In June of 1999, Yahoo! Inc., one of the most aptly named companies in the world, took over GeoCities, where we had maintained a homestead for almost 2 1/2 years. In an effort to seize control of the “member-provided content” on GeoCities and "commercialize" it, Yahoo! Inc. imposed an outrageous “terms of service” adhesion contract on GeoCities members, with which we do not agree, and which we repudiate as immoral, illegal, and unenforcable in the State of California and the United States of America. Yahoo! Inc. is demanding that GeoCities members provide Yahoo! Inc. with the “world-wide, royalty-free right” to “publish,” “alter,” “modify,” and "share" “member-provided content” on GeoCities, thus attempting to circuvent United States Copyright and Trademark laws and the international Berne Convention. We will in no way co-operate with the illegal activities of Yahoo! Inc., have already begun proceedings against them, and have notified them that any interference with or damage to our web site content on GeoCities will result in charges being brought against them under Title 17 of the United States Code.
In a nutshell, what Yahoo! Inc. is attempting is an "end-run" around U.S. and foreign laws. EVERYTHING on this web site is protected by U.S. or foreign copyrights, including the fabulous and exclusive motion picture and television stills and photographs of the stars which we have here. By demanding the “world-wide, royalty-free right” to “publish,” “alter,” “modify,” and "share" this material, Yahoo! Inc. is effectively demanding the right to STEAL IT. Most of this material is either the product of our own hard work or was entrusted to us by third parties (such as movie studios, television production companies, and even the stars themselves). We will not abandon our own work to thieves, and we ABSOLUTELY will not betray the trust placed in us by others by agreeing to a "terms of service" adhesion contract which gives Yahoo! Inc. the opportunity to steal valuable material which other people have entrusted to our care.
This has been a prolonged and exhausting fight, and it does not show any signs of becoming any easier in the near future, so our web site, which -- until Yahoo! Inc. locked us out -- was often updated four or five times a day, has gone virtually untended for over two months. On the bright side, our "samizdata from the Geo-Gulags," which we have been able to publish in our GuestWorld Guest Book (which is run by Lycos and not by Yahoo! Inc.) has brought this struggle to the attention of literally thousands of people around the world, and, despite having been locked out by Yahoo! Inc., we have grown from being the tenth most popular EuroSeek™ "Cool Site" in our class -- in the entire world -- to the 18th most popular CoolSite in the world! Simultaneously, Yahoo! Inc., blasted by broadside after broadside from us regarding their Securities and Exchange Commission filings, their insider trading records, and reports of the activities of their business associates, lost fifty points per share on the NASDAQ stock exchange since they attempted to force us and other GeoCities members to sign their "terms of service" adhesion contract.
Alerted by this struggle, many stars, production companies, law enforcement agencies, and news services are marshalling their own forces to deal with Yahoo! Inc. Knowing this, we pledge ourselves to continue the fight against "the pirates of Santa Clara," if only because, in the words of the children of South Park, . . . "that's what Brian Boitano would do!!!"
Those who want the gorey details of Yahoo! Inc.'s despicable activities since June, are cordially invited to click HERE, and are re-assured that the drug, gambling, and child pornography links which Yahoo! Inc. has been promoting for the past two months through GeoCities mail have been removed or altered in the five pages of material which we have gathered together here about Yahoo! Inc., its real owners, and its international "partners."