SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru jkcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    746
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    When you think things can't get any worse for webmasters gator.com steps in.

    http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-6897620.html
    You can see a screen capture of this at (sorry I tried to post the link but it did not work) If you want to see it you will have to goto http://gethighforums.com/Forum10/HTML/001412.html and follow the link I posted there, sorry about that I don't know why the link did not work.

    Its really starting to make me sick these days, how far some companies will go to get advertisments on my site that I did not ask them to put on.

    It seems every day that new companies are coming up with new ways to steal all the little bits of revenue that we can make.

    If this keeps up how will sites be able to keep making money online, The thing that gets me is that not of the big publishing like msn, yahoo or aol never stand up and do anything about it, You might think they don't have to but them three control most of the advertsing they should be standing up as industry leaders.
    Last edited by jkcity; Aug 18, 2001 at 06:15.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard iTec's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    2,243
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    suckin the food out of the mouth who feeds it, and doing it very silently... my question is who would want these on there computer??? and if it was on your computer why wouldnt you delete it???

    does anybody know where these programs stand legally (ie: could you sue them for copyright... as technically they are reproducing a derivative of your work, without concent. or loss of income... i know the second woud be hard to prove, but the potential is there.)

  3. #3
    What's HTML?
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,701
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm not sure if there's any existing laws (Chris, do you know?), but I'm sure there will be soon. I have not seen a television that cuts out network commercials and replaces them with their own commercials. Can you imagine the fit that ABC, NBC, CBS, and the likes would have? And they would be entitled to their fit.

    Now, the same thing is happening to us webmasters. It's time to stop moaning and take action. Do me a favor, write 3 letters today. One to your Senator, one to your Representative, and another to your Governor (don't be afraid to write more.) Explain the situation to them, and make sure you explain it in terms they understand. Tell them something must be done to stop the ever-expanding industry of advertising hijacking.

    If you're a great writer, please post a letter template here so that others can take action. Hey, if all 7,000 of us write 3 letters, I can guarantee you someone will listen.
    Ryan Kuhle - A Proud Advisor - Got Questions? Just Ask!
    Get your website started for less than $20! Click Here

  4. #4
    SitePoint Guru jkcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    746
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    http://www.internetnews.com/IAR/arti...869591,00.html

    looks like the big websites are starting to move.

    This looks like good news to me, If they go through with it I wonder if they will go after over companies to e.g ezula

  5. #5
    What's HTML?
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,701
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That's great news! Thanks for the article.
    Ryan Kuhle - A Proud Advisor - Got Questions? Just Ask!
    Get your website started for less than $20! Click Here

  6. #6
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    East Lansing, MI USA
    Posts
    12,937
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    One right reserved for the owner of a copyright is the right to make derivative works.

    Someone installs a program on their computer. This program filters incoming webpages, changes them, and displays them. This is making and publishing a derivative work.

    Now you could argue it is the user doing this, however it isn't. These programs communicate with a central server owned by XYZ corp (pick your scumware maker). It is this server that is altering the content. Even if this alteration is at the perceived request of the end user it doesn't matter, you're altering and republishing a copyrighted work.

    I have no doubt that these companies will eventually be shut down.
    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

  7. #7
    SitePoint Evangelist thewitt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    468
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by aspen
    I have no doubt that these companies will eventually be shut down.
    I do not share your optomism.

    By your argument, ad filter software that I install also violates the copyright of the author and as such I am breaking the law by filtering ads.

    The fact that this stuff runs on the end users computer, and is installed by the end user, makes it very difficult to fight.

    This is by no means a clear-cut issue of copyright infringement as many people here are saying. There are many legal departents - ours included - having great difficulty with this one. It's costing a bundle just inderstanding the legal ramifiations and trying to figure out who to sue here to stop these tactics. I don't think "the big boys" are going to have any more luck than we are, and the IAR article did not give me the warm and fuzzies either.

    -t

  8. #8
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    East Lansing, MI USA
    Posts
    12,937
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    By your argument, ad filter software that I install also violates the copyright of the author and as such I am breaking the law by filtering ads.

    The fact that this stuff runs on the end users computer, and is installed by the end user, makes it very difficult to fight.
    First of all it disgusts me that you install ad filters.

    Second of all its not the same issue.

    The key part of the issue is that your computer must communicate with a central server to serve toptext and all of that. You, the end user, are not altering content, it is this central server. You have simply selected to view this altered content. It would be no different than downloading a hacked version of Tomb Raider that has Lara Croft naked. Even though this program is on your computer, you are not the one who is doing the content alteration.

    When using ad blockers your computer does all the filtering. This would be the equivalent of holding up a piece of paper on your computer screen.
    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

  9. #9
    SitePoint Guru jkcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    746
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree with you on that aspen its bad enough when users install ad blockers, but when webmasters start installing its just awful.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard iTec's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    2,243
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I personaly think that not only is it the program creators that are scum, but also the ones that are advertising through these mediums that are just as bad if not worse then the companies that supply, without them the companies would not exist...

