbert is backed by a Very Large Corporation -- United Features Syndicate, and is published in hundreds of newspapers around the world. Any time Scott Adams draws a strip, his editors at UFS check it to make sure that they don't have any legal liability with regards to libel, etc. UFS has lawyers on staff whose only job is to keep UFS from getting sued.

    Since Illiad isn't a deep-pockets corporation, he's much more vulnerable to legal action.

    What are the legal distinctions between US law and Canadian law regarding libel, parody, and freedom of speech? The US is pretty liberal about these issues, what about Canada?

  • Oh, I don't know. If the Federal government can require milk cartons on Vancouver Island to be labeled in French, I suspect they can require UserFriendly to put up a mirror a la Francaise.

    JOKING, people (it IS April Fools day, after all), but I do remember a John Candy movie where Dan Aykroyd (playing some sort of police officer) pulled Candy's truck over, commented on the anti-Canadian graffiti scrawled all over it, and wouldn't let him proceed until he sprayed on French versions of all the slogans. (Which, of course, was a ripoff of the graffiti scene from Life of Brian -- but still funny.)
  • They're back... Grrr... Personally, I don't find the "joke" funny at all...
  • Let's assume that it isn't a joke. What we need to know is who the company really is that issuing the lawyers letters.

    Once we get this far then publicity is the answer.Small, humorous sites being suppressed by a large company is a story too good for the press to miss.

    We must fight this, if we don't then we can expect all of our favourite sites, including Slashdot to disappear.
  • "If Illiad is hassled by MS, how long until /. is closed down?"

    Slashdot doesn't slander Microsoft. Slashdot is a news service. Very rarely Slashdot has its own pieces, and usually they don't even come close to mentioning Microsoft. And all the posts are (in case you've missed the small type): "Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest © 1997-99 Rob Malda." So Rob doesn't have any worries.

    Log

  • A post that is intelligent and pertinent from the Inglorious MEEPT!!? I'd have said it impossible until after seeing this post from you.
  • April fools or not, I can't help but to remember something so strangely related: Bloom County and Donald Trump.

    For those who need a little catching up here, back in the 80's there was a comic strip by Berke Breathed called Bloom County. You know, Bill the Cat, Opus the Penguin, Milo, Oliver, Steve Dallas, etc. One of the funniest comic strips I ever enjoyed. The strip was obviously the model for User Friendly as the characters and drawing style of Iliad is all too similar; the style of drawing humans and the "newspaper clipping" pictures hanging on the wall are most of it. Not that I'm throwing any stones at Iliad for this, I actually quite enjoy that style and I'm glad that it is being used for a strip that I like.

    Around 1989 or 1990, Donald Trump was in the peak of his popularity. On the cover of every magazine and newspaper out there as one of the richest men in America, he was quite a target, much like Bill Gates and Microsoft is today. Mr. Breathed, like any good satirist, took this opportunity to make a lot of people laugh at (of course) Mr. Trump's expense. Many public figures in the past have been subject to such ridicule, but Donald Trump aparently didn't have much of a sense of security or humor. Mr. Trump, in an effort to end this "public humiliation" (like it really was hurting his business) decided to buy out the syndicate which controlled Bloom County (United Feature Syndicate? can't quite remember) and told Mr. Breathed that he had two weeks to shut down the strip.

    I say that there is quite a similarity here in situations.
    Bloom County was a hard hitting humorous comic strip that poked fun at the richest man in America. Donald Trump was an extremely wealthy and powerful businessman in America that had the ability to push (or buy) people out of business.
    User Friendly is a hard hitting humorous comic strip (and strikingly similar resemblence to Bloom County, not that there's anything wrong with that from my perspective) that is poking fun at the richest man in America. Bill Gates (and thus Microsoft) are one of the most powerful entities in the corporate world that has the ability to push (or buy) people out of the business.

    Are we seeing something now?

