View Poll Results: Setting Cookies Without a Click

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29. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, very clear

    12 41.38%
  • Mostly clear

    6 20.69%
  • Unsure

    5 17.24%
  • That's not at all what is being said

    6 20.69%
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  1. #1
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    From the following restrictions in Affiliate Agreements from the major networks, is it clear to you that setting a cookie by forcing a hidden click-through is not allowed?

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>_From CJ's https://www.cj.com/pub_agreement.jsp section 2.2 "Linking to Advertisers:_
    You shall not cause any Transactions to be made that are not in good faith, including, but not limited to, using any device, program, robot, Iframes, hidden frames, redirects or clicking on Links that You place to the Advertiser.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>_From Linkshares's http://merchant.linksynergy.com/fs/siteterm.html section 6.5_
    You agree that You shall not...Inflate the number of applications, accounts, clicks or other specified compensable actions or any impressions of any Network Merchant's Webpage, Promotion or other Content by any method or using any device, program, hidden frames, java pop ups, Web bot, robot, automatic redirecting of users, autospawning of browsers or any other technique or means of generating automated click-throughs, requiring visitors to click on a Network Merchant's Link before entering any area of Your Site(s), by placing or including Promotions or links on pages of Your Site that automatically reload or go to another page without interaction from the user (for example, client pull or server push technology, METATAG reload, or refresh command on page html) or on any page that is not generally accessible to all Web users (for example, pop-up windows and hidden frames);<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    I can't find a site-wide Affiliate Agreement for Befree, but they are part of the http://www.befree.com/code_of_conduct.htm, which says this:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>No Web publisher ("Publisher") or software download technology provider ("Technology Provider") may interfere with or seek to influence improperly the referral of a potential customer or visitor ("End-User") to the Web site of an online advertiser ("Advertiser")<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Is it sacrilegious to print the CoC on toilet paper rolls and give it out at networks events?

    Mike & Charlie ...

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

  3. #3
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    So are techniques that attempt to disguise affiliate links from parasites and norton in violation of the COC.

    For example, one technique is to scramble the link code as ascii characters, and a click redirects visitors to a frame that loads the merchants site.

    Would this be in violation, even though it is an attempt to protect revenue from parasites that are in violation of the COC.

  4. #4
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Would this be in violation, even though it is an attempt to protect revenue from parasites that are in violation of the COC. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think it would be a violation, because:

    1) technically the parasite is not in violation (otherwise they would have been dealt with by the networks

    and

    2) you are interfering with the users' wishes (they chose to install the parasite software and agreed to its terms and consitions).

  5. #5
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    I see how it works now.

    If I use a technique to stop someone else overwriting my cookie, then I'm in violation because the user agreed to have my cookie overwritten.

  6. #6
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> If I use a technique to stop someone else overwriting my cookie, then I'm in violation because the user agreed to have my cookie overwritten. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You just have to be careful.

    For example, if the user got the parasite via a drive-by download and has no idea it is there, then you can protect your cookie.

    But if you want to be totally fair to the users' wishes, then you should not overwrite cookies if they willing joined a rewards program, etc.

  7. #7
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    But by hiding the links from parasites you aren't overwriting any cookies, you are simply stopping your cookies from being overwritten.

  8. #8
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    Take eBates for example.

    If the user installed it, they want to earn rebates whenever they shop.

    So is it fair for you to interfere with that process (on the USERS OWN MACHINE!)?

    Link hiding interferes with the user's wishes and costs them money.

  9. #9
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    I find it unacceptable that honest affiliates have to fight for their commissions, while the networks side step the issue or turn a blind eye on the parasites.
    Individual affiliates are small or relatively small, while parasites are big business and thus the networks are happy with parasites.
    Publicly they may even say they do not allow parasites, but behind the doors something else happens.
    The mighty dollar rules any other considerations....

  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> If the user installed it, they want to earn rebates whenever they shop.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Installed it or had it installed by drive by Active X operators, or bundled with other stuff?
    I would be very interested to know how many people did actually install it fully knowing what it is....
    It reminds me of the guy who was here not long ago from OptInRealBig trying to legitimize his SPAM....

  11. #11
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    I would say my cookie is my property, and overwriting it is theft, I have a right to protect myself from theft.

    The user is on my site (store), on my server using my bandwidth. If it was bricks and mortar I would not tolerate a salesman from another store handing out coupons for another store down the road, I see no difference.

    If I in my terms and conditions have something along the lines "While on this website you agree that cookies generated by this website will not be interfered with in any way" then anyone (or any software)would be in violation by overwriting a cookie.

    If they leave the site without clicking and go elsewhere to find cheaper, fair enough, but if they click on my links then the sale should be mine. Just the same as in bricks and mortar shopping, if you go into a store and the prices are too high, you go out of that store and into another,you don't stand at the till and expect to get price you could elsewhere, and then have the manager take that money and hand it to the other store owner.

  12. #12
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by EcomCity.com:
    Is it sacrilegious to print the CoC on toilet paper rolls and give it out at networks events?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>It might be sacrilegious to toilet paper producers.

    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com

  13. #13
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Isn't it ironic. Ebates and TopMoxie might be the only ones willing to pay HappyPoon for his auto cookie setting detector tool so they can sue other sleezebag affiliates for interferring with their TOS and users choices.

    The Great Cookie Wars have begun....we need no fu*kin eyeballs to make money.

    Hey POON you want to go in with Charlie and make an S/W application that automatically stuffs 600 fresh merchant cookies into 200 million infected systems every hour on the hour. Before the victims could finish a fart we'd be able to deliver our load.....just kidding ...really!