  11. #11
    SitePoint Guru jkcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    746
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by iTec
    I personaly think that not only is it the program creators that are scum, but also the ones that are advertising through these mediums that are just as bad if not worse then the companies that supply, without them the companies would not exist...
    totally agree, the advertisers in my opion are worse because they are what cause these programs cause without them then no one would make them.

    I am sure most of the companies that advertise in these programs are not reputable, and will most likely not last long.

  12. #12
    What's HTML?
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,701
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by iTec
    I personaly think that not only is it the program creators that are scum, but also the ones that are advertising through these mediums that are just as bad if not worse then the companies that supply, without them the companies would not exist...
    Cheers. Although, I wonder if these companies realize the negative effect that they are having on the Internet? I'm sure they're somewhat aware, but do they know the whole story?

    The salesman of these new programs are very talented. They're not going to outright tell these companies that they're helping cripple the Internet. They wouldn't sell any ads!
    Ryan Kuhle - A Proud Advisor - Got Questions? Just Ask!
    Get your website started for less than $20! Click Here

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard iTec's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    2,243
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by RKuhle

    Cheers. Although, I wonder if these companies realize the negative effect that they are having on the Internet? I'm sure they're somewhat aware, but do they know the whole story?

    The salesman of these new programs are very talented. They're not going to outright tell these companies that they're helping cripple the Internet. They wouldn't sell any ads!
    come on, the people in charge of marketing a MAJOR corporate website is going to know what works what doesnt and what is ethical or not, the guy @ marketing for scumX knows that (s)he is being sneaky stealing ads from innocentY... they know what they are doing, and if ever they pulled the excuse that they didnt know... then i would seriously doubt anything that company ever said again about anything.

  14. #14
    What's HTML?
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,701
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by iTec


    come on, the people in charge of marketing a MAJOR corporate website is going to know what works what doesnt and what is ethical or not, the guy @ marketing for scumX knows that (s)he is being sneaky stealing ads from innocentY... they know what they are doing, and if ever they pulled the excuse that they didnt know... then i would seriously doubt anything that company ever said again about anything.
    Sure, the guy in the marketing department may very well know, but does the CEO know? I doubt it. I was talking to a CEO last week, he didn't even know what e-Commerce is. You can not assume that someone on the other end knows how they are affecting you. How would they know? They don't even think about it until someone tells them.

    Have you written your letter yet?
    Ryan Kuhle - A Proud Advisor - Got Questions? Just Ask!
    Get your website started for less than $20! Click Here

  15. #15
    What's HTML?
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,701
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    For example, check this page out from eZula, Inc. http://ezula.com/Advertisers/Advertisers.asp
    It's their advertising sales page. Nowhere does it state their advertising practices are unethical (even though you and I know). Nowhere does it state how their software is stealing advertising revenue from web publishers. Nowhere does it say that this program will have a negative effect on the growth of the Internet if it isn't stopped. Of course, you and I know all of the above is true.

    How will the corporate clients know of this unethical business practice if nobody tells them. Their marketing department may no "dirt-world" marketing, but not online marketing. If you want this stopped, you must take some action. The methods of taking action are limitless.

    As of right now, I am removing the BMG (advertiser of eZula) links and advertisements from my website. I will follow this up with an email to my affiliate representative at WebSponsors. This email will simply state I will no longer endorse BMG, or any other company advertising with eZula. I will also explain that supporting an advertiser who partakes in unethical marketing practices will damage the WebSponsors reputation. I will follow up my email with a printed letter to both BMG and WebSponsors, alerting them both of their damaging practices.

    So on and so forth...
    Ryan Kuhle - A Proud Advisor - Got Questions? Just Ask!
    Get your website started for less than $20! Click Here

  16. #16
    What's HTML?
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,701
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I just thought I would post the email I just sent to my representative at WebSponsors. Feel free to use this email as a template when writing your letter to various affiliate networks/advertisers/partners. This copy is a little rough, so you may want to touch it up a little.

    -----------

    Derek,

    I am writing to you in regards to the BMG Offer that WebSponsors is currently running. I wanted to inform you that I will no longer be supporting the BMG campaign. In fact, I just removed all of the BMG links on my website.

    After doing some research today, I have found that BMG is running an advertising campaign with a company called eZula, Inc. at www.ezula.com . eZula has created a computer program called TOPtext. The concept is quite simple really, TOPtext is downloaded to the users computer. Then, as the user browses the Internet, TOPtext steps in and takes action. TOPtext seeks out keywords within the web page and "highlights" them by placing a yellow line beneath the keyword. The user can then click these words and will be taken to the website of the advertiser who purchased that specific keyword from eZula. Please note, the keyword was purchased from eZula, not the individual web publisher. Furthermore, eZula provides no compensation to the web publisher for the advertising space they have illegally obtained.

