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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager Allen Nance's Avatar
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    With the 10th being D-Day for the non compliant software vendors, will there be a formal announcment from BeFree regarding the status?

    Show me the Big Bucks!

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    I am not expecting any sort of announcement. As I understand it, the non-compliers have an unlimited amount of time to comply.

    Technically, they have 60 days after they are found to be out of compliance, but we don't even know if the networks found anyone out of compliance.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador
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    I think when they said 60 days, they were thinking 60 working days. Oh, and since you can keep up the ole web site a hummin' with a half hour work every other saturday, 60 working days...well dang! that's nigh on a year or two.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
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    Posted on Reporting.net:

    quote:
    Code of Conduct Update - Feb 10, 2003

    On December 10th, 2002, Be Free along with other affiliate solution providers issued a Code of Conduct proscribing a minimum set of standards that affiliates in order to promote a fair and level playing field within the affiliate community. Here is a summary of the three main provisions of the code (you can view the full text of the code here):

    * An affiliate may not intercept an affiliate commission from another affiliate via an automatic redirect.
    * An affiliate cannot modify another affiliate's web pages or use the content of another affiliate site to trigger an offer or pop-up.
    * Shopping plug-ins must clearly present terms and conditions upon install and must be easily uninstalled.

    When the code was released, we allowed for a 60 day period where partners who were not in compliance could bring their software into compliance. February 10th marks the end of the 60 day period. We are pleased to report that the majority of shopping plug-ins were very receptive to the code and brought their software into compliance. There were, however, some plug-ins that were found not to be in compliance at this time. Non-complying partners will be removed from Be Free's Performance Partner Program and will not receive support or technological assistance from Be Free. A communication has been sent to our merchants recommending that they not continue their relationship with non-complying partners.

    If you find instances of non-compliance with any Be Free merchants, please send as much detail as possible (including software installed, web sites visited, activities performed while visiting those sites, etc.) to codeofconduct@befree.com.

    Please note that we have also issued an update to the Code of Conduct that allows for the exclusion of affiliate links that may have been modified by affiliates (i.e. they may be using a redirect for tracking purposes). You can view the updated code at http://www.befree.com/code_of_conduc...></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Michael

  5. #5
    15 years and counting
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    Thank you Be Free for the update.

    It's not the big that eat the small... it's the fast that eat the slow. Jennings & Haughton

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Wow, I'm impressed that they made this statement. Bet we won't be seeing something like that posted by one of the other networks.

    Ron - 7 Days A Week Marketing
    Every day is a chance to learn something new and an opportunity to teach others.

  7. #7
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    http://www.befree.com/code_of_conduct.htm
    PUBLISHER CODE OF CONDUCT

    The following actions, practices and conduct, whether active or passive, direct or indirect, are prohibited:

    Interference with referrals. 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"). No Publisher or Technology Provider will automatically replace or alter any component of a Service Provider's technology that results in a reduction of any compensation earned by another Publisher. For example, a Publisher or Technology Provider may not use methods or technology to automatically replace a Service Provider's tracking identifier of another Publisher with its own Service Provider's tracking identifier or otherwise intercept or redirect an End-User from being referred through another Publisher's Link.

    Publisher may notify an End-User once that End-User has arrived at the Advertiser's Web site of an opportunity to utilize technology employed by that Publisher and obtain the End-User's consent via affirmative action upon each occurrence to proceed with the operation of such technology. Implementation of software application functionality requires that the notification be easily understood by the average End-User, that it occurs on each instance that the functionality is to be activated, and that it is not objectionable to the Advertiser.


    Altering another Publisher's site. Publishers may not alter, change, substitute or modify the content of or appearance to an End-User of another Publisher's Web pages, use that Publisher's content to obtain an End-User referral, or obstruct access to another Publisher's Web pages (regardless of receiving permission from the End-User).


    Software installation and de-installation. Publishers may not bundle downloadable shopping software applications with other applications, whereby the installation and de-installation is not obvious, easy or complete. Licensing and terms of all software downloads and applications of any type must be clearly presented to and accepted by the End-User, and de-installation must be obvious, easy and complete.
    Definitions:

    1. A Publisher Link is a link to an Advertiser where an active affiliate relationship exists with one of the undersigned affiliate service providers and that:

    Links to any of the following domains:

    bfast.com
    cc-dt.com

    qksrv.net
    commission-junction.com


    -or-

    Contains a parameter named 'afsrc' set to any value.
    e.g. http://www.mysite.com/redirect?offerid=12345&afsrc=1

    This 'afsrc' parameter option is provided to address the case where affiliates modify or mask the links provided to them from the affiliate service providers and it becomes impossible to determine that they are affiliate links based on their appearance.

    2. A Publisher Web Page is a page that contains a Publisher Link and is part of a website where an Advertiser and the Publisher have an active affiliate relationship.

