You claim these people are 'nice guys' yet they willfully omitted a name from the historical record - a record they chose to include in their product - seemingly because one idea was a little too close to the one they were trying to sell. If this were a case of accidentally ommitting an obscure credit, I would not fault them for anything. But that's not the case. This is a situation where someone solicited information about the originality of their idea, were told it was derivative, and then when voluntarily offering the history of ideas leading up to their product, intentionally ommited part of it - a part of which they were explicitly made aware of well in advance of publication.
Nice guy? No freaking way
(Though, there is reason to believe that what we tend to think of as 'theft' may have occured, but I have not seen a paper trail yet.)
As to contacting them privately, I am sure oneil would love to talk with them. Perhaps you can encourage your nice guy non-friends to follow up on his attempts to bring this to closure.
Threatening lawsuits for sharing one's side of a story would not really be returning a call though, would it?
I wonder, steve, if one would be as cavalier of dismissing these ' non-desired history lessons' if it were YOUR baby being thrown out with that bathwater.
It appears as if oneil has taken a cue from farmer and his pdf is now available for free.
Personally, I feel we should all stand up for the preservation of the historical record. I find myself troubled by those who seem willing to dismiss it so readily.
Do you have any connection to the product steve? Knowing the date of a registered website seems odd for someone unaffiliated. Defending the willful ommision of someone's idea seems callous, at best. Regardless, to clarify, I know oNeil (we are acquaintances) but have no stake in the matter other than in caring about the record and having a general sense of concern when anyone's ideas are marginalized (especially, intentionally) in the process of selling boatloads of product to chirping birds eager to swallow anything new - regardless from whence it rightfully came.