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November 18th, 2005, 11:59 AM #1Will Recent CAN-SPAM Ruling Extend to Spyware/Adware?
There's an interesting article on ClickZ about the FTC holding companies liable for their affiliates' email campaigns.
It seems some affiliates violated the CAN-SPAM Act with their p0rn spam and the FTC also holds the merchant liable.
While it's interesting the FTC holds the merchant liable for infringements of CAN-SPAM, I can't help but wonder if this ruling could extend to other actions of affiliates. If a spyware/adware affiliate is convicted of a crime because of their software, its installation, distribution and use, can the government then go after the affiliate's merchants? If the merchant is liable for an affiliate's CAN-SPAM Act violations, then can the merchants also be liable for the actions of their parasitic affiliates (or any affiliate for that matter)?
While this is too soon to tell, I think this could serve well as a warning to merchants: Know your affiliates and how they generate sales for you. It will be interesting to see this play out.
November 19th, 2005, 03:02 AM #2
let's hope it will go that way.
seems that the public, authorities and legislators are waking up to the web realities, even with considerable delay.
patience . . . .
November 19th, 2005, 05:48 AM #3
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
Check way back when Shawn "scumbag" Collins was crying this meant the end of affiliate marketing.
It is pretty simple, if an affiliate continually breaks the law, and you as a merchant have been told this, your continuing to use them should be punishable.
Now this does not mean the end of affiliate marketing, because most people would never want to be within 100 feet of these scumbags, but those who flirt with the scum (think always have a bad seed friends but never themselves - COUGH!) should pay. No one can read someone else's mind, so you get some mulligans, but there comes a point when you use this bad behvoir as your own weapon.
If you were a brick and mortar store, and you knew if you handed 1000 flyers to a guy, the first thing he was going to do is super glue them all to the windshield of cars, you had been told he did this everytime, you knew he was going to do it again. Does that mean you should just use him again? Because its not like you are the one gluing the flyers to the windows?
November 19th, 2005, 01:00 PM #4
- Join Date
- January 18th, 2005
- St Clair Shores MI.
I'd love to see some network AM employees, and 3rd party AM firm employees, doing a perp walk over this ruling. The laws and this court case precedence, do apply to the entire affiliate marketing industry. Some major Ad agency execs are right now doing time for turning a blind eye to illegally draining their advertisers budgets using 3rd party unethical scumbags. Just because they stopped the practice (when alerted) or laid blame elsewhere, didn't mean squatt to their huge fines and amount of prison time. Some Judges do get it!
The more shanky affiliates purged from the system... and waiting for their court date... the better for us legit actors. Any greed driven merchant ignoring current events surrounding the corrupt morals of the online advertising industry deserve to share jail cells with their hired gun scumbags. Hope Spitzer and the FTC zeros in on some major brand merchants using the exact same tactics as these porn pushers employ.Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie
"What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"
November 21st, 2005, 08:16 AM #5
I, too, would like to see some jail time and not just fines. The fines just amount to the cost of doing business but jail time is a better deterrent and better justice.
It will be interesting to see how far this will reach. If merchants are responsible for their spamming affiliates, are they also responsible for their adware/spyware affiliates? Is the AM who approved these type of affiliates into the program also liable when the law is broken?
Accepting parasites into a program may look good in the short term, but it certainly does not look like a good long term idea.
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