Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Sunny Miami
    Posts
    8,384
    Exclamation Affiliates beware ....
    The times are changing and if you are part of the problem, you are going to be held accountable....

    "Microsoft, meanwhile, has filed a lawsuit charging that a number of ERG Venture's affiliates used screensavers and other software to infect users' PCs."

    FTC Docs: http://ftc.gov/os/caselist/0623192/0...turescmplt.pdf

    Full story: http://www.informationweek.com/secur...leID=194300450

    This crap has hit the radar big time and these companies, slowly, one by one are going to be shut down. It will be a long, tough battle but if you are an affiliate and have links to this crap, you are part of the problem and can be held accountable.

    You keep supporting the parasites on your websites and you are not only part of the problem, you will be part of the lawsuits.....

    "The FTC complaint names ERG Ventures, LLC, doing business as ERG Ventures LLC2, Media Motor, Joysticksavers.com, and PrivateinPublic.com and its principals, Elliott S. Cameron, Robert A. Davidson, II, and Gary E. Hill, as well as Timothy P. Taylor d/b/a Team Taylor Made. The Commission vote to file the complaint was 5-0.
    The FTC has set up two ways for consumers who have had experience with these defendants to contact the FTC with any information that may be relevant to the FTC’s action. Consumers can send e-mail to mediamotor@ftc.gov or call 202-326-3504 to leave messages.

    The FTC’s case was brought with assistance from the Microsoft Corporation.

    The U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, D.C. is engaged in a parallel criminal investigation of the defendants in which search warrants were executed. These investigations demonstrate the joint commitment of the FTC and the Department of Justice to combat spyware."

    Stop promoting the crap and follow the high road to affiliate marketing ...
    Last edited by Andy Rodriguez; November 20th, 2006 at 08:55 AM.
    Andy Rodriguez Consulting, Affiliate Program Management and Consulting Services, Since 2001
    www.andyrodriguez.com | E: abw@andyrodriguez.com | P: (888) 931-ANDY (2639) | Skype: affiliatedoctor | AIM & MSN: AffiliateDoctor | Subscribe To Our ABW Forum Posts | Follow me on Twitter | Join Our Affiliate Programs

  2. #2
    15 years and counting
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    6,121
    I hope companies like IAC, Ask.com ... and even CJ are next on the list for spreading their cr@pware, cursors, icons, screensavers...

  3. #3
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
    Rhea's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    New York, USA
    Posts
    6,195
    Andy, I want to believe that the end is near for companies and individuals who profit from the misery of others but I've heard this clarion call before. And nothing really changes.

    I wonder what would happen if all the CPA companies went offline for a year. Hmmm.

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
    Join Date
    March 13th, 2006
    Location
    Colorado / Florida
    Posts
    4,411
    [QUOTE=Rhea]I want to believe that the end is near for companies and individuals who profit from the misery of others but I've heard this clarion call before. And nothing really changes.

    Hopefully this time it will!!
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  5. #5
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Winter Park, FL
    Posts
    6,930
    FTC is getting smarter - and note the huge difference here in this news - Microsoft is helping to find and prosecute the ashwipes!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Microsoft, which assisted the FTC in its investigation, has filed its own lawsuit against Timothy P. Taylor, a Tennessee man who is accused of distributing the Media Motor package of spyware and adware as part of seemingly-innocent screensavers. Others were named in the suit.

    "These defendants were packaging a broad array of unwanted and intrusive programs with seemingly innocent programs," said Scott Stein, a Microsoft senior attorney, in a statement Tuesday. "They didn't tell users about the numerous hidden programs that would be installed with the screen savers, and provided only an illusory option to stop installation. We have a responsibility to help protect our customers and to do whatever we can to prevent this kind of practice."
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Love 'em or not, Thanksgiving for affiliates this year should include a smile for Microsoft finally assisting the FTC!

  6. #6
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    St Clair Shores MI.
    Posts
    17,328
    It was Microsoft who help jump start www.stopbadware.org with un-named donations and is pressuring the FTC and Congress to act on the Adwhore affiliate industry. Behind the scenes Microsoft, since the World seems to hate them, is pressuring Google and Yahoo and MSN to blacklist infestation sites from their SERPs and Adwords displays. Siteadvisor.com is installed on all Google webfacing and support employee's systems.

    Real effective would be for them in a conversation, with some Adwhore infestation affiliate over Adsense or SERP whining, to use SiteAdvisor and if RED just hit the blacklist button on their domains while talking to them. Blacklist means Google Bot will not visit their sites, Adwords tags all their keywords at 10.00/click and the freee SERPs go supplimental till removed. First Search Engine to do this gets the PR benefit and trust of their loyal searchers.

    From www.stopbadware.org front page.. If you know of badware-distributing websites or unpleasant applications that you'd like to see on this list, let us know http://www.stopbadware.org/home/story so any ABWers can rat out the sleazeballs amongst us.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    4,889
    I hope MS helping the FTC is the winning combination that's needed. If not, the MS lawsuits alone could make a very nice dent in this crapware.

