26 September 2000

Senior America Online employee Justin Frankel has seen his latest innovative program abruptly deleted from the AOL-owned Nullsoft music website.

Frankel, the former owner of Nullsoft, acquired by AOL last year for $86 million, posted the free application on the site – only to see it zapped by AOL within an hour or two.

Why the panic removal? It seems that the application written by the 21-year-old Frankel allows users of AOL's highly popular Instant Messenger realtime chat service to delete all ads from the site. To rub salt into an open would, Frankel has been giving away the program to all comers via another site owned by Nullsoft – and ultimately AOL.

Frankel denies that he was taking a swipe at his employer. "It's nothing more than a cute innovation," he says, adding that he and some friends came up with the idea over a dinner in Los Angeles. He insists that they wrote the program in their free time and had no malicious intent.

AOL, claims it isn't concerned by the software since it doesn't affect outside advertisers. The Instant Messenger box has two advertising spots, currently in use to promote in-house services.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)