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  1. #1
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    http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/sil...ey/8898893.htm

    "WhenU.com Inc. claims the law that took effect last month is "arbitrary and Draconian" and violates its free-speech rights."

    Man, the lawyers can really try to work it.

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Draconian is WhenU's infestation of hundreds of millions of systems via drive-by and hidden bundled backdoor installs over the last few years. The 21 million currently infected enduser systems surely are not agreeing to browser spam popups and system crashes for those stupid Freebees. Hopefully the Judge will weigh in the facts that the majority of BHO infested users have no idea where they came from or how to get rid of them.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    A lot of people would say the way WhenU.com does business is "arbitrary and Draconian."

    Popping up on a third party website and blocking the page without the permission of that site seems pretty arbitrary and Draconian to me.

    Do as I say, not as I do, what's good for me isn't for you.

    Andy

  4. #4
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    http://www.utcourts.gov/directory/empdir/d3/3ddis.html

    Judge Fratto, Jr., Joseph C.
    Tel: (801) 238-7392
    Fax: (801) 238-7542

    For the anti-parasite folk who want to work the system consider faxing or calling in your comments.

    Well thought out, informed opinions from affiliates could be well appreciated.

    Work the system.

  5. #5
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    This stuff keeps getting better and better.....



  6. #6
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    The judge's clerk is Wendy. I have her email address to send comments but am not sure if I should post it here or not.
    Any ideas?
    Time is of the essence.
    Scott


  7. #7
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    Tell Wendy you have some interested affiliates that would like to share their very related opinions, and ask her what the best method to get them to her ASAP is: email or fax?

    Sounds reasonable enough.

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Maybe we should just tell Wendy to refer the Judge and his staff to the WhenU Parasiteware forum here at ABW. If they spent a little time there, they'd know all they needed to know.

    Andy

  9. #9
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    She said email is fine. But I am reluctant to post her address in here. I have set up a special pop for this. Email wendy@scohaz.com and I will send you her address. This POP will be active by 2:15 EST today and will be deleted at noon Sunday, 6-13-2004.
    Scott


  10. #10
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    Great idea Andy, I have sent my email already. Send one and include the links in it.
    Scott


  11. #11
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    Someone should post this on the parasite board too

  12. #12
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    I'm going to move it later. There is a thread there pointing to this one (for the interim).
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Scott wrote: I have sent my email already. Send one and include the links in it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Will do. Check your PMs.

    Andy

  14. #14
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    I tell you gang, the shear activism of this thread reads likes something from Cluetrain:

    http://www.cluetrain.com/book/95-theses.html

    12: There are no secrets. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone.

    35: But first, they must belong to a community.

    7: Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy.

    And so many others. Any-who, when you get a chance, give it a read, it's free.

  15. #15
    I like traffic lights
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    How about someone getting an old PC, loading it up with a few of the nasty BHO's and sending it to the Judge to play with?

    Nothing like hands-on experience.

  16. #16
    Yup, Sure ... now let me check ... Cagles Mill's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> How about someone getting an old PC, loading it up with a few of the nasty BHO's and sending it to the Judge to play with? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Surely the Utah lawyers would have computers set up in the courtroom to demonstrate how WhenU behaves (or rather "doesn't" behave). Remember the big antitrust case against Microsoft a couple years ago and all the computer demonstrations in the courtroom?.

    It's probably too much to hope for, but wouldn't it be great if half way through the trial the judge was to find WhenU popping up on his own personal computer?

    I wonder if he would have to excuse himself from the trial on the grounds "I'm too d@mned p@ssed off to continue!"
    Rick M.
    I would rather have a bottle in front of me, than have a frontal lobotomy!
    Does your bubblegum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    Hopefully, this Judge is young enough to know what a computer is! Some of the Judges I've seen are fossils, and probably couldn't use a computer if they had to. They have a staff who does E-mail for them, other than that, they don't even touch the things.

    If I recall correctly, some of the Judges who have ruled in favor of the parasites in the past were fairly old, and I really wonder how well they understood the circumstances of the case. If they weren't computer users, a lot would be lost on them.

    Andy

  18. #18
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    In my email to the judge I suggested that he load the WhenU software on a computer and then try to remove it. It renames Windows system files and names its own files as these system files. If you try to delete it manually without knowing what you are doing, you screw your Windows all up and end up having to do a new install.
    I hit the idea that they steal money from legitimate affiliates, but I really hammered him on how their software loads itself and totally screws up your machine, hoping that this would hold more water with him.
    I really hope he isn't a bazillion years old and that he relies on a computer. That will indeed make a difference.
    Scott


  19. #19
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    I testified at the hearing last week and was present for the examination and cross-examination of WhenU CEO Avi Naider. Here are my brief notes re highlights.

