- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 12, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Two California men rebelling against a sea of America Online promotional compact discs have got mail like never before.
People around the world have sent Jim McKenna and John Lieberman more than 80,000 CDs offering trial subscriptions to AOL's Internet services. When they collect 1 million, they say, they will drive them to Virginia, go to the company's front door in Sterling and say, "You've got mail."
"Basically, we'll enlist the help of volunteers who are willing to take a pickup load and drive back to AOL headquarters with us," Mr. McKenna said. "We will be as obvious as possible and very polite."
Promotional CDs offering Internet service are common in the industry, but AOL, the largest Internet-service provider, uses them most pervasively. Their discs appear in magazines, at the post office, at movie theaters and, of course, in mailboxes.
Mr. McKenna and Mr. Lieberman have requested the CDs through a Web site devoted to complaining about the discs. The site features pictures of alternative uses for the CDs (mobiles, ceiling coverings, chew toys) and even includes haiku by disgruntled recipients.
The El Cerrito, Calif., men, who are in their 30s and work in information technology, are building an international alliance for their cause, with partners in France, Germany, Australia and the United Kingdom serving as CD-receiving points.
"People find this action very cool and the ecology aspect is very loved in France," said Aziz Ridouan of Stop CD France, which has accumulated about 1,600 CDs for the men so far.
Mr. McKenna and Mr. Lieberman say they have nothing against AOL, but see the discs as a waste of resources and have found a creative way to ask the Internet giant to stop making and sending them.
AOL is responding by offering to help.
"If they reach their goal … I'd be happy to give them directions and greet them at the door," company spokesman Nicholas Graham said. "We would make a contribution ourselves to put them over the top."

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