ICQ opens up... almost

— 6:32 AM on March 19, 2001

ICQ is such a tease, they give you a peek at their API, but saddle you with some pretty unattractive baggage

GRANT OF LICENSE. Subject to the provisions contained herein, ICQ Inc. hereby grants to you a non-exclusive, non-transferable license (without the right to sublicense) to use the ICQ API as part of, or in conjunction with, applications developed, distributed or implemented by you or on your behalf (the "API Applications"). You may not use or redistribute your API Applications in more than 10,000 copies, including all versions, patches, releases, upgrades, derivatives, enhancement or other editions of the API Applications or any other software that stems from or lead to by the API Applications ("Copies Limit"), without a special license from ICQ Inc.. You may not use the ICQ API for or in conjunction with any products having chat ability, presence indication "buddy system-like" functionality or instant messaging capabilities ("Competing Products"). For the purpose of this Agreement, "Competing Products" shall not include any of the AOL Service, Compuserve, Digital City or the AOL Instant Messeging ("AIM").
While not a bad first step, it's likely this is the last step AOL will take to open ICQ up. Oh how I long for a simple IM with no useless features, no ads, a reasonable appetite for memory, and of course, no ties to AOL. Thanks to /. for the scoop on this one.
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