  20. #20
    15 years and counting
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  21. #21
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    Yo Ben,

    Thanks for the update and all the work you have done in outlining the issues with spyware. I'd like to ask a couple of questions if I may and present some food for thought for you.

    1) Does whenU actually overwrite affiliate cookies or is their model based on a per pop fee or both? I've never tested WhenU and have asked the question if affiliate cookies were being overwritten or not in here and have never got an answer.

    2) Same question as above with Claria.

    3) As an affiliate marketer, I'm obviously concerned about a competitor using the very work I've created as a basis and material for someone else to compete against me but, I have more concerns over those applications that use my own work against me and also overwrite my cookie effectively nullifying my ability to compete when they are involved in the process.

    Both models have issues with unauthorized use of trademarks, unauthorized utilization of and potential altercation of web content, interference of consumers located on websites as well as the consumer privacy and annoyancy issues, but the cookie overwrite models (those are the ones I call "theftware") have additional concerns over loss of income with them.

    IMO a per pop based spyware app pales in consideration of the actual financial damage done to corporations and affiliates vs others (assuming an equal installation base) and I don't see this difference being effectivly communicated in any of the "spyware" terms commonly used.

    4) I don't see a clear definition of "spyware" being realyed across the web. The terms adware, spyware, theftware, and even "parasiteware" are often intermixed and I would like to see a definitive source of definition come into existance that really breaks apart and better classifies the issues associated with these applications.

    Any comments you can/would provide would be appreciated.

  22. #22
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    Hi Ben!,

    Great to see you here. I love your site and am completely in awe of the work you are doing to fight parasiteware. Your mailing list mailouts always provide a lift to my day.

    All the best,

    Dirk Gardner

  23. #23
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Link to his site?
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  24. #24
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    Sorry for the outrageously slow response. I hadn't put a "notify" on this thread, so I didn't notice happypoon's questions.

    WhenU shows at least three kinds of pop-ups:

    1) Ordinary pop-up/slider/panoramic/popunder ads for advertisers. In my recent Advertisers Using WhenU, I sought to post a full list of all advertisers using this service, and all their ads. These are what most people immediately think of when they think of "WhenU pop-up ads." My understanding is that these are pay-per-click ads, not pay per impression, though WhenU definitely tracks impressions (recall my research on the privacy policy violation that resulted from WhenU's tracking).

    2) Sponsored link ads. Some are popups (often a single sponsored link result from FindWhat, with some generic graphics). Some are popunders (sometimes FindWhat results, sometimes InfoSpace with some results from Overture, as I recall).

    3) "Coupons" that, more often than not, include affiliate links to merchants' own sites. If the user clicks on the coupon pop-up, then WhenU's cookies get set, overwriting any prior affiliate's cookies.

    In #1 above, I link to my research re WhenU's ordinary pop-ups. I have an article planned for later this summer or fall re WhenU's coupon pop-ups. Among other goals, I'll list all merchants targeted, and I'll characterize the "coupons" -- are there real savings offered, or just a generic "save by clicking here" but no actual savings, or coupons that are already offered to the general public, or something else.

    In my experience, Claria does #1 and #2 above. Every so often a Claria ad is itself an affiliate link, like the Dell ad I found running on Claria in June 2004. But by and large Claria doesn't do #3.

    Happypoon, I share your general thoughts as to the potential trademark issues and other unauthorized use issues. I also share your sense that the financial damage to targeted sites is quite large. Some courts have agreed with these sentiments; others have not. It's too soon to say what will come of all this.

    As to the definition of spyware: WhenU's privacy policy problem makes me comfortable calling them spyware -- violating privacy promises is exactly what it means to spy, and thus to be spyware. Beyond spying, there's also the problem of aggressive installation practices -- like drive-by downloads (with minimal or no warning before installation takes place). I've prepared videos of WhenU drive-bys with defective license agreement links (click on the "click here to view license" link, and no license appears), and of WhenU installations occurring without any EULA, notice, or consent to/by user. Will post these videos at some point in the future.


    Ben

  25. #25
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    One of many mind-blowing quotes:

    Arnold Reinhold, expert witness for WhenU, and co-author of "Email for Dummies," and "Internet for Dummies" stated:<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>...it is my opinion that, if the Act were to go into effect, it would impose substantial burdens on internet commerce throughout the United States and the world and and would slow the growth of internet commerce and the software industry. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Glad you're on the side of truth and justice Ben, and not working for the scum like Arnold.

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