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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru jkcity's Avatar
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    How to stop TopText program from changing links on your web site.

    I would recomend that any webmaster that don't want thier links changed by this program which is quite prolific read the article at http://slashdot.org/features/01/07/31/2015216.shtml
    which tells you how you can stop it.

    If you can't be bothered to read all that it basically comes down to doing this.

    "Assaf Henkin of eZula told me the only way to keep TopText links from marring our sites was to email all domain names we wanted blocked to:

    support@ezula.com"

  2. #2
    Bimbo With A Brain! silver trophy Saz's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting that link, jkcity. I'm sure many members will be greatful for this little bit of info.

    I know my site is only a little one, but I don't make any money from it at all (it costs me money!), so I'll be damned if I'm going to allow fat cats to get even fatter just because they can afford to 'buy' certain words I have on my pages!!
    Saz: Naturally Blonde, Naturally Dizzy!
    No longer Editor of the Community Crier.

    Don't mind me, I'm having a BLONDE moment!

  3. #3
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    I just sent them about 20 domains.

    Who wants to be they get sick of all the email they're getting.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
    Featured Article: Free Comprehensive SEO Guide
    My Guide to Building a Successful Website
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  4. #4
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    try this too

    <meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="TRUE">

    Someone said using that meta tag works as well.
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
    Featured Article: Free Comprehensive SEO Guide
    My Guide to Building a Successful Website
    My Blog|My Webmaster Forums

  5. #5
    SitePoint Guru jkcity's Avatar
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    Originally posted by aspen
    I just sent them about 20 domains.

    Who wants to be they get sick of all the email they're getting.
    Thats what I am worried about they are a ll nice now dsaying you can remove domains by sending them to them, but what will they do when everyone sends thier domains, I belive most webmasters will.

    Will they just lose this database of addresses to block, my feeling is they will, if they where unethical enough to change links on a site they would certianly be unethical enough to lose this database of domains to block.

    Maybe I am just being pesamistic and they will live up to thier word.

  6. #6
    Bimbo With A Brain! silver trophy Saz's Avatar
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    I'm kind of hoping that some genius programmer will come up with a script that we can add to our pages to prevent TopText from doing it's thing!!!
    Saz: Naturally Blonde, Naturally Dizzy!
    No longer Editor of the Community Crier.

    Don't mind me, I'm having a BLONDE moment!

  7. #7
    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jkcity


    Thats what I am worried about they are a ll nice now dsaying you can remove domains by sending them to them, but what will they do when everyone sends thier domains, I belive most webmasters will.

    Will they just lose this database of addresses to block, my feeling is they will, if they where unethical enough to change links on a site they would certianly be unethical enough to lose this database of domains to block.

    Maybe I am just being pesamistic and they will live up to thier word.
    Well I am certain there must be intellectual property rights issues here. As the intellectual propery owner of your web pages you have the right that they be viewed in their original form and not be transformed into a derivative work. There can also be no doubt here that you are suffering commercial damages, and their is a very real chance that the links appearing in the web page can be construed to be an endorcement by you of the products/services/web sites linked to.

    Wow - I am sure a propper lawyer could get right into this. Class action?

    Which brings me to another point that I have raised a couple of times before. With all the talk of copyright that goes on in these forums, the issue of registering copyright (which is possible in certain juristictions such as the USA) often comes up. Has anyone actually registerd copyright over a web site? If so, then this might be one such case where you could walk into court with your copyrighted web site and a evidence of the unauthorised derivitive work.

    It has got to be a court case waiting to happen.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    I've got to bring this up, again (I did in the smarttags rant thread as well).

    In North america (not sure about elsewhere) the user owns the browsing experience. This software is user-installed (by choice or not, doesn't matter... it's up to the user to uninstall) and thus any changes to your page which are consented to by the user must be brought up with the user...

    This is my understanding anyways.
    SVP Marketing, SoCast SRM
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  9. #9
    Who Me? JeremyL's Avatar
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    As someone mentioned in another forum. I am hoping some programmer will write a worm like sircam that does nothing but remove this program from people pc's

  10. #10
    SitePoint Guru jkcity's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Jeremy W.
    I've got to bring this up, again (I did in the smarttags rant thread as well).

    In North america (not sure about elsewhere) the user owns the browsing experience. This software is user-installed (by choice or not, doesn't matter... it's up to the user to uninstall) and thus any changes to your page which are consented to by the user must be brought up with the user...