    <RANTNRAVE>
    My feeling is that this disgusts me. Freedom of speech is one of the things that makes this country great. Capitalism is also another great thing, and I have to give some respect to Microsoft in that light (all personal feelings aside- please, I'm a Linux user myself, and I am not instigating ANYTHING towards pro or con Microsoft here). Other people and companies get similar treatment every day and most people can take a joke. Yes, what is said in the comic strip may be on a different plane than a typical personal attack (since it deals with a corporation), but isn't it the same? A corporation and a person are treated somewhat as similar entities in business law, so how can a corporation get away with this obvious bending of the first amendment?

    I guess the answer would be lawyers; they can tie someone up in legal proceedings that, regardless of fault, can cause the victim to lose valuable time and/or money trying to claim their innocence. (see: McDonalds case from London about 3 years ago; innocent protestors in front of a store ended up in a long and way overblown legal battle for something which they were completely in their rights to do, but the lawyers of a huge corporation were able to make it hurt).
    </RANTNRAVE>

    Well, I guess I'm getting a little more emotional here that necessary, but I think I said what I intended to say. Flame away...

  • Damn, my day is ruined!!!! I have to have my dose of UserFriendly every morning ... I can't even look at old ones to satisfy my needs. Ughhh...

    If this is a joke I hope they don't get into trouble with MicroSquish because many people are blaming them even though they may not have done anything.
  • by Woodlark (3628)
    Maybe it was the Canadain Goverment halting him because he didn't mirror his page French.

    Nahhh... if he were in Quebec, it would be believable for the Office de la Langue Francaise to pull that seeing as they do all the time. But the Canadian government on a federal basis doesn't require mirroring except of its own sites.

  • UF is only really known by people who already don't like MS, so it's not like UF is doing much to influence public opinion.

    UF is *NOT* only on the web anymore. As any UF fanatic knows, it has been being printed in the National Post for around a month now. Granted, the NP doesn't exactly have a wide coverage...

    For all you non-Canadians, the National Post is the paper started by good ole' Conrad Black aimed to be a national paper for all of Canada. It has articl... ahem, submissions from writers for all the major newspapers in the country. Plus, they're handing it out for free in the metro in Montreal, so I've finally read some of it. Hey, any Montrealers out there wanna speculate on whether they'll end up using the Gazette's schoolboy labourers to get subscriptions?

  • Illiad resides in B.C. A quick search on Canada 411 [canada411.ca] reveals no M DeWitt in the entire province of British Columbia.

    Hmmm... the evidence mounts.
  • The only two entities that get major coverage in UF that I can thing of are Microsoft and LucasArts. Everybody and their brother makes fun of Microsoft, ergo I bet LA is pressing charges for the use of certain Star Wars likenesses.

    Of course, this is merely speculation on my part, but they have done similar things in the past, like with MIDI authors, so I wouldn't put it past them.

    Scott Banwart
    ---
    Better to stay silent, and let people think
    you're an idiot than to open your mouth and
  • All of a sudden, I feel really stupid. I have got to start checking the date more often... :-)

    Scott Banwart
    ---
    Better to stay silent, and let people think
    you're an idiot than to open your mouth and
  • I wonder why the " Secret Diary of Bill Gates [billg.org]" hasn't been targeted then.

    The wheel is turning but the hamster is dead.

  • Some other people mentioned that the lawyer mentioned on UF was named Michael Scott DeWitt (aka M.S. DeWitt)

    Here's another theory:

    Guy who runs BeDope: Mike (Michael)
    Guy who runs Segfault: Scott

    hrmm, suddenly we realized where the name came from...

    and no one really knows Illiad's real name, do they?

    Damn, I can't believe I'd been taken.
  • Hear, hear. If this does turn out to be for real, I s'pose the thing is just to put the site up
    somewhere other than in the US. To the extent that Illiad remains the author and remains in the
    States, this may not help but if he's game, I know we are.
  • I know the best ones are the most convincing but
    if it turns out that this is s'posed to be a joke
    I shan't be laughing.
  • by JPelorat (5320)
    Isn't this a bit coincidental? With a certain prank-playing day?

