Fair use excerpt from the Seattle Times, July 28...

When I reached an operator, I was informed that our AOL account had been terminated. "But why? This can't be. I go online five times a day. I have cards and stationery with my e-mail address imprinted. How can I reinstate it?" The operator informed me that someone had been caught (I had a very clear idea who) going into rooms online and downloading copyrighted software. My pleas that this was a kid messing around fell on deaf ears. Our only recourse was to write a letter of appeal to a group called the Community Action Team. "Write a letter? I need to pick up my mail now!" Too bad. The fastest I could get to CAT was by fax.

[The article's author blames her son...]

"Do you really think I care about an upgraded version of Microsoft Word?" I told him he was grounded for life and sat down to write the appeal letter. I assumed that groveling and abject apologies would be accepted as proof of James' sincere intention never to do it again and my ability to enforce this. I was wrong. CAT rejected my appeal, and I was officially expelled from America Online, forever. Stunned, I set to work establishing another Internet hookup and hoped that none of the lost messages had been vital. I had 200 change-of-address notices to send.


It turns out that America Online, citing breach of contract, pulled the plug on thousands of users in recent months.


Warez: first person
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