    Mike & Charlie ...

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

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    I disagree. There are no policies stating you can NOT encrypt the affiliate URL address (in it's original format and must be clicked to set cookie) in any CoC that we have read to date. Some CoC do state you may not 'manipulate' the link .. but, encrypting it is not 'manipulating' the string if it is left in it's original URL address as copied from the tracking agent.

    Our service would gladly go to court against any parasite software company that challenged us because we DO encrypt some AFF links and they can not make a profit by stealing from us.

    Ray Thomas
    DesignerWiz.com CEO
    Development Resource & Javascript Public Archive Center
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    ABW Board: Category: Programming / Coding

  15. #15
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    Most of you people voting are totally wrong.

    The networks, including LinkShare, DO allow automatic cookie setting. And I am not talking just about pop-ups.

    Case in point: Linkshare allows eBates to automatically set a cookie. There is no click thru an affiliate link required. (I heard there is not even a registration required.)

  16. #16
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    While the rules seem mostly clear at first glance their is room for interpretation. IE: In CJ's case, you can find a thread where Todd says the key element to consider are the bolded ones below :

    You shall not cause any Transactions to be made that are not in good faith....

    Ahhhhhhhhhh, you see the light. These leaves massive room for interpretation that IMO causes confusion "not clarity" on this issue at hand.

    All I want is clear rules and for them to be enforced - it seems thats not what the networks want in creating this kind of terminoligy.

    ** Have you asked for change? **

  17. #17
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    Ray,

    Would you say that the URL Redirect Link Masker on your site would be in violation of any COC.

    In my opinion this would be a legitimate redirect to protect ourselves and therefore should not be in violation of any COC.

    It is just hiding links from those that would otherwise hijack it.

  18. #18
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    I'll add that ultimately just like parasites, it will be the merchants call and their terms of service that dictate what is or isn't allowed. Their TOS can and does supercede the networks.

    Most merchants are not going to be wanting to pay a potential commission when absolutely no marketing for thier company was provided. If the don't mind then I will either not join that program or apply and create cookies automatically for them left and right.

    How many times have I specificaly asked for merchants to update their TOS - a bunch! If nothing more than them being clear going forward regarding their rules, and the enforcement of them that will be fine with me.

    ** Have you asked for change? **

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador DesignerWiz's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Ray,

    Would you say that the URL Redirect Link Masker on your site would be in violation of any COC.

    In my opinion this would be a legitimate redirect to protect ourselves and therefore should not be in violation of any COC.

    It is just hiding links from those that would otherwise hijack it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No ... I agree that the URL - Redirect itself is a legitimate product.

    What I was directly relaying my disagreement to was the actual URL address in the string if it were not being masked through a redirect and just left on a web page in encryption ASCII format.

    You are very much in your right to use that method as far as we can construe from any CoC that we have read.

    As Happypoon stated, it really boils down to the actual merchant of each product link you are directing the visitor to.

    I hardly doubt any merchant would openly state 'You do not have a right to protect your commission if a parasite laden visitors browser is viewing your site and the parasite is waiting to rob you of your commission'.

    That word would spread like wildfire and the merchants affiliate program would only have parasites for affiliates in a short time.

    Educating the merchant is really the best option when you discover the merchant listed in any parasite program offers.

    Ray Thomas
    DesignerWiz.com CEO
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    ABW Board: Category: Programming / Coding

  20. #20
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> As Happypoon stated, it really boils down to the actual merchant of each product link you are directing the visitor to. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Yes it does matter the merchant very much because, IMO, 90% or more are lucky to be able create their own name, never mind their ability to know what's going on around them, or to them, and especially to us . . .

    Brian
    aka Cyclone

  21. #21
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    Auto cookie setting in the following manner is not allowed by Linkshare. The person there I been in contact with has told me so.

    Example: You go to a search engine and search for JC Penny Sale. You find a listing in the search engine. You click on that link and you are taken to a website page that has a list of all JC Penny sales.

    After letting that page set for a couple seconds, and without you clicking on anything on that page, a window opens up with the merchants site in it.

    That is against Linkshares rules.

    The person I have been in contact with at Linkshare said that "as described, the action would violate our membership agreement and we will take action"

    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  22. #22
    Affiliate Manager Allen Nance's Avatar
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    The first two sites are mirrors with different site urls. Both contain sex and gaming..

    The third result sets the cookie as does the eighth result,

    Second page:

    #2 result pops a cookie

    Third Page,

    #1 and # 10 result pops cookies.

    This is prevelant through out the net. Until someone protects the buyer from poping their cookies without touching themselves or their mouse, then we must search and destroy!

    Don't pop your cookies with out having fun!

  23. #23
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    Gearshopper

    I didn't literally mean "JC Penney Sale". I was just using that phrase as an example. I never searched for that until just now when I was trying to figure out what you were talking about. *LOL*

    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  24. #24
    Affiliate Manager Allen Nance's Avatar
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    Your mind works like a scammer!

    I look for the day, when every affiliate from every nation can climb to the mountain top and yell,
    'Free again, Free Again."

    Today is a national day of parasite free shopping.

  25. #25
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Gearshopper:
    Your mind works like a scammer!

    I look for the day, when every affiliate from every nation can climb to the mountain top and yell,
    'Free again, Free Again."

    Today is a national day of parasite free shopping.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    ??????????????????????????

    ~Michelle
    "All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy."
    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

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