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Google Korea Ordered to Revise AdSense Contracts
unfair or just new?
GrendelKhan TSU

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3263904 posted 8:05 am on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

S. Korean watchdog orders Google to fix unfair contract clauses South Korea's corporate watchdog said Monday it has ordered Google Inc to revise or delete unfair clauses in its advertisement contracts with Web site operators.

culture clash at its finest. heh.

I don't know the specifics of this... but I wouldn't be surprised if its just a factor of not understanding the whole Adsense concept. now that Google Korea is getting action via its new contract with Daum... people are actually starting to use it as a advertising tool and its VERY different from what they are used to.

I ran into similiar problems when PPC was first introduced in general in Korea. everyone was like "#*$!?" this looks like too much work and will never work and totally unfair! I lose all my money too quick!

ahhh those were the days. LOL.

will keep ya'll updated with how this pans out. ;)

 

bill

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Best Post Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3263904 posted 8:20 am on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the news Grendel. Any links to English news articles about this yet?

If this does turn out to be a case of unfair practice in Korea I wonder if other countries will be able to use any judgements against Google as a precedent. It might be a bit too early in the game to be thinking about that yet though. ;)

Brett_Tabke

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3263904 posted 4:12 pm on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

[webpronews.com...]

[english.yonhapnews.co.kr...]

South Korea's corporate watchdog said Monday it has ordered Google Inc., the world's largest Internet search engine, to revise or delete unfair clauses in its advertisement contracts with Web site operators.

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has recently ordered the American company to change serveral clauses in its AdSense contract, allowing Google to "one-sidedly cancel advertisement deals," while it is written so that it doesn't guarantee returns to contracted website operators.


LifeinAsia

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3263904 posted 4:42 pm on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sigh. The Korean government shooting themselves in the foot yet again in a misguided attempt to regulate something they don't understand.

Yeah right! They expect Google to agree to use South Korea as the dispute arena for a disgruntled AdSense publisher who is suing for $35 in fraudulent clicks? Poor, "innocent" Korean nobody, scraping by to make ends meet for his family of 5 (who in reality spends all his time in a PC room, chain smoking, viewing porn, and playing WarCraft), versus the big, huge foreign giant with billions and billions of dollars in deep pockets. No contest.

While I strongly welcome more Korean publishers joining AdSense, which in turn should encourage more Korean AdWords advertisers, please, GOOG, show some backbone and don't give into their misguided demands!

hyperkik

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3263904 posted 4:46 pm on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Other than the choice of venue clause (dictating that all litigation must occur in Santa Clara County), I would bet that most of the required modifications can be made without any appreciable impact on Google's present practices. It's not that it would be a bad thing for Google's lawyers to redraft certain policies such that they sound like they're more fair to webmasters, or even to reflect practices by Google which are more liberal than the current policies suggest.

While I would hope Google will be more artful, it's easy enough to transform " Google reserves the right to refuse participation to any applicant or participant at any time in its sole discretion" into "Except as otherwise required by law, Google reserves the right to refuse participation to any applicant or participant at any time in its sole discretion." It's implicit anyway - Google can't refuse participation, for example, on grounds which would violate U.S. civil rights laws. Would a guarantee of a 5% commission satisfy Korean regulation, even though Google pays substantially more?

To the extent that Google is forced to allow litigation over AdSense issues in other nations, or if the foreign nation also attempts to overturn choice of law provisions (i.e., that contract disputes are governed by California law), I would expect Google to respond as any business would - to offset the additional cost of local regulations by reducing the commissions to publishers located in those nations. Be careful what you wish for - you just might get it.

vincevincevince

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3263904 posted 5:15 pm on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think it's about time someone stood up to Google. It's all well and good western countries saying that it's reasonable for publishers to be subject to the whims of Google, but when it really comes down to it that's not really what most of us want.

I think it's unfair that they are unable to guarantee any form of stability or security. They don't even say that so long as you don't infringe our terms of service we will keep you in the program!

If you were employed and your contract of employment stated your employment could be terminated at any time for any or no reason, you'd think it unfair.

I don't care what the technical position is - if someone is getting the vast majority of his monthly income from Google Adsense then Google Adsense is his de facto employer. And as the de facto employer it's only right that Google shows some proper social awareness toward and regard for the de facto employee.

LifeinAsia

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3263904 posted 5:23 pm on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you were employed and your contract of employment stated your employment could be terminated at any time for any or no reason, you'd think it unfair.

Actually, a lot of companies (in the U.S.) have a clause to allow them terminate employees for any reason whatsoever, at least during their probationary period.

Additionally, just about every affiliate agreement I've ever read allows the company to terminate the agreement with the affiliate at any time for any reason.

DamonHD

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3263904 posted 6:22 pm on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Trying getting an SLA out of any telco that they'll actually stick to when you need them to, just for example.

