<< 1996 1997 1998 >>
March 10, 1997
An underaged computer user and sysop in Worcester, MA, succeeds in shutting down an FAA control tower for six hours. He is tracked and arrested, and eventually given probation, community service, the need to pay restitution, and loss of his computer and modem.

congress ( 44K) Address to Congress by Senator Robert E. Andrews on "Cyber Terrorism", citing the Worcester Outage (March 14, 2000)

April 23, 1997
Cott Lang, programmer of the Renegade BBS software (itself a derivative of Telegard BBS Software) turns the maintenance and development of the package over to Patrick Spence.

Source http://www.mindspring.com/~cott/projects.html

June, 1997
Over the course of the month of June, Clark Development Corporation (makers of PC-BOARD and MetaWorlds) shuts down operations and begins auctioning off equipment, citing lack of funding and a need to prevent incurring more debt. They do not recover.
                               Friday, June 20, 1997
                           Clark Development Is No More


      A Murray company that once led the market for computer bulletin
board system (BBS) software has ceased operations without warning
customers or business associates. 
      ``We closed our doors in an effort not to incur any more debt,''
Cory Robin, Clark Development Co. Inc. general manager, said Thursday.
``We are in the process of restructuring.'' 
       Robin said Clark's computer equipment and other physical assets
will be auctioned Saturday by Salt Lake City's TNT Auctions. Proceeds go
to Zions Bank, which held a lien on the property. 
      He said Chief Executive Officer William ``Fred'' Clark is developing
a new business plan and trying to secure investors. 
      ``We're doing what we can to avoid a bankruptcy filing,'' he said. 
      Clark was out of the state Thursday and unavailable for comment,
Robin said. 
      The company's status has been a recent topic of online chat
sessions. Users of Clark's PCBoard and MetaWorlds software have been
posting messages to BBS services such as alt.bbs.pcboard seeking
      News that Clark has ceased operations surprised many, including one
customer who said she paid for software she never received. 
      Sharon Miller of Portland, Ore., said she and her fiance three weeks
ago charged to a credit card nearly $200 in Clark software they have not
been able to download. 
      Attempts to contact the company this week proved futile, she said.
Telephone calls to Clark went unanswered and online access to the company
was not functioning. 
      ``It's frustrating,'' Miller said. ``All we want is the software we
paid for.'' 
      Robin said there is no way for customers to reach the company for now. 
      ``We're not operational,'' he said. ``We're insolvent.'' 
      Pat Clawson, president and chief executive officer of Winchester,
Va.-based TeleGrafix Communications Inc., also has tried unsuccessfully to
contact Clark. 
      He said TeleGrafix sold products to Clark, which he characterized as
a company that once held up to 30 percent of the market for BBS software.
Clawson said Fred Clark is considered an innovator who was ``a principal
creator of online communications.'' 
      Clawson said Clark's demise comes at a time of severe hardship for
all BBS companies as they struggle to adapt to the Internet. In 1994,
there were more than 80,000 BBS's, but today there are fewer than 25,000,
he said.
  ``[World Wide] Webmania has created another way to go online.'' 
      Clawson said Clark's MetaWorlds product combined BBS and Web server
capabilities in a way that could have carried the company into the
Internet age.  The software had flaws, however, and its development took
longer than expected, he said. 
      Steve Klingler, Clark's vice president and general manager until he
left the company in April, offered an assessment similar to Clawson's. 
      Klingler said he left after he and Clark were unable to agree on
what was needed ``to get the company out of its rut.'' 
      ``Clark had a cool product without enough marketing dollars left to
tell the world about it,'' he said. ``I'm really disappointed.'' 

crank.txt ( 12K) Extremely cranky critique of Clark Development, with Rebuttals (February, 1999)
demise.txt (8.0K) Jacob Hopkins speculates on the causes of Clark Development Corporation's demise (November 23, 1997)
paulsen.txt (4.0K) Stan Paulsen weighs in with Clark Development's Demise (June, 1997)
Source http://groups.google.com/groups?q=+%22Clark+Development%22+group:alt.bbs.pcboard&hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859-1&as_drrb=b&as_mind=12&as_minm=5&as_miny=1996&as_maxd=15&as_maxm=3&as_maxy=1998&selm=clawson-2006971318390001%40dyn08.pm1.winchester.va.us.crosslink.net&rnum=1

August, 1997
The ANSI group iCE welcomes The Night Daemon, Levi Dedi, into their group as a VGA/Hirez artist. Sadly, two months later he commits suicide after being cut off from the Internet (and his connection to iCE) by his mother.