    This is my understanding anyways.
    I don't know if this counts because it is not them who are actually altering the content ,a third party alters it for them before they get it.

  11. #11
    Who Me? JeremyL's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jkcity


    I don't know if this counts because it is not them who are actually altering the content ,a third party alters it for them before they get it.
    Also, there is another issue on top of them just altering it. it would be one thing if they altered it to offer just information without making any $$$. But the main purpose of this software is to make money off your content and not compensating you for it. It would be like if napster started charging for downloading music but paid none to the artists.

  12. #12
    Who Me? JeremyL's Avatar
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    For any of you looking for legal amunition of the grounds of copyright infringement. This pdf might give you dome ideas on what to base your claims on. The questions about frames being legal may be very helpful. It talks about prior cases and stuff.
    http://www.corporate.co.nz/html/documents/friedman.pdf

    Also
    http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200...l?tag=mainstry

  13. #13
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Does this not have any effect in Internet Explorer 6.0 beta?

    I have been looking for these ads ever since I installed TopText a while ago and gave it permission to access the Net through my Firewall. However I haven't seen anything yet.

    Anyway, there is a really short Javascript available that while it doesn't disable these pathetic programs, it controls where you can redirect them to.

    You can find it at www.takebacktheweb.com. It works for both TopText and Surf+.
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  14. #14
    SitePoint Zealot CDitty's Avatar
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    I just downloaded Surf+ and went to takebacktheweb.com and the Surf+ links still work. Didn't see any toptext links though.

    Chris

  15. #15
    SitePoint Zealot LunaC's Avatar
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    Does anyone know if this works?
    http://www.searchking.com/ezulakiller/
    They say they have a script to stop ezula from changing you pages (instead of just redirecting them away).

    http://www.whirlywiryweb.com/q/ezula.asp
    has a script to detect it on a users system so you can let your visitors know they have this installed and how to remove it.

    If someone here has top text installed, could you please let us know if these work?

    I agree that if they are dishonest enough to steal our visitors, they are probably dishonest enough to "lose" the list of domains that asked to be removed. (Perhaps even store our email address and sell them later... yeah, I'm rather cynical today. )

    I'd rather focus on how to control what is shown on my websites from my side while they are still doing this... then fight to make them shut down!
    Last edited by LunaC; Aug 18, 2001 at 17:39.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Just sent an e-mail with 20 domain names - would encourage everyone else to do the same.
    7000 sitepoint members - average of what? 3 domains each perhaps? 21000 domains for them to remove.....get to it!!

    (I also set up a web-based e-mail account just for this purpose, no sense in giving them even more free marketing materials is there?? )

    H
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
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  17. #17
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    The first option im not sure of but it refreshes your browser and my advertisers would not like that. The second method I tried and it told me I had surf+ installed when indeed I didnt. I even went through the whole removal process just incase and nothing. Im lost, have run out of options and takebacktheweb.com doesnt work either and they wont update the script at all.

    Originally posted by LunaC
    Does anyone know if this works?
    http://www.searchking.com/ezulakiller/
    They say they have a script to stop ezula from changing you pages (instead of just redirecting them away).

    http://www.whirlywiryweb.com/q/ezula.asp
    has a script to detect it on a users system so you can let your visitors know they have this installed and how to remove it.

    If someone here has top text installed, could you please let us know if these work?

    I agree that if they are dishonest enough to steal our visitors, they are probably dishonest enough to "lose" the list of domains that asked to be removed. (Perhaps even store our email address and sell them later... yeah, I'm rather cynical today. )

    I'd rather focus on how to control what is shown on my websites from my side while they are still doing this... then fight to make them shut down!
    IMinteractive.net Web Hosting and Development.
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  18. #18
    Rusted & Weathered HumanClay's Avatar
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    Well, I sent in 4 domains.

    I'm curious, if this is ruled illegal to do, can't everyone with a web page file a lawsuit agains this company?
    Steve Caponetto - [profile] [e-mail]
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  19. #19
    SitePoint Zealot
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    I just spent an hour plus reading in the forum at Jims World. I'm not at all sure from what I see there that a request to have your site taken off the list is being honored.

    They also recently got into some discussions about security issues. Much discussion about both Ezula/Kazza and Surf+. You might want to take a look. Ezula/Kazza, I believe has lost its Truste certification.