    First Published: December 10, 2002

    Amended: February 10, 2003

    ____________________________________________

    Very admirable intent. Clairifying the status of a "publisher" needs some work as the real offenders run their BHO downloads posing as "merchants" yet they sell NOTHING. Looking over the anti-parasite/spyware boards since Dec 10th shows an alarming influx of new BHO schemers trying to capture commissions in clear violation of this CoC. Some method has to be put in place where ANY BHO has to pass the CoC complance tests before they are allowed to become active on the network or be issued any commissions. A non-compliant BHO affiliate or source code provider can play out this game with minimal expense by purchasing multiple replicated domain names or split commission licencees. All "incent" based web sites have the potential to partner with a non-compliant BHO technology provider and continue the commission stealing cycle flying under the network radar til caught and given 60 days notice. This sure puts an affiliate approval workload on 100% parasite free merchants like TigerDirect.

    Charlie ...

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

  8. #8
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    My interpretation of the posted announcement and the admended COC is that what we are currently seeing with particular software programs is what considered to be compliance with the COC. I doubt that the networks will be able to state to use publicly which technologies were found to be in noncompliance and dropped. My assumption then would be that if I'm still seeing a particular company associated with CJ, BF, and Performics links then they have been deemed to be complaint. As far as I've noted to date, that would be the major software discussed here at ABW most frequently. I would also have to guess (since detailed information probably cannot be given by the networks), that those found in noncompliance and given the boot are smaller companies or companies just geting into the game who did not have the resources to make the changes needed to their applications. In my cynical mind, a side effect of that would be that the competition to the *big* boys just got less with some smaller programs being dropped.

    With this addition to the COC

    quote:
    Contains a parameter named 'afsrc' set to any value.
    e.g. http://www.mysite.com/redirect?offerid=12345&afsrc=1

    This 'afsrc' parameter option is provided to address the case where affiliates modify or mask the links provided to them from the affiliate service providers and it becomes impossible to determine that they are affiliate links based on their appearance.


    I see the burden of compliance and the protection of our commission being shifted from the "software technology" companies to affiliates. If we do not code our sites in such a way to accomodate these software technologies, then we are just SOOL.

    And this may be being petty on my part, but it really gets under my skin when I see the networks continually referring to server sided redirects as "masked" links and the such. The connotation being that when server sided redirects are used by an affiliate, something questionable is being done on the part of the affiliate. Hell, ebates uses server sided redirects. Server sided redirects are a very common process used in the coding of db driven websites. There are many reasons why these may be used which go beyond just an affiliate tracking clicks. I have a side which utilizes them....the reason was soley a technical one. Initially the php was coded for the straight aff link to be parsed to my pages. However, there were a handful of programs I was joined with used what is considered special characters in their url's by php which caused the links to not function correctly. To overcome this hurdle, a server sided redirect had to be implemented. Nothing shady about that. This burden should fall on the networks... There are many affs out there using premade scripts to generate their db driven sites. They have little or know knowledge in programming, that's why they are purchasing these scripts. I imagine it will be out of their depth to implement the afsrc code into these scripts. Someone needs to step up to the plate and deal with this issue if the afsrc code is going to be the "solution" to continued redirect problems.

    If the networks will be shifting the burden to the affiliates to ensure that software does not divert our commissions, then I think they need to get on the ball and make sure affs understand completely and fully if their links are currently at risk and how to implement the afsrc code. I have seen thread after thread here where there is much confusion on the part of affiliates regarding this issue. I have seen other affs responding and attempting to assist their fellow affiliates with the issues and coding.

    And I would hope not to hear any implied statements that the affs should understand this coding.....afterall it's quite obvious that ebates understands little about the coding of the MMM and has to relie on TopMoxie to try and handle the technical issues with the software. And they have received input, assistance, and feedback from the networks regarding those issues. Affs should be given the same consideration regarding the implementation of the "solution" for the software technologies inability to distinguish server sided redirects.

    I won't even mention the issue of effective zero cookie.......

    Keep Your Hands Off My Cookies

  9. #9
    Merchant Linda's Avatar
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    First off, thank you BeFree for at least posting something on your site concerning the CoC. As of right now, I've not seen any updates on any of the other networks.

    So the bottom line is --
    Unacceptable and NOT allowed -- eBates (or any other TopMoxie software site) cannot redirect or overwrite affiliate links as long as your pages are manually coded.

    Acceptable and allowed -- Overwriting IS allowed by eBates (and any other TopMoxie software site) where an affiliate site is redirecting it's links using a database if the affiliate does not change HIS software program or his way of coding his pages.

    Acceptable and allowed -- eBates is allowed to overwrite cookies for return days when the customer bookmarks the merchant and goes back later to make his purchase making return days = zero if a user has MMM installed on his computer.

    Affiliate costs --
    Some software scripts for a redirecting database is complex and therefore purchased from a third party. If the affiliate doesn't have the programming knowledge to change the program then it will be up to the affiliate to pay money out of his pocket to get a programmer to make the necessary changes in order to protect his affiliate links from being redirected by eBates. End result ... must pay out money to keep eBates from redirecting my links. Who do we send the bill to? eBates? TopMoxie? The networks?

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