    Only when the penalty is multiple times larger than the money made by these low-lifes, will we start to see some improvements.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
    www.gocmc.com info(AT)gocmc.com | 330-259-1223

    Join us! - MiNeeds.com | DiscountCandleShop/CheeseSupply | Feng Shui Plaza

  8. #8
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Nunya, Business
    Posts
    23,684
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea
    Andy, I want to believe that the end is near for companies and individuals who profit from the misery of others but I've heard this clarion call before. And nothing really changes.

    I wonder what would happen if all the CPA companies went offline for a year. Hmmm.
    I actually took another of Andy's post as good news:

    "One in 10 holiday shoppers can expect some form of spyware, adware, or other internet attack as they conduct transactions on the web"

    http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=81566

    It's not good that anybody has that type of interference but I thought it was higher. So if 1/10 can expect problems, 9/10 aren't. Take that with what was just posted, people involved in this type of stuff are getting targetted more and more. Then add in the generation coming up today are being brought up with computers and are a very knowledgeable tech type generation and I'm sure they want clean computers. Things look good. Still need to keep up the good fight. I don't think it'll ever go completely away but it will get better as time goes on.

  9. #9
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    12,817
    Good, as long as the FTC doesn't start thinking all affiliates are bad. Increasing consumer confidence is good for overall sales.

    But, I'm wondering where Microsoft is finding the grounds to sue. I thought that they'd have to show that MS itself was harmed by the defendants. Are they going to say it's costing them by increasing customer service calls? Not being sarcastic...the article doesn't seem to say, and I'm interested to know the angle.

  10. #10
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Winter Park, FL
    Posts
    6,930
    Quote Originally Posted by Leader
    But, I'm wondering where Microsoft is finding the grounds to sue. I thought that they'd have to show that MS itself was harmed by the defendants. Are they going to say it's costing them by increasing customer service calls? Not being sarcastic...the article doesn't seem to say, and I'm interested to know the angle.
    follow up article the next day says:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "Microsoft, meanwhile, claims Taylor violated the Washington Computer Spyware Act and the Washington Consumer Protection Act. The company is seeking damages from the defendant, but did not specify how much it is asking the court to award."
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    http://www.betanews.com/article/Micr...tor/1163542276

    more of the same on it from MS itself, here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/p...14MSFTCPR.mspx

  11. #11
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Winter Park, FL
    Posts
    6,930
    Some snippets from the FTC complaint (which was filed in Reno, NV and got a signed injunction against the bad guys and got their assets froze as well):

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Another example of the ERG defendants' deceptive distribution practices is Privateinpublic.com, a website operated by the ERG defendants. The Privateinpublic.com website purports to offer free adult videos featuring hidden camera footage of women changing clothes in private dressing rooms. Consumers who attempt to download the free videos promised by Privateinpublic.com do not receive the videos they anticipated, but rather are silently infected with the Media Motor Application.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Sixth, the exploitive software programs alter Internet Explorer browser settings, including but not limited to, adding websites that are controlled by or associated with the ERG defendants to the computers' "trusted zone" thereby creating a security hole within Internet Explorer that permits the ERG defendants greater access to the consumer's infected computer.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Eighth, the exploitive software programs disable at least two popular anti-spyware software programs: Lavasoft's Ad-Aware SE ("Ad-Aware") and Microsoft's Windows Defender.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    In truth and in fact, in numerous instances, consumers cannot prevent the installation of defendant Taylor's software package. Rather, even if consumers reject the terms of the EULA, defendant Taylor's software package -including the ERG defendants' bundle of additional code, files, or content -is downloaded and installed onto consumers' computers. This additional code, file, or content, among other things, causes a stream of multiple advertisements to appear on consumers' computers, tracks consumers' Internet activity, alters browser settings, and alters existing software products.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    WHEREFORE,plaintiff, the Federal Trade Commission, requests that this Court, as authorized by Section 13(b) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 5 53(b), and pursuant to its own equitable powers:
    1. Award plaintiff such preliminary injunctive and ancillary relief as may be necessary to avert the likelihood of consumer injury during the pendency of this action and to preserve the possibility of effective final relief, including, but not limited to, temporary and preliminary injunctions, an order freezing assets, and a financial accounting;
    2. Enter a permanent injunction to prevent future violations of the FTC Act by defendants;
    3. Award such relief as the Court finds necessary to redress injury to consumers resulting from the defendants' violations of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 5 45(a), including, but not limited to, rescission of contracts, restitution, the refund of monies paid, and the disgorgement of ill-gotten monies; and
    4. Award Plaintiff the costs of bringing this action, as well as any other equitable relief that the Court may determine to be just and proper.