    It's gonna be like this all day.. be prepared. =)
  • The really good ones pretty much -have- to be started in advance in order to be believable..
  • [sarcasm]
    Yeah, I guess it's too much to assume that Illiad could coordinate with the guy who runs Segfault and whatever other sites are down.. we've given them too much credit for being clever.
    [/sarcasm]

    If it were 100 sites, yeah, I could see your point, but 3? Hell, that's two emails and 2 response emails minimum to set this up. No sweat. And as for the set-up time.. go check out any of the AFD archive sites, you'll find -very- elaborate and well-planned stunts there..
  • Then they would have clamped down on Tripping The Rift [trippingtherift.com] and T.R.O.O.P.S. a long time ago, and certainly before going after a cartoon website and a parody news site.
  • You're right, but the font is not the giveaway: Arial is the default font for most browsers. So if you don't specify anything else, and just slap a page together, Arial is what you'll see..
  • Or 'Microsoft Twit'
  • I've heard of something similar - someone connecting two Macs using a barbed-wire fence (!!), in effect making for a very slow Localtalk connection - as if Localtalk wasn't slow to begin with. :>

    - Darchmare
    - Axis Mutatis, http://www.axismutatis.net
  • While it is true that UserFriendly commonly uses the likenesses of the Star Wars universe, does the same hold true for BeDope and Segfault?

    To be honest, I think it is all an April Fool's joke and am a bit embarassed that I was one of the "600" that submitted the story of UF being down. This is after I laughed at the concerned callers of a local radio station after they ran a story about the "Internet Clean Up day" today in order to clean up the mess of the Melissa Virus and to test Y2K issues.

    Still, if it is true, I don't think it is Microsoft(they don't need too much more bad publicity and besides...Dilbert is still around) or LucasArts. Anyone else think it could be Apple?

    Userfriendly often makes fun of the iMac(iWhack) which is Apple's cashcow and baby right now. I think we all know how they try to protect their copyrights. This also ties in BeDope (in a fashion). Not sure where Segfault fits in as I only learned of them yesterday...after they were turned off.

    Happy April Fools' Day and let's all hope it is just a joke on us.

    How about a poll?
    1) It's all a hoax
    2) It's Microsoft's fault
    3) It's LucasArts's fault
    4) It's Apple's fault
    5) sunspots, dude
    6) This poll sucks/Rob sucks/Slashdot sucks
  • ...I'll never believe anything on Segfault again!

    --

  • ... but of course I'd guessed and was participating in the prank, which explains why I sent in a message DESIGNED to look as if I'd fallen for it, when IN FACT I'd realised that the older setup articles in Slashdot were just setting me up. I mean, you don't expect me to ADMIT to being a fool, do you?!

    Now excuse me please while I go wipe the egg off my face.
  • This is a scream. Its not only a funny (ha ha) but very cleverly funny. It sends a strong message on the right to free speech. On a serious note I think the site owners needs to contact ACLU if not already done.
  • Those of you who think this is an april fools joke - Think again!.
    The 'as-yet-unnamed' complainant is Microsoft's legal department. Illiad has been hassled by them for the past week.
    If Illiad is hassled by MS, how long until /. is closed down?
  • Remember, Segfault is across the sea. Different time zone. Nasty trick, isn't it!
  • by Poopdbq (8158)
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/990331-000002.html
  • Assuming this isn't a long planned april fool joke, the main question is what can we do to show our support? Email, /.ing of sites, snailmail? To who - saying what?
  • THat moderators think it's a good point and thread? WHat else could it be?
  • First, it's April Fool's Day (in my timezone, anyway).

    Second, isn't it just a little suspicious how similar the explanations looked at each site? Formulaic, almost.
  • Productivity in the corporate world hit an all time new high today. Some authorities think it is because of a few certian "Web Sites" that were taken down due to some "technical difficulties".
    film at 11
  • by iawia (9172)
    Any ideas who is responsible?
    I know M$ is the usual target of UserFriendly gags, but you'd think they'd have had enough bad press lately, and have no need to pull stunts like these to get some more...

    Wouter
  • by TomE (9550)
    I hate to ask but didn't anyone vote on the vaction poll on UF? I beleave Illiad was going on vacation untill Sunday. This is prob. a joke.

    Tom
  • That legal counsel's name looks a bit dodgy to me:

    Michael Scott DeWitt = MicroSoft Do It.

    Oh well. Slow morning.