    It's very interesting to say the least. I do know there are a bunch of very angry people there. There are two threads of about 50 pages. Go to the second one to get the latest info.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Zealot LunaC's Avatar
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    Does anyone here have top text installed so that they could check some sites that had been emailed to be removed? I'm afraid to install it because of the problems I've read about with it's uninstall damaging the registry.

    Is there an email addresss to remove your site from Surf+ or Gator?

    (I've emailed them about the sites in my profile when I'd first heard about it.)

  21. #21
    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
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    The only e-mail I know that you can use is support@ezula.com, not aware of Gator or Surf+, I haven't heard anything about being requested to be removed there. As Matt said in this week's Tribune, we are counting down the days until someone with enough power and resources can file a lawsuit against these scumbags.

    I have e-mailed eZula and I'm hoping they honor my request.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Zealot LunaC's Avatar
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    Well, I took the plunge and installed this in my alternate system and I must say that it's worse than I thought. On my site aimed at kids and newbies wanting to design a website there is a link to a porn site on the main page (a surf+ link)!

    Surf+ is much more common than toptext from what I've seen (every page I've visited!).

    I don't see any toptext on the sites that I'd emailed to have removed, but it may just be the luck of the draw as they are nowhere near as common.

    I did find one on my Dads site though, so I'll have him email about removing it and see what happens.

    Now, I'm off to find a way to remove this from my sites!

  23. #23
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    Top Text is backpedaling

    I submitted some URLS to them and here is the response awaiting me this morning.


    Hello,

    Thank you for your interest in eZula's new TopText technology. TopText is an optional Web browser plug-in, affirmatively chosen by users to augment their browsers' display of Web pages. TopText is a client-side application that resides on the user's personal computer and operates on pages from anywhere on the Web, just like any other client-side application, including for example ISPs' proxies and the like. It overlays a web page with an extra set of contextually-relevant links, clearly differentiated in thick yellow from the browser's standard hyperlinks.

    Extending upon the way typical Web browsers permit users to change the font, size and color or hide images on a displayed Web page, TopText offers users a filter or lens to supplement their browsing experience. After users choose to use the TopText plug-in, the users are notified that yellow links overlaid by TopText are not part of the Web pages they are viewing. Only users that chose to use TopText will be able to see TopText's yellow links.

    We believe that TopText enriches the surfing experience by offering a willing user additional options without interfering with any of the text of your website. The additional links are keyed to keywords and phrases, and not to the web pages viewed.

    As a general matter, eZula does not exclude websites from viewing through the TopText plug-in on a site-by-site basis. We apologize if misquoted statements in a Slashdot story gave the mistaken impression that we would do so. However, TopText does not modify the text of your pages or attribute any extra links to you - your authorship of the original page remains clear and distinct.

    Use of the TopText technology is well supported by current law.

    We hope this addresses your concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can answer any further questions about the TopText technology.


    Thank You,
    The eZula Team



    So it would seem that Guerilla scripting is the way to go...
    peck! peck! go to heck...
    thepigeon

  24. #24
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Can you imagine what it will be like when/if there are 100's of companies doing the same thing? I can, and it's very scary!

    This technology has the potential not only to make a real mess of your site, but it could take all the advertising revenue you earn from your site.

    Scripts are being written that you can place on your site prevent some of this now but how bloated will your code be when you have to do it for every piece of software that does this?

    I don't usually advocate "big brother" governmental intervention but this is one time I might welcome it.
    Last edited by allie; Aug 27, 2001 at 10:37.

  25. #25
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    Originally posted by Saz249
    I'm kind of hoping that some genius programmer will come up with a script that we can add to our pages to prevent TopText from doing it's thing!!!

    Hi everyone,
    As of yesterday with the changes made to surfplus the searchking fix doesn't work, you will find a fix for surf, ezula and smarttags at
    http://www.trafficg.com/scumware/index.htm
    I believe this fix is still working.

    If you have downloaded these programs the only way to uninstall is via the registry details here
    http://www.whirlywiryweb.com/removesurfplus.htm

    If you would like to learn more visit here
    http://www.ihelpyouservices.com/forums/t415/s.html
    and here
    http://www.ahfb2000.com/webmaster_he...=1792#post1792

    Great to see everyone joining the fight to stop this insidious form of advertising that amongst other things, would turn the internet into one giant shopping mall.
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