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  1. #1
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    From this morning's Salt Lake Tribune..

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    Overstock.com sues to block ads


    By Bob Mims
    The Salt Lake Tribune

    Overstock.com has asked a federal judge to order two of the Internet's most infamous "spyware" enterprises to stop the unauthorized linking of their advertising to the online retailer's Web sites.
    In separate U.S. District Court complaints, Overstock.com charges that Gator Corp. and WhenU.com have inundated users of the Salt Lake City-based company's http://www.overstock.com and http://www.overstockb2b.com sites with "pop-up" and "pop-under" ads.
    In addition to permanent injunctions against such ads in the future, the suits seek court costs and damages that conceivably could run into the millions of dollars.
    "Our interest is getting them to stop interfering with our site and our customers. That is our focus, first and foremost," Overstock.com attorney Mark Larsen said Friday.
    The company contends the ads, many of which it alleges promote online competitors, have been interrupting visitors to its sites since 2000.
    "In short, Gator sells advertising space on the Overstock Web sites without Overstock's authorization, diverts Overstock customers to its competitors, and then pockets a portion of the profits from such sales," the lawsuit states.
    Advertisement

    Such practices amount to trademark infringement, unfair competition, intentional interference with economic relations and unjust enrichment at Overstock.com's expense, the complaint states.
    Gator spokeswoman Mandy Mladenoff and Anthony Citrano of WhenU declined to comment on the allegations.
    Overstock.com does not sell pop-up or pop-under ads, so called because they appear as windows on top of a Web site or open underneath a browser window so as to be visible when a computer user closes his or her Internet surfing program.
    Gator, based in Redwood, Calif., boasts on its own Web site that it is "the leader in online marketing" with more than 700 corporate clients. It estimated more than 35 million Internet users have downloaded Gator applications -- free software that installs Web-tracking, or spyware programs.
    Spyware, which some online advertisers refer to by the less innocuous title of "adware," pops up, or under, ads for products Gator matches to the surfing interests of the user.
    The same is generally true for WhenU, a 3-year-old New York City business that claims 25 million "active desktops," though the company insists in promotional materials that it does not collect or transmit users' information. Instead, WhenU contends, its software examines keywords, Internet addresses and search terms within the user's computer to choose the ads displayed.
    Nonetheless, Gator and WhenU have been frequent targets of lawsuits over their advertising techniques, which also have spawned dozens of desktop "pop-up killer" and spyware-removal programs aimed at derailing the ads.
    Over the past few years, according to the Harvard CyberLaw site, Gator has been a defendant or plaintiff in court against Internet Advertising Bureau, L.L. Bean, PriceGrabber, Wells Fargo, United Parcel Service and others.
    Meantime, WhenU reportedly has been sued by 1-800 Contacts, TigerDirect, U-Haul and Weight Watchers, among others.
    bmims@sltrib.com

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    It does not surprise me one bit that Overstock takes this pro-active affiliate move paralleling the efforts of TigerDirect. Merchants will find those contracts with the BHO Ad whores for a top rotation campaign will make them just like their duped/hijacked endusers.....suckers.

    The media ears are well tuned into spammers -corporate corruption -internet scammers and privacy violaters feeding the sleezy side of online advertising. Bet Overstock wished they listened to me and distanced themselves from gorrilla advertising pushers when they migrated from BeFree to Linkshare. They need 3rd party incent/loyality shopping like they need a hole in their head as an established top 50 destination shopping site. They can easily run their own loyality shopping program with a base of 30 million satisfied customers.

    Glad they are pulling in the reigns before they moved to TV Ads and CPM/CPC banner madness like Dell, Gateway, finance/mortgage companies, travel and other pure play advertisers playing affiliates like chimps. If they listened to any of the Advertising wanks or the network spin artists they'd have gone the way of Pets.com and a slew of other .com bombs.

    Once they free themselves, even if it takes more lawsuits, from the TopMoxie stranglehold I think they'll never take a phone call from a software only affiliate agian.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  3. #3
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    WTG Overstock

    ________
    All your commission are belong to us.
    Check out the latest Homeland Security press releases.

  4. #4
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    Rock on, Overstock.com. This is the reason I stand behind you guys.

    Michael

  5. #5
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    WTG Guys....

    It was hard keeping the lid on this one, i'm glad it finally broke in the media....

    Full speed ahead...

    Andy Rodriguez,
    Online Advertising / Affiliate Marketing Manager

    TigerDirect.com
    P: (305) 415-2313
    E: andy.rodriguez@tigerdirect.com

    Parasite Free in 2003!

  6. #6
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Andy ..does this mean Overstock will again be able to compete with you for the bucks in my EcomCity shoppers wallets? You sure whooped OS's butt for the last three months.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  7. #7
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    Thats great that you want to stop competitors from popping on your site. I agree with that.

