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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Shawn Hogan of Digital Point Sued by Ebay

    Interesting story.. stupid move if you ask me. It's pretty obvious they would eventually find out.

    eBay Sues Alleged 'Cookie Stuffers'

    SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Three men defrauded eBay in a "cookie stuffing" scheme that made it appear the men's companies should be paid commissions, eBay claims in Federal Court. It sued Shawn Hogan and Digital Point Solutions, Todd Dunning and Kessler's Flying Circus, and Brian Dunning and Thunderwood Holdings.
    eBay says the men devised software programs that, "unbeknownst to the [computer] user, redirected the user's computer to the eBay Web site without the user actually clicking on an eBay advertisement link, or even becoming aware that they had left the page they were previously viewing. As a result, the eBay site would be prompted to drop an eBay cookie on the user's computer even though the user never clicked on an eBay advertisement or even realized that their computer had ever visited the eBay site."
    The complaint continues: "once the cookie was stuffed on the user's computer by one or more of the defendant's any future revenue actions initiated by that user when the user later visited eBay intentionally, and not as a result of any advertisement places by defendants, appeared to be eligible for commissions payable to one of the defendants".
    eBay claims the defendants also used deceptive means to prevent it from discovering the fraud, and to conceal it. eBay demands compensatory, treble and punitive damages. It is represented by David Eberhart with O'Melveny & Myers.
    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/cou...ase_id-206526/

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Wow. Very interesting. Right, off to google what "treble" damages are....
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bi...mary.pl?206526 <--- wow, nasty site! Surely one of us must approach them and drag them kicking and screaming into the 21st century?
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard jimbo_dk's Avatar
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    Off Topic:

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOriginalH View Post
    https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bi...mary.pl?206526 <--- wow, nasty site! Surely one of us must approach them and drag them kicking and screaming into the 21st century?
    $0.08 per page for access. Interesting....
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  5. #5
    www.logoraman.com electroskan.com's Avatar
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    you made me visit ebay after a long time......
    LOGORAMAN
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  6. #6
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    The irony...

    Last edited by Dan Grossman; Aug 28, 2008 at 21:33.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Guru TurtleX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Grossman View Post
    The irony...

    Indeed. Wow. That's where I actually found out about cookie stuffing. They made a post warning people not to do it.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleX View Post
    Indeed. Wow. That's where I actually found out about cookie stuffing. They made a post warning people not to do it.
    And that seems to prove they new it was going on on their site. And (allegedly), they haven't prevented it from happening again. This is all extra meat for ebays lawyers, I should think.

    bazz

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot MajorTom's Avatar
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    Someone commented on my blog article about the Shawn H./eBay situation that they visited DP today and supposedly some .ico file there contained spyware. Could be some attempt at cookie stuffing.

    I really can't see how somebody is using PHP to generate an image file and setting a cookie from eBay's server at the same time. Even using libcurl with cookies enabled, the cookie jar is on the server where the PHP file resides and not in the end users browser. I know this from coding various proxy scripts and coding a webmail app that logs into Yahoo mail and hotmail. Cookies can only be set/read from the originating domain. It's a browser security policy. The only real way I can see to stuff cookies is by using iFrames so that would mean somebody has to have access to the source code of a forum to plant the cookie stuffer.


    Well, if any of you got the CJ class action snail mail, this suit against Shawn definitely explains

    1.) the class action against CJ
    2.) eBay pulling their affiliate program from CJ and moving it to Pepperjam/EPN

    However, I'm sure 90&#37; that any of us long time eBay affiliates with CJ want to say "Thank you" to Shawn <sarcasm> because PJN/EPN are definitely screwed up and not tracking correctly like CJ did. If these guys really forced eBay's hand, it literally cost me thousands of dollars since July.

  10. #10
    Necromancer
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    I guess today's a busy day over at DP... "The database has encountered a problem".

    Shawn has some experience with legal battles. This one will be interesting to watch.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Guru SG1's Avatar
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    wow- I'm shocked that Shawn, of all people, would even consider doing such a thing.


  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast abercrombie's Avatar
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    it must be getting late. that article was a bit tough to follow but i think i understood it. wow, very high tech manner of earning money.

  13. #13
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    Very illegal, and unethical. Should be interesting to see where this goes. I wonder if this is the largest type of case like this to be brought up.

    digg.com/tech_news/eBay_Inc_v_Digital_Point_Solutions_Inc_et_al

  14. #14
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    And under the RICO Act no less. This is going to have some serious repercussions regardless of who wins this suit (or if they somehow manage to settle out of court).

  15. #15
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Here's the pdf for the full filing:

    http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal...206526/1/0.pdf

  16. #16
    SitePoint Zealot Biju's Avatar
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    Whats next from ebay. lolz
    I suggest everyone to upgrade to Windows Vista.

  17. #17
    Scary's On The Wall
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    Wow... nice try, guys. I probably would have attempted it myself if I had thought of it. That is, if you're guilty.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Anyone notice their eBay commissions being a bit on the low side recently?

    If the charges turn out to be true, I wonder how many of our fellow SitePoint members were also victims in this scam.

    They obviously did enough business to be noticed... Chances are that they replaced many thousands of legitimate affiliate tracking cookies with their own stuffed cookies.

    Cookie based affiliate tracking is a very flawed technology. There are too many ways for publishers to lose justly earned commissions. Cookies can be blocked, deleted, stolen by other affiliates (via cookie stuffing schemes), etc.
    For HTML Help visit: HTML Help Central
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    If you're a GEEK then go where geeks go....

  19. #19
    SitePoint Zealot sherl0ck's Avatar
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    hmm. interesting case
    We should wait and see about the result

  20. #20
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    I'm shocked that the owner of digital point would sink so low.

  21. #21
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    I'm shocked how widespread this is being done by members of forums including this one. Image tags in posts pointing to affiliate URLs in the hosting review forum have shown up here, on DP and many forums... that's members trying to cookie stuff. Anyone that views the thread is cookied with their referral ID until someone notices and a moderator deletes the image.

  22. #22
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Grossman View Post
    I'm shocked how widespread this is being done by members of forums including this one. Image tags in posts pointing to affiliate URLs in the hosting review forum have shown up here, on DP and many forums... that's members trying to cookie stuff. Anyone that views the thread is cookied with their referral ID until someone notices and a moderator deletes the image.
    If anyone sees this activity taking place here on SitePoint, please report it to us immediately by clicking the red triangle on the left sidebar near the bottom of the post.

    Thanks.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard Jun Valasek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz View Post
    If anyone sees this activity taking place here on SitePoint, please report it to us immediately by clicking the red triangle on the left sidebar near the bottom of the post.

    Thanks.
    I think there is another thread in promotion folder... don't worry, we can help.. if you take a look at my new post in SEO forum, sitepoint did a real good job in the quality of traffic...not quantity...

  24. #24
    Designer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz View Post
    If anyone sees this activity taking place here on SitePoint, please report it to us immediately by clicking the red triangle on the left sidebar near the bottom of the post.

    Thanks.
    How would you know though?

  25. #25
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XLCowBoy View Post
    How would you know though?
    If you quote someone and see an [img] tag in their post when there's no image showing up on the page. We actually look for it.


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