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  1. #1
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    This article may fall under the "CJ: Please fix this!" category!

    http://www.benedelman.org/spyware/180-affiliates/

    This is a must read for all affiliates with any network
    Mash Your Motor!

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the link. In fact I have been planning an article about WhenU's "coupons" (almost all for CJ merchants), and their effects on other affiliates and on merchants.

    However, the article I released today -- the article linked above -- is not an article about WhenU. Rather, it's about 180solutions / MetricsDirect and their Zango and n-CASE products.

    As to "CJ: Please fix this": I certainly document behavior that, in my judgment, violates CJ's rules, and that harms merchants and other affiliates. So there's definitely room, in my judgment, for CJ to take action here.

  3. #3
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    quote:
    As to "CJ: Please fix this": {snip} for CJ to take action here.



  4. #4
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    That is a very comprehensive piece of work and explains the situation very clearly.

    Maybe all AM's of programs linked to 180Solutions should be sent a link to the article.

    What have CJ got to say to defend not kicking 180Solutions from the Network.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Nova's Avatar
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    quote:
    What have CJ got to say to defend not kicking 180Solutions from the Network.


    They working on it!

    What COC stand for? Crooks Overwriting Commission
    Don't worry tracking is Infected

    Live life to the fullest, You only get 1 chance. Enjoy it while you can... Nothing last forever!

  6. #6
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    Yes, working on how to make it seem like 180Solutions comply.

    But at exactly what point do the likes of 180Solutions overwrite the cookie.

    Is it when the visitors browser loads the affiliate page.

    When the visitor clicks on a link within the affiliates page.

    Or when the visitor arrives at the merchants site.


    I ask because if it's the latter it is totally out of our hands, but the first two cloaking the links should offer protection.

  7. #7
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    quote:
    Originally posted by SeventiesMartin:
    But at exactly what point do the likes of 180Solutions overwrite the cookie.

    Is it when the visitors browser loads the affiliate page.

    When the visitor clicks on a link within the affiliates page.

    Or when the visitor arrives at the merchants site.


    180solutions' trigger conditions are, in general, pages on the merchants' sites. So the cookie overwriting generally occurs just after the visitor arrives at the merchant site. I don't think this is a problem affiliates can address -- can't stop 180's efforts via (for example) cloaking the links.

  8. #8
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
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    Ben, do you have plans to publish the article in any journals or trade mags? I'm asking because if you'd like to, but you can't get it published, would you consider trimming it and taking out a full page ad in a couple of important publications? I'm asking that because if you put up a Pay Pal donation button for that purpose, I'll drop some bucks in your hat. I think others would, too.

    Just a thought.

  9. #9
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    Rhea,

    I don't generaly publish my research in print journals -- such long delays, etc., and often the journals then try to claim ownership of content I wrote! In contrast, when I publish online (whether in PDF, or better yet just ordinary web pages), Google indexes all page contents, and folks seem to find the articles just fine via search engines, online and print news coverage, etc.

    I've been slashdotted a couple times in the past few months, and I wouldn't be surprised if this article also ultimately gets Slashdot coverage. As to major media: I've been in touch with some major print and online publications, and I wouldn't be surprised if one or more of them run the story.

    So -- Maybe we should see what happens in the next week or two, then revisit your suggestion.


    Ben

  10. #10
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
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    Sounds good. I just think we'd all like to see this information presented to the merchants, seeing as how they don't exactly get accurate information from other sources.

    An alternative option would be we buy you a table in the exhibit hall at CJU. Feeling brave?

  11. #11
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    I've actually been thinking about attending CJU. I'd learn a lot, and I might have some interesting facts to share with attendees.

    But it's not a slam-dunk. Three problems: Most seriously, I'm not sure I'd be welcome there. Also, I do have some conflicting obligations (school!). Finally the costs of the trip are not insubstantial -- airfare, hotel, and then CJ's registration fees on top of all that.

  12. #12
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    Ben:
    quote:
    the article linked above -- is not an article about WhenU. Rather, it's about 180solutions / MetricsDirect and their Zango
    I may have have erred, but not greatly, it's hard to keep the different species of cockroaches seperated sometimes !

    As for the paypal suggestion, count me in too, this is material worth subscribing to. I also followed the link http://www.affiliatefairplay.com/ on your site and this looks like it may hold some promise.

    Maybe we're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel here.
    I'm certainly thankful that someone is doing this work in a credible and evidence preserving manner. This presents some very hard facts that no logical, intelligent person would dare to try and explain away as "conspiracy theories" and "tracking is not affected" type smoke, mirrors and propaganda!

    Its only a matter of time and a few lawsuits till all networks agree that such behaviour could not possibly be condoned by any ethical and trusted turd party!