    "Our interest is getting them to stop interfering with our site and our customers. That is our focus, first and foremost," Overstock.com attorney Mark Larsen said Friday.
    The company contends the ads, many of which it alleges promote online competitors, have been interrupting visitors to its sites since 2000."

    Doesn't having certain affilates do exactly the same thing to other affiliates? interrupting affiliate visitors sent to your site with popups? Please correct me if i'm wrong i'm just here to learn.

  8. #8
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    It's about time someone made a move and care about their people.

    People like Amazon don't care as long as the money keeps rolling in.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador ShoreMark's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TrustNo1®:
    Doesn't having certain affilates do exactly the same thing to other affiliates? interrupting affiliate visitors sent to your site with popups? Please correct me if i'm wrong i'm just here to learn.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> That was my first thought on reading the release.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador JJJay's Avatar
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    LOL, sue one and sleep with the other... Its not nice losing money to parasites is it

  11. #11
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by memyselfandi:
    It's about time someone made a move and care about their people.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If they truly cared about their affiliates they would permanently ban any affiliate who is caught with proof supplied of overwriting our links. Instead they give them unlimited chances to fix the problem. Its time they dumped the other ones stealing commissions and sales too. This is a good step but its NOT ENOUGH.

    Heidi
    Fit2a-t - Make Money Selling T-Shirts From Your Site!!

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Originally posted by TrustNo1®:
    Doesn't having certain affilates do exactly the same thing to other affiliates? interrupting affiliate visitors sent to your site with popups? Please correct me if i'm wrong i'm just here to learn. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    My thought exactly!!! What IS the difference?

    Andy

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    "If you were born to be shot, you'll never be hung." -Unknown

  13. #13
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    I think that if I was a lawyer for WhenU & Gator, I would be bringing up the fact that Overstock have allowed this to happen on their "partners" (affiliates) sites and seemed to even encourage the parasites to do so. This is no difference. Now the money is coming out of OS pockets they want to stop it. Perhaps this is the reason they have stated they are dropping MMM part of eBates. Kind of shooting themselves ion the foot to keep that relationship going during such a trial when there is so much proof that overwriting and redirecting have been taking place as well as popups still taking place.

    If OS win, what happens? Do these popups have to stop everywhere, or just on OS site?

  14. #14
    pph Expert! Gordon's Avatar
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    LOL don't make me bloody laugh

    hypocrisy is a wonderful word but one should make damned sure it does not apply to oneself
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> the assumption or postulation of moral standards to which ones own behaviour does not conform <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Take care
    YouTrek.com

  15. #15
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    Not much to add, the last few posts nailed my thoughts. What is good for the goose is good for the gander, or is the pot calling the kettle black. Something like that.

    So when this is done, either some of us will be testifying as witnesses for gator - or overstock will have created case law which could then be used to sue them and the like of the scumware they support.

    Wierd wacky world.

    Come on Overstock, step up to the plate and clean up your own house now that your are outing this into the public. This is your PR chance to hit a homerun.

    Chet
    Looking for more cliches to add, but I ran out.

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador Sam Bay's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TrustNo1®:
    "Our interest is getting them to stop interfering with our site and our customers. That is our focus, first and foremost," Overstock.com attorney Mark Larsen said Friday.
    The company contends the ads, many of which it alleges promote online competitors, have been interrupting visitors to its sites since 2000."

    Doesn't having certain affilates do exactly the same thing to other affiliates? interrupting affiliate visitors sent to your site with popups? Please correct me if i'm wrong i'm just here to learn.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    WHO CARES? That's affiliates' problem not Overtsock's. And the only reason they're suing Whenu and Gator is to protect their VISITORS/POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS, NOT THE AFFILIATES.

  17. #17
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    I am purely amazed that each and every thread started concerning OverStock.com turns into a Flame War.

    OverStock.com continues to champion its affiliates. Them leaving here was not in our best interets, and the vocal minority continues to hijack each and every thread with flame throwers a pack'n.

    IamJaloppy

  18. #18
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    Yeah thats it.

    But i thought software like Gator and Ebates was the choice of the enduser. That it empowered the enduser. The enduser controlled the browser and OS was helpless to change that. That any loss would be small because overstock converts so well.

    IamJaloppy, do you honestly mean to tell me you cannot see how this conflicts with what they tell their affiliates about ebates and the like?

    Chet

  19. #19
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    From what I've learned Overstock terminated all their relationships with Gator and WhenU when they fired their old lame AM and replace him/her with Shawn. No one ever got communication from the old AM. Between contracts with Gator -TopText- WhenU and some other B-a-HO's running popups in the Fall of 2001 Shawn decided it would be best to let the BF program lapse a slow death and jump to Linkshare.

