Feeds

AOL hit by second class action

More accusations about AOL 5.0 software

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

America Online is facing yet more legal pressure over the alleged debilitating effects of its AOL 5.0 software. Seattle attorney, Steve Berman, filed a class action lawsuit against AOL yesterday in King County Superior Court, Washington state. Berman -- who has led similar actions against tobacco companies and the Exxon Valdez oil spill -- filed the lawsuit on behalf of Washington state residents under the Consumer Protection Act. The class action alleges that America Online "knowingly released a version of their software that, without warning, made major changes to users' computer operating systems rendering them unstable, and in some cases, inoperable." The suit also claims that AOL effectively barred their customers from connecting with competing ISPs. "Users who installed AOL 5.0 expected that they were going to get 500 free hours of faster, better Internet access," said Berman. "But what really happened was that their computers were unknowingly sabotaged so that they could no longer use any Internet service other than AOL. This was a brazen attempt by AOL to hold these customers hostage as long as they wanted to connect to the Internet," he said. According to Berman, AOL 5.0 is perhaps the "most insidious way the company could force consumers to use AOL". "Once the software was up and running, it changes so many of the systems configurations, the average user had no hope of connecting with anyone else other than AOL. Many who tried to unwind the installation found that it was almost impossible since it affected more than 200 files." Earlier this month Internet lawyer Kenneth Yates, filed a class action on behalf of eight million AOL users claiming that AOL 5.0 disables other ISP services when installed on a PC. Back then AOL spokesman, Rich D'Amato, said that the lawsuit had "no basis in fact or law." ® Related stories: AOL scoffs at class action

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.