    Hit em agin Ben, and agin and agin.
    Mash Your Motor!

  13. #13
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    School, huh? You've got a good start for a thesis in that white paper you wrote.

    As I said, if you want to go to CJU just put up a Pay Pal donation button. I'd bet we can raise some significant bucks here. Right guys?

  14. #14
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    quote:
    I'd bet we can raise some significant bucks here. Right guys?

    I'm game, a $100 ain't nothing compared to what we're losing, lets get Ben on an airplane complete with Big Macs and Fries.
    Mash Your Motor!

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador Nova's Avatar
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    Count us too, we will gladly make the donation, just let us know!

    If we all support the good cost the time for us will come!

    Like Rhea said "Feeling Brave"?

    What COC stand for? Crooks Overwriting Commission
    Don't worry tracking is Infected

    Live life to the fullest, You only get 1 chance. Enjoy it while you can... Nothing last forever!

  16. #16
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    What about Mike and Charlie? Charlie don't eat much! They could team up on the COC and have all the details worked out by the time the plane landed.

    And a lawyer, Ben probably knows a good one that can bring some notice of lawsuit forms with him. Maybe some cease and desist type stuff. Oh yeah, and a photographer cause we'll all be wanting some pictures. I want mine iframed!
    Mash Your Motor!

  17. #17
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    I would most definetly pitchin some so you can enlighten a few people. Seems like a decent investment since CJ won't enlighten the merchants.

  18. #18
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    Hi Ben,

    Possibly the most lucid, well put together article/research I have ever seen on the subject. I would be happy to make a not inconsiderable donation to any cause that can forward our plight in which you are involved. Be it getting you to CJU or whatever you deem most productive.

  19. #19
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Great articles and effort Ben. I'll add some links to them from my sites. I alos noticed at http://www.affiliatefairplay.com/merchant_list.html a nice link setup to some of the more popular BHO parasites list of merchants. Revealing and these are just a few of the more then 200 parasite affiliates not even counting the thousands oartnering with WhenU -180Solutions and gator.

    All told hundreds of millions of our shoppers have point of sale incent popups coming from these 600+ merchnats interferring with the sales process with their lame enticements to steal our cookies and sales commissions.

    Merchant Lists (click to see merchants)
    BoxTops For Education
    BuyersPort (click Our Retailers)
    CashBackBuddy
    Ebates
    GiantRewards
    GreasyPalm
    iGive
    PointsPassport
    SchoolCash (now SchoolPop)
    SchoolPop
    ShopAtHomeSelect
    UPromise
    WebSearch
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  20. #20
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    I think you should get ahold of Revenue Magazine about running it in there.

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

  21. #21
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    Great article, Ben. Definitely a must read for any AM to understand the impact of this software on the performance of their program.

  22. #22
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    Truly an eye opener. Just like Mike and Charlie have been saying all along.

    So, what do WE do about it?

    I'm not a lawyer, but it seems like a good time to think about a class action suit.

    What about the Federal gov't? Would this type of theft fall within the ICC or some other department?

    What about conspiracy? 1800+Networks+Compliant AM's= we lost a bundle.

    I'd like to get my small share of those millions that have been stolen.

    Should we notify the AM that his merchant is on the list cited in the study and ask when the creeps will be removed? Or, should we contact the owner/CEO?

    What else could we, as a group, do?

    Frank
    "Just the facts, Ma'am." Sgt. Joe Friday, Dragnet

  23. #23
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    quote:
    Should we notify the AM that his merchant is on the list cited in the study and ask when the creeps will be removed? Or, should we contact the owner/CEO?


    many only want to see the money coming in, they really don't care who it was diverted* from.



    _____
    *stolen

  24. #24
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    One day, 180Solutions and the others could well have their day in court.

    And what about the Networks and AM's, would they not be implicated, aiding and abetting, an accessory to the crime. The crime would not be possible without their involvement.

    They don't just lock up the safe cracker, the getaway driver serves time too.

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    quote:
    Should we notify the AM that his merchant is on the list cited in the study and ask when the creeps will be removed? Or, should we contact the owner/CEO?
    Go right to the top! Find out who the major stockholders are, do research on the company. Get names.

    At this point, if the AM isn't aware of what's going on, they aren't doing a very good job, IMO. There have been news stories in almost all the major media, it's all over the Internet, how clueless would you have to be to not be aware of this?

    In this day and age, after the Enron and WorldCom fiascos, big companies are eager to distance themselves from areas that could be potential PR problems for them in the future. This has all the elements of turning into a major stink in the near future: privacy issues, spying, corruption, tortious interference, unfair business practices, fraud, you name it.

    Go right to the top!

    Andy

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