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  1. #1
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    New York
    In this post Steve Pike outlines a propsed corporate policy for BeFree to protect affiliates against ParasiteWare(TM), please post your opinions and suggestions accordingly.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Be Free, Incorporated
    August 2002

    Affiliate Exclusions in Shopping Plug-ins

    Status of this Memo

    This document specifies a set of conventions for the affiliate marketing community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements. Comments should be sent to This page is hosted at


    This standard specifies a set of practices and protocols meant to protect the relationship between affiliate partners and the merchants with which they work. This will require cooperation among affiliates and the producers of shopping plug-ins and will result in the predictable and equitable assignment of commissions and credit.

    1. Scope

    In this document the term 'Shopping Plug-In' describes software that is installed on a user's computer and generates revenue for the software publisher through pop-up ads or by generating affiliate links for the software publisher when the user visits a site with which the software publisher has an affiliate relationship. In this document, the term 'Shopping Plug-In' refers to any software which exhibits this type of behavior.

    The problem that we will be addressing is specific to preventing the generation of pop-ups and diversion of commissions from affiliate sites by Shopping Plug-Ins.

    2. Link Exclusion

    This standard proposes a format for Shopping Plug-Ins to exclude certain classes of click-through URLs from consideration when generating a pop-up or inserting links that give affiliate credit to the Shopping Plug-In publisher.

    Shopping Plug-Ins must provide a mechanism for preventing pop-ups and claiming affiliate commissions when traffic originates from an affiliate link. Any method that achieves this end is acceptable; however, it must at least cover the cases listed in sections 2.1 and 2.2.

    2.1 Exclusion based on Domain

    Because a large number of affiliate links redirect through one of the major affiliate solution providers, an automatic exclusion MUST apply when a user clicks on a link whose click-through URL explicitly contains any of the following domains (listed alphabetically):


    2.2 Exclusion based on URL Parameter

    Affiliate links can appear in forms that do not explicitly contain the domain of one of the major third party affiliate solution providers. In these cases, there needs to be an explicit way for an affiliate to signal that a link is an affiliate link.

    To achieve this end, this proposal suggests a parameter added to the click-through URL that signals an affiliate link. This parameter should be short, but unique. The proposal for the name of this parameter is 'afsrc' (Short for Affiliate Source) so an example link might look like:

    <a href=>Click Here</a>

    When encountering a link with a URL parameter of 'afsrc' regardless of its parameter value, the Shopping Plug-In software provider must not present a pop-up or attempt to claim affiliate credit on the destination domain.

    Copyright Notice

    Copyright (C) Be Free, Inc. (2002). All Rights Reserved. This document may be copied and distributed, but only in its entirety and this copyright notice must be included.

    Please post your a reply here

    <font size="2" face="Verdana">Haiko

    The secret of success is constancy of purpose. ~ Disraeli

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Frankly Haiko, I think this is BS on BF's part!

    Because I, like most of us, am very interested in this particular issue; I just read again all the posts in the "Update" thread in the BeFree Section. Now I have a few questions for Steve Pike.

    Sarah, with LinkShare, made an offer to BeFree to "...share our agreement terms with you in an effort to establish a standard formula for companies with this business model."

    My first question to you Steve is simple. Did you take her up on her offer?

    Since I know some of the parasiteware folks, I know for a fact that the LS Terms and Conditions, coupled with their contractual changes really put a hard-line policy down for them to follow. It would hardly be collusion for BF and LS to share the same language since it is very complete.

    Secondly, if you have contacted LS, and plan to share this language, when exactly do you expect the release?

    Forgive me, but I wonder if you are simply getting on the bandwagon perception-wise as opposed to really taking action.


    You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

    Mahatma Gandhi

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    >>I know for a fact that the LS Terms and Conditions, coupled with their contractual changes really put a hard-line policy down for them to follow.<<

    And that, IMO, is exactly what is needed at BeFree (and CJ and Performics).

    Linkshare leads the way. Others are playing catch-up... and they're not very good at it.

    BeFree made a step and I applaud that. Was it an effective step? Well, its effectiveness seems to be based on the goodwill, good intentions, and strong moral fibre of the parasiteware folks...

    Raise your hands, class -- can anyone tell me what is wrong with this picture?

    Dawn is nature's way of telling you to go to bed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Raise your hands, class -- can anyone tell me what is wrong with this picture?

    ummm ... too much wiggle room for scumware?


    "Laziness, Impatience, Hubris. Pick any three" ~ YAPC 19100

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Proposals are nothing but empty words until they become backed by contract law. An old salesman told me once....Money Talks & BullS*@* Walks. Until the dupers and parasite scum HAVE TO SIGN on the dotted line it will be business as usual.


    Don't Worry Mama, It Won't Get Freaky!

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