October, 1997
David Perrussel founds the "BBS Corner Telnet BBS Guide" (http://www.dmine.com/telnet)

Source Mail from Dave Perrussel

October 15, 1997
Levi Dedi, also known as "The Night Daemon" of the ANSI Groups Fuel and iCE, commits suicide by jumping from his 9th story apartment window in Israel. His mother had shut off their phone line for outgoing calls, cutting him off from the Internet and sending him into a spiraling depression.

ci-byend.gif ( 92K) Artwork by Night Daemon of iCE for iCE Pack August, 1997
cthulu.txt (4.0K) Thoughts on Night Daemon's suicide, by Cthulu of Mistigris (November 1, 1997)
ls-levi.jpg ( 44K) Tribute to Levi Dedi by Slothy of iCE
ritual97.nfo ( 24K) Ritual 1997 Demo Party Invite, with Night Daemon on Staff
skade.txt (4.0K) Capture of an IRC Log in Russia discussing Night Daemon's death

October 16, 1997
The Web Copyright Law is signed by President Clinton. An infringement of property valued at least $1000 may be prosecuted even if the violator does not profit from the crime. Penalties range from $100,000-$250,000. For infringements against properties >$2,500 a jail term of up to 3 years may be imposed. A second offense may result in a jail term of up to 6 years. What this translates to is that the previous copying of programs and disks for the use of trade is finally made illegal and a prosecutable crime.

Source http://cs.gmu.edu/~amarchan/cs105/cpyrt.html

November 8, 1997
Rodney Aloia, Sysop of the Index BBS in Georgia, dies of massive head injuries while preparing to go on a skydiving run (he had over 250 jumps under his belt at the time). The Index BBS, at 60 lines, is one of the largest BBSes in the southeast United States, and incredibly, his friends and colleagues continue to run the BBS in his memory, scaling back phone lines but maintaining the BBS to the present day. The INDEX BBS had been founded in 1983 by Aloia.

Source http://groups.google.com/groups?q=%22Rodney+Aloia%22&hl=en&safe=off&scoring=d&selm=347A26E3.3E2B%40ibm.net&rnum=2

November 25, 1997
The "Playboy Enterprises v. Russ Hardenburgh, Inc." case is filed in United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division (No. 1:93 CV 0546). In this case, the now-defunct Rusty and Edie's BBS is sued for having 412 GIFs online that came from Playboy Enterprises. (That is, scanned from Playboy.) Ultimately, Hardenburgh is found responsible for damages of $310,000.

Source http://www.loundy.com/CASES/Playboy_v_Hardenburgh.html

December, 1997
The rights to the RemoteAccess BBS Software is sold by creator Andrew Milner to Bruce Morse in an online auction. Morse goes on to release updates to the software, including a Y2K compliant version.

Source http://pcmicro.com/ra/

December 13, 1997
Mystic BBS Version 0.01 Released.

Source http://www.mysticbbs.com/mystic/history.html

December 16, 1997
Bill Clinton signed the "No Electronic Theft Act" and it became Public Law 105-147. It is now a criminal act to trade a copyrighted work with a friend. It is now a criminal act to reproduce or distribute, during any 180-day period, copyrighted works with a total retail value of more than $1,000. The statue of limitations for such acts was extended to five years. Senator Orrin Hatch said "this bill plugs the 'LaMacchia Loophole' in criminal copyright enforcement."

Source http://philip.greenspun.com/dldf/chronology.html

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