  • "MS DeWitt" Such a likely name for a lawyer...
  • As much as I hope this is just an april fools joke, I don't think it is... I think this ones for real.... there has been news up on the pending law suits for awhile now, and as someone else pointed out, segfault went down yesterday, followed by UF and BeDope today... I think this is for real.. and if it is, I think its time to unleash alittle /. effect on behalve of these sites!!! Lets find out who the slime bag sueing them is and /. them into next week! This is just totaly bogus!!!!!!!!!

  • I forgot about the date thing.
    ah well, even if it is a joke, Its a little to close to home.
  • I cannot really express my anger, frustration and disappointment that someone would stoop this low.


    This is *humor*
    funny.... you know, ha-ha?

    like my wife said, eveyrone is free to make fun of the president, politicians, etc, but God forbid they poke fun at MicroSloth (or other corp with expensive lawyers.)

    bastards
  • even the Ufies site (http://ufies.userfriendly.org/ [userfriendly.org]) is down too. They covered all the bases ;)
  • i'd have to go with a hoax....
    remind me not to check any web pages early in the morning, my brain just doesn't work right, damn holidays sneaking up on me like that.
  • Okay, we all know Be Dope, Segfault and UserFriendly have been shut down. And they've been shut down in *exactly* the same way. Further, the client is unnamed... this is *highly* irregular, and therefore this is very probably indeed a joke.

    Now, who'll join me in supporting Linus to buy a Compaq Dynamouse for his laptop to be recharged? The power in Russia is said to be flakey at best...
  • Please see the old press releases about the special agreement between LA and Microsoft. Basically LA is not supposed to release any PC games for anything but Windows and other partnership stuff. It dates somewhere between Dark Forces and the next LA games.

    So actually, LA is obliged to sue these sites under this agreement even if they do not want to...
  • IMHO this is a case of poor taste if it is a April Fool's joke. I understand the joy of the day, the joy of making a good time out of it, I also understand the seriousness that we of the net take our freedome of speach.

    Implying than any company is doing this even without making direct reference to a specific company can have major backlash and I don't think that's the sort of publicity any of them want. True, the timing implies that it was a huge setup for an even larger April Fools joke, but then again, it could just be bad timing of the courts.

    We won't know til at least tommorow... Til then try not to get too hot under the collar, and for crist sake, stop the script kiddies from doin anything stupid if you can...

    Zanthor
  • When I read this article the only -1 comment was from the Glorious Meept. Well it just so has it that Meept's comment linked to a bit on The Register that impled this thing was a hoax.

    Since this is one of the stronger pieces of evidence on this topic, I wish it were at least moderated at 2. Now I can't even find his article even though I have my threshhold at -1. *sigh*
  • Redmond (WA) - Today Microsoft announced that the source code for Windows 2000 will be released under the Gnu GPL...
  • There's a new one today - "IP Over Avian Carriers With Quality Of Service", RFC 2549.

    Also RFC 2550, which addresses the Y10K problem.

  • This was just well planned and executed. UF and SegFault will hopefully be back up by lunch (tomorrow at the latest). The best practical jokes are just close enough to the edge of reality to make them hard to completely dismiss. While the litigation may be real, I doubt that a judge is going to rule against the First Amendment and close down those sites. If a judge did do that, I would imagine that only the portions which were offensive to the thin skinned corporation would be silenced.

    Still kudos to UF and SegFault for banding together on April Fool's Day and providing entertainment.
  • Dave's Classics had already been down a few months ago. It has to be for a different reason. Anyway, now the only sites I really read are /. and freshmeat
  • It's just a cheap way for the admins of segfault.org, BeDope, and the UserFriendly cartoon section to do some much-needed maintenance work (like moving up to 2.2.5; I only got to use 2.2.4-ac1 for around 70 hours!). That said, I'm quite annoyed: where am I going to go for humour today? <sigh> I'll have to stick to rec.humor.funny [rec.humor.funny].

    As an aside, I'd like to get this code that detects my sexual orientation, because I don't know what it is. Also, exactly what encoding is that? Base65536? IEEE floating-point?