    Respectfully submitted:
    WILLIAM BLUMENTHAL
    General Counsel
    Federal Trade Commission
    600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Room 288
    Washington, D.C. 20580

  12. #12
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    May 31st, 2006
    Location
    Houston TX
    Posts
    4,731
    i think it's gonna be a settlement like what we have seen with gator and then the company will be sold/renamed to another name and still boarderline their old activities.

    on a different note, I did not know that IAC, ask is spreading spyware, etc

  13. #13
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Winter Park, FL
    Posts
    6,930
    Quote Originally Posted by FairFieldGetaway-EricEwe
    on a different note, I did not know that IAC, ask is spreading spyware, etc
    yerp, Zeus has it right, as usual. search ABW and you'll find lots about it.

  14. #14
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    3,126
    Looks like I picked the wrong day to join the screensaver program :;
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  15. #15
    Outsourced Program Manager Chris -  AMWSO's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Location
    Bangkok
    Posts
    11,273
    Looks like I picked the wrong day to join the screensaver program :;
    Yea you might want to back out of that one fast

    Thanks for sharing the good news Andy!!

    Cheers

    Chris
    Affiliate Marketing by AMWSO. Skype - chrissanderson ::: TEL 1-720-336-1784 ::: www.amwso.net
    Join our affiliate programs :Vaper Empire, Iolo, Art of Tea, or See ALL our Programs here

  16. #16
    Newbie bizzer's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 12th, 2007
    Posts
    109
    Quote Originally Posted by Donuts
    "These defendants were packaging a broad array of unwanted and intrusive programs with seemingly innocent programs," said Scott Stein, a Microsoft senior attorney, in a statement Tuesday. "They didn't tell users about the numerous hidden programs that would be installed with the screen savers, and provided only an illusory option to stop installation.
    As I mentioned in another thread, my Yahoo! messenger upgrade (which pops up suddenly out of nowhere) tells you about security updates and urges you to just click to install. Once I installed it I find that they have also installed the Yahoo! bar, and set my homepage to Yahoo! and also set my default search to Yahoo!

    Would that be in the same playing field as 'hidden programs... and provided only illusory option to stop installation'?

  17. #17
    Newbie taufiq0177's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 6th, 2007
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    3
    I agree...screensavers can be an irritant sometimes...

  18. #18
    Member stellarseller's Avatar
    Join Date
    July 1st, 2007
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    124
    Not anything new but, as technology advances...culptits can be exposed and fined, shut down, whatever, but 10 more pop up in there place. It is up to company's like the CJ's to set the example when you get that big.

  19. #19
    Newbie SuzanneMarie's Avatar
    Join Date
    August 5th, 2007
    Location
    CO
    Posts
    48
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeus
    I hope companies like IAC, Ask.com ... and even CJ are next on the list for spreading their cr@pware, cursors, icons, screensavers...
    Can anyone shed light on how CJ fits into this thread? I'm relatively new and only signed up for two CJ programs (godaddy & ebay)

  20. #20
    Outsourced Program Manager John Jupp's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 23rd, 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,502
    Yes I can tell you.

    Some networks operate a strict ethical code of conduct and will not entertain either affiliates or merchants which promote products that either steal commissions or install software that "enhance the customer browsing experience".

    One network was recently banned from this forum for just that sort of alleged activity in that they advertised some of the products that do just that.

    Other networks are very merchant oriented and will do nothing to harm their override. Read the threads in this forum to find out who belongs to the good the bad and the plain ugly.
    Flambi Media Limited - USA/UK/EU Affiliate Management Expertise

  21. #21
    I tried unsuccessfully to report a piece of shi**ware to the FTC earlier this year. It was in complete breach of a number of trading laws on advertising, despite this, they failed to even investigate, or contact me with any kind of response. The business in question was at the top of clickbank for about a month I believe, and doubtless took many thousands of dollars for a sub-standard and unlawfully advertised product, which could not deliver upon its promises.

    It is a shame I do not currently posses the same clout as the Microsoft Corp.

    At least this is a clear signal of intent. The internet does need cleaning up, as rogue traders are literally everywhere, making it more difficult for the rest of us to make an honest living on the web. Once they're all sued, perhaps there'll be some trust around for the rest of us!!
    Last edited by thumpersaustralia; October 9th, 2007 at 01:11 AM. Reason: typo

  22. Newsletter Signup

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. BocaJava affiliates beware
    By davidh in forum Commission Junction - CJ
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: February 14th, 2011, 06:19 AM
  2. 1000Bulbs.Com - Affiliates Beware
    By MaketheMoney in forum Google Affiliate Network - GAN
    Replies: 70
    Last Post: February 23rd, 2010, 02:29 AM
  3. US Gambling Affiliates Beware!!
    By jimh009 in forum Midnight Cafe'
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: April 5th, 2004, 01:25 PM
  4. GoCollect Affiliates Beware
    By jollygoodpirate in forum Commission Junction - CJ
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: March 13th, 2004, 03:02 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •