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  1. #1
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    I've seen many posts all around that are great ideas for whats the best way to proceed in our fight and I was hoping we could keep an organize section here for them.

    I'll start off by saying.

    1) Merchant education is the key point. I dismissed it earlier as unproductive but consider this.

    If merchants are plainly made aware that they are being charged commissions on:

    a) Purchases where a user went to their site directly.
    b) From bookmarks a user has made.
    c) From a user typing in a URL directly
    d) From as a result of search engine traffic

    We have a great chance of getting them to drop Morpheus.

    2) We have to educate the merchant that dropping Mporpheus is not an end all of the matter. Let them know "a network" is proposing a standard that will openly make them pay commissions on these types of transactions even if they did drop Morpheus. How? There will be many applications such as this if the standard is openly accepted and there will be companies who sign up with "web sites that are meant only as a front" to gain membership in their programs. The end resoult will be them constantly reviewing their program membership and always wondering how much commissions tghey are getting dupped out of just like us. It's imperitive we stress this and get them to voice their opinion to the networks that this is not a standard they want either. Collectively, the merchants have much more power than we do. Lets get them working for us!

    3) Mike had a great point about how having them in the program may increase reversals and fraudulent orders. These are surely hot spots for the merchants as much as they are for us. Lets expand on this.

    4) We have a merchant list prior to all of this crap happening, and we know there have been other merchants who have dropped them as a result. Make sure that every merchant who has dropped them gets added in the merchantes against parasites forum. Lets garner support from these companies first to help fight the potential abuse they will have to face outlined in item 2 above. I don't want to sound pesimistic but they can demand and get representation better than we ever will be able too. We have done a very poor job in getting them to help us. Lets change that first and get the battle figthing from both sides. Getting them to realize they need representation is the key point!


    5) Also, if x number of merchants have dropped Morpheus since they became aware of this, doesn't it indicate they also consider their tactics as unethical. Sense they did drop them and likely consider them unethical do you really think they will think a toolbar or system tray application to steal visitors already in their store will be ethical? I don't think so!


    Lets use the percentage of dropped merchants as facts supporting merchants do not condone the previous actions or new plans for standardization.

    6) For the ones that haven't dropped them, I personally feel like they are being smoothed over with talk like "they are now in compliance" and are still not "really aware of the issues". We have to make them aware!

    7) For every merchant that isn't already associated with them. They are potentially on our side. We must fight this war not only from the remaining offending merchants but we have to send letters to "every merchant" making them aware of this issue regardless if they are in the program or not. Lets stop them from being a sucker target before it's to late. I've sent letters to all linkshare merchants and am working in addressing this with performics merchants on the side. Who will help with the CJ merchants and the Befree merchants? I want names and actions here not - thats a good idea. Who's going to help with this?

    I'm know their are other good actions we can take to be effective - what are they and whats the best way to accomplish them? Lets get moving folks the time bomb is ticking.

  2. #2
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    Well it's been about 12 hours and not a single entry or suggestion has been posted here - LOL.

    Seems funny we all have time to gripe but yet very few (and I really mean very few) have time to organize to effectivly fight this.

    Oh well.

    Here is one more thought I want to add when you talk with your merchants.

    Many of these merchants also send out email promotions either as a consumer who has signed up with them or as a new customer who signed up for them. In either case, you have to figure these are goldmines for the companies using this.

    Did anyone think to mention that a companies own email promotions will become targets for commissionable sales with the new standard.

    Wake up folks we can fight this effectively only by getting the merchants on our side. Tell them now and ask them to fight this standard with us. They really have good reasons to not want it implemented!

    Here is a letter I send to The Brylane group today and you may be able to use some or part of it for yourself. Feel free to do so:


    Hi,

    My name is --edited-- and I am an affiliate of your through performics. I had sales for your family of companies last month as outlined below.

    --edited--

    I'm writing over a deep concern I have with your association with Morpheus / BuyersPort as an affiliate partner and would appreciate your thoughts and feedback on this topic.

    I'm going to assume you are unaware of the tactics they use so I'm going to try my best as well to inform you of the issue at hand.

    Morpheus who was caught once again recently overwriting affiliate links via pop-ups. They really do not have a web site where they do marketing of your products. They reside as a program that runs in the background watching and waiting where a user goes on the internet. If a user visit's my site and sees --edited-- as well as the other marketing material and then clicks on my affiliate ad they are transferred to Chadwick's. Morpheus is watching for this and displays a popup and as soon as the user clicks on it, my affiliate id is overwritten and Morpheus will get credit for the sales that I did the marketing for. Without trying to sound to critical, you are dealing with people and openly allowing them to steal commissions from a business partner that positively promotes you. [bold]I view this as very unethical and hope your involvement is due to lack of understanding rather than a real intent to allow other parties to defraud me of commissions I would earn from my work. There seems to a very real conflict here wouldn't you agree.[/bold]

    At first glance you are going to say but I can't drop Morpheus (which is what I'm asking you to do) they have way to many sales. I want you to consider this.

    1) In the case above where they overwrote what should have been a transaction in my account it was simply redirected to them. Did you miss that sale? Obviously not!

    2) A user has bookmarked you site and selects it then enters your "great store". Guess what happens. Morpheus does the same thing to you they just did to me. They issue that popup get the user to click on it and what happens - you pay a commission to them now a sale that you had with out them. It's actually much worse for you than outlined. [bold]Any time a user types in url, goes to your site from a bookmark or even goes to your site from a search engine morpheus and their user base will be requiring you to pay a commission on sales you would never have had to in the first place.[/bold] I point all this out so you'll understand I'm not the only one being robbed from your involvement with these people. Outrageous isn’t it.

    This issue seems very clear to me that if you have BuyersPort in your program, you are accepting the deceptive and devious tactics they use to generate sales and are willing to anger your affiliate community and pay commissions on sales they are not responsible for. If you support them, I feel you are supporting unethical behavior.

    If you think about the above scenario, it should be easy to see that having Morpheus / BuyersPort in your program is a disadvantage because affiliates who work hard to promote your products will likely turn their back on you and stop promoting you (one of the reasons I'm writing). Once affiliates stop promoting you, BuyersPort will be left with no one to entice sales from except for the users who go directly to your site or go to your site from a search engine result. [bold]Either way, you will be paying them commissions on sales you wouldn't have had to if they were not in your program. [/bold]

    The affiliate community has been up in arms over their recent actions to overwrite links "again" and another affiliate network provider "Linkshare" has stepped forward to try and address the angry affiliate community while attempting to appease Morpheus as well.

    You may have heard that Morpheus is "now in compliance", however what you may not have heard is the "new standard" Linkshare is proposing for these types of applications and how it will impact you going forward. I don't want you to be "unaware of what it means" so here is basically what the "new standard" that Linkshare is proposing does mean.

    BuyersPort and others like them will not be able to do pop-ups or in any way interfere with what the user is doing in "the browser". The fact they have changed their code to no longer issue popups or directly overwrite affiliate links is why Linkshare says they are "now in compliance". However, Linkshares proposal specifically allows for Morpheus and others like them to reside on a toolbar or in the system tray and to blink an icon or take any action they want to try and draw the consumers attention away from the current browser. This means they can steal (intentional pun) try and entice a user to go to the Morpheus site and make their purchases (after they are already in your store) rather than making the purchase through the current browser session the consumer started.
    The end result of the proposal is this - NO direct overwriting of links, no popups, no browser intervention but do anything you want to on the system tray to try and entice the user to your site. Now imagine this: Suppose your store is all glass and the consumer can look out the windows at any time. You are doing business and you notice all of your customers leaving the store and going down the street to do their shopping. You look out the window and right in front of your store on the sidewalk is a competitor in a flashing sailboat. The competitor is screaming "we have a sale going on and you might get your purchases over here cheaper and even if you don't we'll still give you a rebate on your purchases in a year or so.
    What would you think of this? Is this what you would want allowed and called an "ethical business practice" because this is a new method of attracting sales and termed a new technology". This is already happening "right now" in the online world and I don't know about you but the fact that Linkshare accepts this as "ethical" and is proposing to adopt it as a standard is very concerning to me.

    These same actions will be taken on users going to your stores through a search engine, through bookmarks, or by them typing in your url directly. Do you really want to pay commissions to BuyersPort in these cases? [bold]You already are and will continue to do so if these practices or not stopped.[/bold]

    To see more concerning linkshares opinion on these subjects as well as affiliate concerns, see this message board thread at http://abw.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&...9&m=7846050921

    And an extension of the topic here http://abw.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&...9&m=1886083921

    I ask you to consider these points very carefully because it will impact your profitability and your relationship with your affiliates. I encourage each and every one of you to take a stance on this matter and if you agree that these are unethical and deceptive practices I urge you to do two things:

    Kick BuyersPort out of your programs
    Let Linkshare know [bold]you do not want them proposing this as a standard where others will be able to force you to pay commissions on sales where you shouldn't be. [/bold]
    By the way, a meeting is scheduled soon for the upper members of the major affiliate providers (performics included) to discuss this topic and address making it a standard. I hope that you will see this is a severe threat that will undermine your companies profit in the future and I'm asking you to join in and help fight this battle. Talk these issues over with performics and let them know your stance. Talk with every other company you know and get them to take a stance too. Frankly, your company has much more earnings to lose from it being implemented as a standard than I will ever dream of.

    The affiliate community is a very unorganized and does not have the legal expertise, and has not carried the weight needed to make a meaningful impact on the proposed standard and even worse, I see where reputable companies such as yours continue to partner with them. It's been very frustrating for me to think I have partners who's intent for whatever reason is to screw me out of my hard earned commissions in advertising your products. Again, I hope this is from lack of knowledge rather than intent.

    With your help and support, we can begin to be better partners in ensuring effective online advertising is done in an ethical way and that we both profit from it.

    Some merchants have already started stepping up and have begun to drop BuyersPort from their program. See: http://abw.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=frm&...9&f=1526051621 The merchants who have, are being rewarded with better and more marketing from the affiliate community too. I encourage you to become a part of this group as well.

    There is also a merchant only forum where you can openly discuss this issue on the AbestWeb site run by Haiko. I invite you to become a part of that community as well and become more involved with your affiliate's too!

    I'd appreciate your prompt attention in these matters. I hope that with your support, we can get these unethical behaviors stopped so that merchants and affiliates will become more profitable in the process.

    I hope the information I have provided will help you deal better with these issues. The media is starting to give some coverage of this issue and it's only a matter of time before the real affiliate perspective is given. I urge you to distance yourself and all of your companies who have great reputations away from this boiling pot.

    I would very much appreciate hearing a response from you regarding this matter as well.

    Thank you very much

    -- edited --

    ==================================================
    I'm sure someone here will find reasons to criticize what I've done. Until you take some action or provide some resonable input I suggest you think it over though. The point is I've tried to attack this from every angle their I could think of in one fail swoop.

    For the lurkers. I'll be sending out a bunch more of these as well. Put up your dukes boys cause I'm fighting back.

    "For the Networks" some of us are fighting and we will effively undermine your "Morpheus is in complienace" theory. Don't think this issue is going to be smoothed over.

    Now I ask again. Who wants to help get email addresses?

  3. #3
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    How many total CJ merchants are there?
    I am of the impression that they have already, by-in-large, been contacted.

    The Wolf Credo: Respect the elders. Teach the young. Cooperate with the pack. Play when you can. Hunt when you must. Rest in between. Share your affections. Voice your feelings. Leave your mark.

  4. #4
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Way to go Happypoon. I'll shorten down the letter a bit and add in some more bitting call to action and send to some of my LS and BeFree merchants. All the CJ ones do not seem to respond and I see 80% less CJ product sales this year vs last year. Bad omen as we head into the Christmas season.

    Are there any hidden connections with the programmers of the parasitic "Affiliate Applications" and IdeaLab's group of incubated companies? IdeaLab's Bill Gross sure gets a lot of coverage at F**kedcompany.com as a less than ethical man. IdeaLabs is behind Commission Junction and influences all their actions.

    WebMaster Mike

  5. #5
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    Ssanf, there are still an astonishing number of merchants / affiliate managers who haven't heard about this stuff at all, let alone realized that it has anything to do with them. The day before yesterday, I talked on the phone with a merchant who operates through both CJ and Performics, and he had never heard of parasitic link placement, by that or any other label. It's pretty clear that the large affiliate networks are in no hurry to tell merchants what's going on. For the foreseeable future, merchant education is up to us.

    Contact your merchants and express your concerns. There is value to EVERY letter and EVERY phone call. It will either open someone's eyes for the first time, or reinforce how serious the issues are.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Andy's Avatar
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    EVERYBODY CONTACT YOUR MERCHANTS!!! Every affiliate MUST do this. Even if you just lurk here, make a commitment to spend an hour a day calling and E-mailing your merchants about this situation.

    You will find most do not understand what is going on. Commit to contacting every one of them!

    The software companies state that the end user downloaded their program knowing full well what that download included. My stance is that given this statement as fact, if the end user clicks on a link on my site that goes to a merchant, they want me to get the commission, not the software program.

    And anything that occurs after that click interferes with their decision to buy from me. And that is THEFT - IT IS WRONG!

    If the software companies want to stand pat on their position that the end user has made the decision, that's fine. But they can't skew it in their favor. When the click is made on my page, it's my commission, not theirs. The end user made that decision by clicking on MY LINK!

    If the merchants all drop the parasites, it doesn't matter what the networks think, it doesn't matter what the software companies do. No merchant wants bad press because of this. They want customers. They want to make money.

    Educate them! Buckworks is right: every phone call, every E-mail counts!

    Andy

    AFFILIATE MARKETING STANDARD: The site upon which the initial action to buy occurs is the site the commission is paid to. Period.

  7. #7
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    There is one more thing I want to add I just thought of.

    I've made a recommendation for a new section in parasiteware forum for "Parasites detecting and educating your users" (many people will not know what a BHO detect script is) and suggest we put what we're doing in regards their too.

    I just had a thought that my detect script is passive in that it allows the user to enter but issues a popunder that the user will see later.
    I'm going to change mine to be two parts one will remain passive but for the MORPHEUS users, it will not allow them access. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img].

    I urge everyone to make this change immediately. If we can show engough of their users that it is a pain to have to find sites that allows access for shopping we help nullify them using the tool and at least let them share some of our frustrations by them using it [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img].

  8. #8
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    happypoon-
    I read your post yesterday, but did not respond yet, because, well, it's a great post and I have been thinking about what to say. Just because not many post, though, do not be discouraged!

    Somewhere, I am sure, the Gods of War are laughing.

  9. #9
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    I'm not so discouraged I've still posting and still thinking about how to handle this right!


    I wonder......... where should I redirect the morpheus users? I know some good smut sites that will popup the crap out them to where they will darn near have to reboot. LOL

    Put up your dukes boys!

  10. #10
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    Oh, and great letter, by the way, Happypoon! I am going to copy it, and modify it to my needs, then start, once again, contacting merchants.

    Somewhere, I am sure, the Gods of War are laughing.

  11. #11
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    I recommend that www.shop.org NOT BE allowed to attend this Policy meeting unless they place on their site information regarding the double dipping of merchants by the parasites. They should also send out an alert to all their members with a link to that page of information. Short of that effort and assigning someone from shop.org to post their stance at ABW we can only assume they condone using parastic BHO Affiliate Applications for their members.

    Key people at shop.org for making a decision are listed below from their web site.
    "Shop.org Board of Directors Election Results
    The following individuals have been elected to two-year terms to the Shop.org Board of Directors. To read more about your new Board Members, click on each person's name to read the information provided to the Shop.org Nominating Committee and membership during the election process.

    RETAIL

    Bill Bass, SVP, e-Commerce and International, Lands' End
    Julie Bornstein, VP, Ecommerce, Nordstrom
    Gene Domecus, SVP, e-Commerce, Macys.com/Federated Direct
    Dennis Honan, VP and GM, Customer Direct, Sears
    Monica Luechtefeld, EVP, e-Commerce, Office Depot
    Susan Neal, V.P. Business Development, Gymboree
    ASSOCIATE

    Elaine Rubin, Partner, Retail Options
    Julie Michaelson, VP, Retail, Interactive Marketing, America Online, Inc.
    The new Board members join the following returning Board members to comprise the 2002 Shop.org Board of Directors:

    RETAIL

    Michael Crotty, VP Marketing, Neiman Marcus
    Cathy David, Vice President, Storebrand Websites, Target.direct
    Rich Last, Vice President, Merchandise, J.C. Penney
    Sally McKenzie, Division VP, Eddie Bauer
    Shelley Nandkeolyar, EVP and President-Internet/Direct Commerce, Martha Stewart Living
    ASSOCIATE

    Chuck Davis, President & CEO, BizRate.com
    Angela Kapp, President, Angela Kapp Consulting"




    WebMaster Mike

  12. #12
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    lol, much as I like that idea, happypoon, give them an opportunity to remove parasites from their site first, maybe you'll save a sale....maybe 2 options 1) Yes, remove parasites from my PC 2) No, I want to keep the parasites (and you redirect to some junko page, lololol)

    Somewhere, I am sure, the Gods of War are laughing.

  13. #13
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    I my opinion the affiliate managers should be given the opportunity to eliminate parasites and educated, and all that good stuff.

    If they don't, then it is time to educate the upper management and investors.

    These affiliate program "managers" who allow parasites to syphon money from honest merchants and investors with insider help are going to do enormous harm to affiliate marketing when the media starts to look under the surface.

    I still remember back when affiliate marketing was a means of generating new sales.

  14. #14
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Actually, a few letters to some Boards of Directors might not be a bad idea.

    It is their job to maximize shareholder's profits.

    The Wolf Credo: Respect the elders. Teach the young. Cooperate with the pack. Play when you can. Hunt when you must. Rest in between. Share your affections. Voice your feelings. Leave your mark.

  15. #15
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    What makes you people think the directors and shareholders will understand a single word you say? You people amaze me. Even if they did, all the shareholders will do is throw money at the shopping applications and networks instead.


    Frank

  16. #16
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    Ah, another in depth post. Now, THAT'S amazing, lol. You gonna sit there and criticize, schill, or help out?

    Somewhere, I am sure, the Gods of War are laughing.

  17. #17
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    Mind if I just sit here and smile for a bit?

    I don't know what contribution I can make, I'm really here to see where things are going and I seem to be getting a handle on that. I thought you might have some amazing new shopping application freezer in the works, or papers filed at your local court etc. But all I see is people passing up their chances to get on board with the new technology while seeming to be unable to stop it.

    So I have only one plan in mind now. Tell me - is JadaKiss married?


    Frank

  18. #18
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> while seeming to be unable to stop it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Never underestimate the power of what is RIGHT.

  19. #19
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    I believe the Washington Post has already sued gator and are kind of familiar with the workings of these kinds of people. Obviously, since they are a media giant, any story they print will likely be noted and followed up with.

    Anybody in here with good writing skills want to send something to the editor? I'll just bet we stand a good chance of getting it printed how these people operate and provide a true affiliate perspective. Not one where it's muddled over with there is no standard.

    Tell them "they say lack of standard" - "We say there is a standard, it's the one we signed with them that said we would get paid for marketing their products which resulted in sales". "We really don't understand why these same merchants would deliberately and knowingly sign up with these other merchants who undermine our efforts and steal our commissions. The fact they maintain the relationship with them even after the facts are exposed is even more concerning."

    "We need the american justice department to become involved and quickly look into how these people are defrauding us of our commissions."

    The amount of monies being diverted on internet sales is no small amount.

    Who'll sign up that can do a good job on this?

  20. #20
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    I should hope anyone capable of writing that powerfully is banned from this board already!

    The industry is over and all you can do is hope to prolong your agony.

    If you have anyone persuasive and of impeccable integrity you would do well to rid yourself of the fool before Haiko does. You cannot win and it will only cost you the money you could have hoped to earn in the meantime.


    Frank

  21. #21
    Domain Addict / Formerly known as elbowcreek Thomas A. Rice's Avatar
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    nm, [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  22. #22
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I wonder......... where should I redirect the morpheus users? I know some good smut sites that will popup the crap out them to where they will darn near have to reboot. LOL~Happypoon<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Augh, don't send 'em there! It'd just give networks and merchants an excuse to deactivate you (for linking to porn)! And would only convince your former viewers to NOT uninstall the parasiteware.

    If you don't care if they uninstall it, then the Free Clip-Art sites are just as bad in terms of popups, browser-crashing junk, circular links, etc.--but their content is clean.

    There is no knowledge that is not power.~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador Nova's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by schill:
    I should hope anyone capable of writing that powerfully is banned from this board already!

    The industry is over and all you can do is hope to prolong your agony.

    If you have anyone persuasive and of impeccable integrity you would do well to rid yourself of the fool before Haiko does. You cannot win and it will only cost you the money you could have hoped to earn in the meantime.


    Frank<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    I think you are in the wrong Board!

    a member like you are one of the reason this scums are happening! I can't believe remarks like you are not ban in this forum!

    We are doing something that is right!
    and you are just trying to start a BS remarks.
    Shame on you!

    go somewhere else.
    this forum is for the efforts to make a difference.

    we are doing something and we are fighting for a good reason. (not to be taken advantage!)

    Love Life to the fullest. we only get ONE chance! :-)

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