Binding G's hands makes it more difficult for them to deal with the sneaky back-hats and fraudsters and is just likely to end up reducing the cut that G pays locals having had to cover extra fraud costs locally.

Typical bandwagon politics, and very ill-advised.

I'd like a little more symmetry in my contracts with billion-pound institutions too, but given what they have to lose if I'm a fraudster that finds a loophole, vs what their PR has to lose if they ACTUALLY systematically rip off the locals, the regulator should keep their nose out of it.

There *are* some big-name contracts that I will not use as a consumer because I've been royally screwed over and the big institutions involved didn't give a flying "Direct Debit Guarantee". But G is rather less unpleasant than the UK banking industry/telcos/government IMHO...

Rgds

Damon

rogerd

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3263904 posted 6:23 pm on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>If you were employed and your contract of employment stated your employment could be terminated at any time for any or no reason, you'd think it unfair.

That's the law in many US states, including mine - it's called "employment at will." Of course, it's not one-sided - the employee can also quit at any time without providing a reason.

From what I've read here, the number of incidents of totally unjustified termination and loss of revenue are very few. As an advertiser and a publisher, I'd prefer to see Google have the most effective tools to weed out fraud and avoid paying accrued revenue in such cases.

wildbest

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3263904 posted 7:17 pm on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sigh. The Korean government shooting themselves in the foot yet again in a misguided attempt to regulate something they don't understand.

Quite on the contrary!

If you were employed and your contract of employment stated your employment could be terminated at any time for any or no reason, you'd think it unfair.

Yes, exactly. It's unfair to pretend there is a contract! Because saying in a contract it can be terminating at any time for any or no reason means there are no rules! Every contract is about rights and responsibilities of BOTH parties. If one of the parties has no responsibilities whatsoever this is not a contractual obligation. No rules + no contract = illegal ToS. Simple as that!

Nice to see there still are people with common sense.

LifeinAsia

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3263904 posted 7:39 pm on Feb 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

WB,
Nice seniments, but it doesn't work that way in the real world.

In the real world, if you don't agree with the terms of the contract, then don't sign it in the first place. If you think you have the power, you can try to change the terms of the contract before signing. But the reality is most people do not. So they have the choice to take it or leave it.

BigDave

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bigdave us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3263904 posted 6:41 pm on Feb 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

If one of the parties has no responsibilities whatsoever this is not a contractual obligation.

The fact that Google pays you if you are a publisher in good standing certainly qualifies in the United States.

bill

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Best Post Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3263904 posted 12:04 am on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

...certainly qualifies in the United States.

...but we're talking about the government of South Korea here. There's a big difference. ;)

LifeinAsia

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3263904 posted 5:37 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

...but we're talking about the government of South Korea here. There's a big difference. ;)

Quite true, and a good reminder for us all that "working" in other countries often means working through different obstacles.

This issue hits close to home for us. We were recently sued by the Korea Association of Travel Agencies because they decided we were operating without a Korean travel agency license. Several weeks ago we received a call from KATA threatening to sue us unless we forked out mfor than $350,000 for a license. We patiently explained that we are not a Korean company and do not require one. We asked if they required one from Expedia or Travelocity, and they admited they didn't. We're in an identical position, so don't need a license. Everything seemed fine and dandy.

Last Thursday we received a call from the Korean police department informing us that KATA had filed a civil complaint against us. We called the KATA guy back and asked what was up. His response was basically, "I don't believe you, so I reported you to the police so they can investigate you."

So we had to spend all weekend gathering up paperwork to send to them to prove we're a U.S. company. Monday when we talked to the police, they pretty much said, "Yep, you're a U.S. company. But chances are other companies are going to take shots at you, so this probably won't be the last time."

wildbest

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3263904 posted 6:17 pm on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

The fact that Google pays you if you are a publisher in good standing certainly qualifies in the United States.

The fact that Google might decide NOT to pay you ("for any or no reason") what you've already earned as a publisher certainly qualifies as a crime even in the United States!

DamonHD

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3263904 posted 8:14 am on Mar 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Don't be silly.

At worst, it's likely to be a civil tort.

And as the contract stands, and especially if G has good reason to believe fraud by its counterparty has occurred, why should it be compelled to pay up?

Rgds

Damon

GrendelKhan TSU

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3263904 posted 9:34 pm on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google, the U.S. web search giant, faces a W30 million (US$1=W945) lawsuit in Korea....

Humor University said that it signed an agreement to host Google's Adsense ads and ran them for three months in late 2005, but Google refused to pay, citing click fraud. Humor University said Google never provided evidence to back up those claims.

article: [english.chosun.com...]

LifeinAsia

WebmasterWorld Administrator lifeinasia us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3263904 posted 10:10 pm on Mar 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I like how the Chosun writer tosses in the Viacom lawsuit at the end- completely unrelated, yet makes Google look like an evil bad guy because "everyone" is suing them.

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