    I'm sure the other AM, poisoned by a advertising mindset wanting to run a mass Ad program, signed up also with those flying under the affiliate radar at the time....eBates -Morpheus and others we might not even know about. Basically the cloned AM model used by the likes of WalMart -Dell -Martha Stewart and everyother major merchant who run non-converting programs on auto pilot.

    Now last year at this time Shawn got his first taste of damage control as Morpheus/Buyersport was caught red-handed steating affiliate commissions. Occured a second time with Morpheus in August when he was on Vacation in Spain. The ABWers catch eBates sucking up someones elses traffic -cookies and commissions with their TopMoxie powered BHO with OS caught again in the middle.

    My take is that Shawn prayed the perps pushing these programs would clean up their acts and stop hijacking traffic and commissions. He probably pushed LS into the Nov 7th meeting with Overstock having contractual relationships with a bunch of other BHO's like iGive -Upromise we are just now finding out about. I can only assume these BHO incent sites have a team of lawyers protecting the millions stolen from normal affiliates with legalese in merchant contracts.

    We are not privy to those contracts and expiration dates. Only recourse is for Overstock to start suing those on expired contracts to keep the hell off their domain. Yell bloody murder at Linkshare -CJ -Performics and Befree to muzzle the re-directs and overwrites as the BHO's turn on and off their theftware at will.

    I assume also OS refuses to pay an extortion fee to keep their domain off the 200 BHO radar. Be nice to see them team up with TigerDirect and take all of them on with the help of the other committed parasite free merchants. I mentioned this numerous times when TD first announced their law suit.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  20. #20
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    Sambay to your comment, No sh!t


    IamJaloppy it seems your comments are more likely to start a flame war more than any others.

    "Nothing focuses the mind better than the constant sight of a competitor who wants to wipe you off the map."
    --Wayne Calloway

  21. #21
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    I see very few conflicts with what Overstock states and requires for verification of these types of infractions.

    If you have an issue, pick up the phone and call Shawn. Hijacking EVERY thread concerning OverStock.com is pathetic. If you do not trust them then do not promote them.

    Is this your business? If yes, then work on your sales and marketing. If no, then you need some hobbies. This is my business. I can only see this lawsuit as a good. When I send my users to OverStock.com, I do want them to be diverted to another site with the Whenu/Gator garbage. Before any one jumps into the "But ebates will intercept your links!" argument, I am well aware of this and other applications and help when I am able.

    IamJaloppy

  22. #22
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TrustNo1®:
    IamJaloppy it seems your comments are more likely to start a flame war more than any others.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Perhaps, but it is getting a little ridiculous.

    IamJaloppy

  23. #23
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by IamJaloppy:
    I am purely amazed that each and every thread started concerning OverStock.com turns into a Flame War.

    OverStock.com continues to champion its affiliates. Them leaving here was not in our best interets, and the vocal minority continues to hijack each and every thread with flame throwers a pack'n.

    IamJaloppy<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I am sorry. I misread what you said and thought you said that only a minority of affiliates are anti-OS. That is not exactly what you said. Just thought this link would show the true nature of affiliates thoughts on OS and what they have done (or not done) for Joe Affiliate - see poll results:


    Overstock Poll - see results of Poll

  24. #24
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by perfectG:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by IamJaloppy:
    I am purely amazed that each and every thread started concerning OverStock.com turns into a Flame War.

    OverStock.com continues to champion its affiliates. Them leaving here was not in our best interets, and the vocal minority continues to hijack each and every thread with flame throwers a pack'n.

    IamJaloppy<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I am sorry. I misread what you said and thought you said that only a minority of affiliates are anti-OS. That is not exactly what you said. Just thought this link would show the true nature of affiliates thoughts on OS and what they have done (or not done) for Joe Affiliate - see poll results:


    http://abw.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&...></BLOCKQUOTE>


    I will just reply with Shawn's Comment:

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Shawn@Overstock.com:
    You could always try us out and see if we work well for you. If we don't, then pull our links down. If we do, then everyone's happy...

    Just my two cents...

    Shawn Schwegman
    VP of Sales & Marketing
    Overstock.com
    801-947-3119
    shawn@overstock.com<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    You never know who is going to work for you or not. Do the evaluation, if that includes parasite affiliation, include it. For me, if the merchant is profitable with an acceptable ROI, I partner with them. (I do have many other requirements.) I do not think that parasite affiliation should be the ONLY criteria for evaluation of a relationships.

    IamJaloppy

  25. #25
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    I replied to Shawn´s crappy suggestion then, I dont intend to waste more time here.

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