UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (4) | Ignore Thread Prev | Next
Author: ShelbyBoy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 16451  
Subject: Scumware Date: 8/23/2001 4:36 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 9
This is beginning to get interesting - Alan Gardyne devoted a significant portion of his latest newsletter to this topic:

Excerpt below:
----------------------------------------------------------------------



You've heard of software, freeware, shareware and perhaps
vaporware. Now there's "scumware".

As outrage spreads over eZula's TopText and other browser plug-
ins which divert traffic from your web site, "scumware" is the
name which is being accurately applied.

Scumware DEFACES the content of your web site without your
permission.

It OVERLAYS advertisers' links on your site without your
permission.

Depending on how upset you are and how you view the ethics of
this, it either diverts, hijacks or steals traffic from your
site.

However you describe it, the end result is:

* You lose visitors - perhaps to your competitors.

* You lose sales.

* You lose commissions.

If you haven't caught up with this topic yet, prepare to be
horrified.

When I checked CNet's Download.com this week, eZula's KaZaa had
been downloaded 7.4 million times.

Many of the 7.4 million people who downloaded KaZaa - a Napster-
like file-sharing tool - apparently didn't even realize that they
were also installing TopText.

TopText, like Microsoft's widely denounced SmartTags, works
through your browser. It modifies your web page, highlighting in
yellow all the keywords which eZula has sold. Advertisers pay per
click for the keywords.

What it's doing is inserting advertisers' hyperlinks in YOUR
pages.

For example, if you have used the phrase "car loan" on a web
page, TopText could turn that phrase into a hyperlink which your
visitors click on, robbing you of potential sales or commissions.

As Danny Sullivan of http://searchenginewatch.com says:

"As a result, potentially Coke could advertise so that any time
'cola' appeared on the Pepsi site, the word would have a
hyperlink leading back to the Coke site. Similarly, Ford could
advertise so that the word 'car' on any pages across the web -
including those at the General Motors web site - would link to
Ford."

It doesn't matter whether you're the FBI, the White House or a
children's charity, advertisers' links are being added to your
pages.

That stinks. It looks remarkably similar to breach of copyright
and unfair competition.

A really nasty side of all this is that if you run a children's
site TopText or Surf+ could overlay links on it to "adult" sites.
It could be happening to YOUR site right now.

About the kindest conclusion I can come to is that it's
unethical.

Jim Wilson, who created http://scumware.com/ , says:

"The stealing of traffic from independent web site
publishers has become the biggest threat to the
survival of the Internet to date."

Steve Shubitz of http://www.stopscum.com/ says:

"In some cases, they alter the contents of a PG site
with adult and or gambling links which the owner of
the site would never permit. We find all of these
actions morally reprehensible."

Paul Myers of Talkbiz News - http://www.talkbiz.com/news - in an
article titled "Who Owns Your Business?", says:

"There is a word for taking a valuable commodity from its
creator without their permission and without compensation.
Theft."

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post  
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (4) | Ignore Thread Prev | Next

Announcements

Pencils of Promise - Back to School Drive
"Pencils of Promise works with communities across the globe to build schools and create programs that provide education opportunities for children."
Managing Your Wealth
Our own TMFHockeypop from Rule Your Retirement fame on the TV show Managing Your Wealth.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Post of the Day:
Macro Economics

Smuggling Rice and Garlic
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
Community Home
Speak Your Mind, Start Your Blog, Rate Your Stocks

Community Team Fools - who are those TMF's?
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and "#1 Media Company to Work For" (BusinessInsider 2011)! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.
Advertisement