    BTW, we released XFree86 4.0 today. It's got antialiasing, ability to switch client windows between displays, and true 3-D support with both OpenGL and Pex for over a dozen 3-D accelerator cards. Go to the XFree86 project webserver [xfree86.org] and check it out.

    Cheers,
    Joshua.

  • Here I've been actually worrying about UF and SegFault! April Fools Day indeed. I think I'll not be frequenting those sites again! Hmmph!

    Well, at least not until tommorrow when I can start feeding my DustPuppy and Iambe addiction again. ;->

  • In any case, my brothers and sisters, it is time to rise up in arms. If this is a hoax, I'm not laughing. If it is not, I'm really not laughing. If this thing is real, them we really need to show the offending party something about the value of free speach.

    viva la revolucion!!!!!!!!!
  • Alberta is in the Mountain Time Zone.
    Silly American.

    UF is actually in Vancouver, which is in the Pacific Time Zone.

  • ... the Joke A Day website has been hacked. www.jokeaday.com
  • ... they will be when a ton of hate mail floods Redmond and MS accuses them of a denial of service attack.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    It's a CONSPIRACY!
  • Aw.. you're no fun anymore.
  • After stupidly being convinced that UserFriendly was down for real. I now relized it is April Fools Day (after reading a few comments) This is a joke, all the sites legal info look the same, and they just prepared very well. They know most of their audience reads /. All their partners websites have been updated with the new logo too, that takes planning, it would take more then a few hours for people to relize to change their websites, hell, its too early in the morning.
  • Its not fair why is this happening their really should be a "posse" of lawyers for the GNU community why not .. Caldera and RedHat could help us out, and the community could get some legal defense... Thats not a bad idea, we have no one to defend us in the courts.

    What do you guys think a legal team to defend the GNU community? Do you think its feasible?

    negahban@home.com
  • email large news sites.
    cnn. redherring. nytimes.
    the more we can publicise this,
    the more the public will be outraged,
    get involved. at least it will show
    support.
  • I couldn't agree with you more.
    What can we do? Is it that current times will
    force linux users and consumers to take
    it up the ass if a corperation [microsoft.com] is big enough?
    Does it mean that small free web sites that deliever orignal content [userfriendly.com]
    with large followings will be forced to just quit and give up domains
    if any sizeable company with money wants the domain?

    In recent times we've seen stories on here of
    companies demanding web sites because the domain
    was a trademark violation even though the site
    had existed well before the creation of the
    demanding business.

    We've also seen the trademarking of just plain old
    stupid shit. I'm waiting for a patent on eating
    and a trademark on words like cheeseburger (so
    you can no longer use the word eating and will be
    liable for a lawsuit if you put cheeseburger on a menu).

    So. What Am I Rambling About? This wonderful
    captilist economy we (US citizens) live in is
    great for the goings-on of real life, but is not
    ready to handle a free self ruled internet and
    will, as long as it runs unchecked, try to apply
    US rules of business to a medium never meant for business.

    -Z

    suggestion: move UF and SegFault to a server in the netherlands or other country not subject to US laws.
  • how will I laugh for the next 72 hours?
  • There's still dilbert.
  • by X-Type (15655)
    ---If it is not a Fool's Joke---
    Was one responsible for all three?


  • ...I wouldn't even pause to think about it as anything else than as a joke. But now I won't be so sure 'til tomorrow. =/

    (Let's hope I'm the fool =)
    --> Erik
  • If this is an April Fool's "joke," then all I can say is that I'm not finding it amusing in the slightest.

    "Crying Wolf" would be an appropriate term for it.

    If it's "for real," then I hope that all of the sites involved file countersuits.
  • Much as I would like to think that this is a farce, if you had been following the threads from these sites for the past few days, you would have perhaps noticed that there were similar worries about possible legal action.
  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday April 01, 1999 @07:28AM (#1954017) Homepage Journal
    It's April Fools day, and I think you all just got taken again.
  • by The Glorious Meept!! (17395) on Thursday April 01, 1999 @07:52AM (#1954018)
    Meept found this article yesterday in "what religion" monthly:

    Uh, Uh, Uh.... ohhhh [theregister.co.uk]

    This proves that the new test'ment bible was written before Jesus was born.

    MEEPT!!

Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature. She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Working...