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Affiliate WARNING - Don't Promote Downloads - Can get BUSTED!!!

Discussion in 'General Affiliate Marketing Forum' started by Linda Buquet, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. Linda Buquet

    Linda Buquet Affiliate affiliate

    If anyone is not absolutely clear on my stance about affiliates that spread adware and spyware by promoting certain download and screensaver apps OR if you don't know you can get in trouble read today's 5 Star blog:

    Too many affiliates still spread adware and spyware and they all think as long as they make a dime, it's cool. They don't think they can get in trouble and they don't think it's wrong. This attitude absolutely irks me! I'm seeing more and more <a target="_new" href="http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=46548&highlight=adware+blockers">forum threads</a> with affiliates asking "what's the best download affiliate program" or "how much are you guys making with Zang0?"

    Maybe if more and more affiliates get busted and are held accountable it will curb the scourge of spyware affiliates that plague our industry. Here are 2 recent news stories that I hope will give <a target="_new" href="http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=178640">download affiliates</a> a reason to drop those programs.

    <a target="_new" href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,127864-c,spyware/article.html">PC World - Court Shuts Down Alleged Spyware Operation</a> "District Court for the District of Nevada issued a temporary restraining order against ERG Ventures and an affiliate on October 31, and an FTC complaint seeks a permanent injunction against the company<strong> and an affiliate</strong>."

    <strong>A U.S. district court has shut down a the company web site and one of their affiliate's sites and has frozen the assets of both the merchant and the affiliate. This also means all their other affiliates will not be getting paid. The FTC is also going to demand they give up all money they have earned from the illegal downloads. </strong>They are accused of "loading spyware and other malevolent software onto millions of computers after promising users free screen savers and video files, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Monday."

    Also in today's news the CDT just issued a <a target="_new" href="http://www.cdt.org/press/20061120press-zango.php">Press Release</a> stating that Zang0 who recently reached a $3 million FTC settlement for their spyware practices, is still NOT in compliance according the Ben Edelman and another spyware researcher.

    The Press release also states that one of the aspects of the settlement could have far-reaching positive implications for the downloadable software market is this:

    "...<strong>the settlement makes clear that Zang0 is responsible for the actions of affiliates on its behalf. Too many downloadable software companies, Zang0 included, have attempted to disavow bad practices undertaken by their affiliates on their behalf. This settlement establishes that these companies can no longer sit back and claim ignorance as their affiliates violate the trust of Internet users.</strong>"

    If you still aren't sure that spreading this crap is wrong then read my latest post over at DP.
    I let them have it, the way I know I don't need to here,
    cuz you guys are all GOOD! :p
  2. CPA Evolution
  3. wiseguy

    wiseguy New Member


    What if a company makes and distributes a toolbar like this:

    * The option to install the toolbar is shown AFTER the program the end user really wanted is already installed. For example, they download a screensaver and the screensaver is installed and THEN they see the option to install the toolbar.
    * During the installation process, it is completely clear what the toolbar does and the end user can opt in to installing it or not
    * The toolbar only sits on the browser window calling to the server for updates say once a week. If there's an update, it will download new buttons, or whatever other features.
    * The toolbar never tracks user visits
    * The toolbar never changes default home page, default search, 404 errors or anything like that.
    * The toolbar never shows popups of any sort
    * The toolbar never redirects the end users search
    * The toolbar is approved by Truste.org
    * The only way the toolbar makes any money is if it's actually USED by the end user.
    * The toolbar can be easily uninstalled from the toolbar itself.

    Would THAT be ok to promote and distribute?

    My thought is, instead of complaining about adware/spyware/theft, etc - how 'bout someone actually makes a toolbar that's acceptable to everyone and distributes it through their OWN channels properly, not allowing others to bundle it and distribute it in their own files.

    Or is everyone just against distributing a toolbar just because it's a toolbar?

    The thing is, it is a legitimate business model, it's just terribly abused by the likes of Zango, etc.

    Why would it be so bad to distribute a toolbar that uses the above criteria?

    Any other thoughts on how to make and distribute a good toolbar that is acceptable to everyone?