    For example, a friend of mine runs a website about hip-hop music. I recently visited his website with TOPtext enabled, I was shocked at what I saw. Instances of the word "hip-hop" contained a yellow underline beneath them, this was a link to the BMG website illegally created by TOPtext. Visitors will now click on the word "hip-hop" instead of clicking the BMG advertisements throughout the page. If nobody clicks the advertisements, my friend will not make any money, neither will WebSponsors.

    This shady form of advertising used by one of your advertisers can be extremely damaging to the WebSponsors reputation. I encourage you to bring this matter to the attention of your sales team, as it will effect you all in the long run.

    Sincerely,
    Ryan Kuhle

    P.S. If I learn of another one of your advertisers participating in the eZula hijacking, I will not hesitate to remove their links. I will also begin to question the ethics of WebSponsors. No doubt, I will be alerting friends and other webmasters of this situation. I am extremely disappointed, to say the least.
    Ryan Kuhle - A Proud Advisor - Got Questions? Just Ask!
    Get your website started for less than $20! Click Here

  17. #17
    What's HTML?
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    1,701
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by jkcity


    totally agree, the advertisers in my opion are worse because they are what cause these programs cause without them then no one would make them.

    I am sure most of the companies that advertise in these programs are not reputable, and will most likely not last long.
    Actually, there are some big name companies advertising with eZula, they won't just walk away without any legal action. McAfee, Wells Fargo, and BMG, just to name a few.

    I think someone has created a list of these advertisers somewhere?
    Ryan Kuhle - A Proud Advisor - Got Questions? Just Ask!
    Get your website started for less than $20! Click Here

  18. #18
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Halmstad, Sweden
    Posts
    7,400
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This is, without doubt, the most stupid ****ing thing someone has EVER pulled in e-business. Sitepoint, geektalk and gethighforums are taking action against this stupidity.

    I don't think this will ever go into court successfully, but I do think this massive wave of pissed off webmasters will bring them down, if not for the bad publicity.
    Mattias Johansson
    Short, Swedish, Web Developer

    Buttons and Dog Tags with your custom design:
    FatStatement.com

  19. #19
    SitePoint Guru jkcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    746
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by RKuhle

    Actually, there are some big name companies advertising with eZula, they won't just walk away without any legal action. McAfee, Wells Fargo, and BMG, just to name a few.

    I think someone has created a list of these advertisers somewhere?
    I though most of them had droped there advertising on the programs now, also most of them where maybe just initial campaigns bought by an agency who figured they where gettingt he best deal.

    I would like to know if any of them where still advertisers, The only one I have ever hear dof as well is Mcafee.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Co-founder Matt Mickiewicz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Posts
    2,384
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There's now an entire site dedicated to this topic: http://www.scumware.com/
    Matt Mickiewicz - Co-Founder
    SitePoint.com - Empowering Web Developers Since 1997
    Follow me on Twitter.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard iTec's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    2,243
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    they say that it is perfectly legal, and the consumer has CHOOSEN to have this scumware installed... however they have added it into products that are in no way related to its function (ie p2p trading software) and not informed the users as to the side effects of this program (i recently installed one on a pc to see the effect and it made gator out to be a saviour!!)

    however i think that them saying the consumer has opted to have this software is a joke! If the consumer had DOWNLOADED the software from there site and not from a third party client then yer sure the client has opted-in.... this software however is OPT-OUT, if it was email the company would be abused vigilantly from people who did not subscribe and would not want crap in there email... people are allready concerned about privacy ect, this doesnt help an honest webmaster about build trust with customers, they obviously dont know what this program is, most of them would think that it is the webmaster who has put these links on the site, not some third party crap! how many of your visitors like advertisment splatterd over your site??? not many!! who would OPT-IN to have more crap splattered all over your site?? More pop-ups, more adds that have nothing to do with the content of the site? NOBODY would....

    as for BMG supporting scumware, what a joke... bunch of hipocritical morons!!! just cant wait for them to join in the legal action against Kazaa, BearShare and the other MP# distributors that install this software.... im NEVER going to buy a CD from BMG again.... why would i when they obviosly support illegal MP3 file trading!!
    Last edited by iTec; Aug 27, 2001 at 18:59.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Guru jkcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    746
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    new article link.

    http://www.internetnews.com/IAR/arti...874141,00.html
    Looks like the IAB are going to do somthing.

    Note the bottom of the article where it says
    "That's because Gator.com isn't the only startup that the IAB has its eye on. San Francisco-based eZula"

    Looks like some good news to me, although nothing at really happend it shows that them IAB guys are really starting to take these threats seriously.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Guru jkcity's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    746
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    latest news

    Gator.com Sues IAB

    http://www.internetnews.com/IAR/arti...874391,00.html

    I think this gator IAB thing is going to be a long drawn out thing.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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