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The interesting thing is, when you use the search in those foxnet articles, it links to a few different search engines.
I'm sure it's some sort of money scheme that works out in there end :P
However controversial, the model also appears to be profitable for Claria and effective for marketers. Claria had net income of about $35 million on revenue of $90 million in 2003, according to its filings with the SEC. Those dollars came in from about 425 advertisers, including Cendant Corp., FTD.com, Netflix and Orbitz.
If you're too stupid/lazy to read that, then it's your own fault. I mean what more do you need, it's right there in plain English. While I don't particularly care for their method and would never do such a thing or support the practice myself, I support their right to do it.
I read every word of every license agreement whenever I install software and if I don't agree with something in the terms, I don't use the software. The developers of whatever software you're using put Gator on there so they could earn an income without charging you for their work. You can't have it both ways - either you pay for Ad-Free software, you use software that contains ads, or you find a different program. The nerve of some people to expect everything to be given to them for free never ceases to amaze me.
This is a false statement. Gator is spyware/adware and it's unethically bundled with all kinds of software. I'm not saying it's illegal. I'm stating that it's unethical.
Is it legal to bundle software without clearly informing the downloader? Yes. Is it ethical? No. Will it be legal for long? Probably Not.
My opinion here by the way---->.
Gator is the cockroach of the internet. It typifies what people hate about windows/internet --
Tricky developers who burrow themselves into your O.S. and show you stuff you never wanted to see.
When you uninstall, it stays on your system and reinstalls iteslf. Gator (and other similar companies) are rashes, pests, cockroaches, bottom-feeders.... And 99% of the general public would probably agree with me.
Ignorance can never be an excuse. If you don't read the terms agreement, and you end up with Gator, it's Gator's fault? If you hit the install button on the popup that says Gator will be installed, and your computer gets whacky, it's Gator's fault? That doesn't make sense.
So that means you have to read 5-10 pages of legal BS? If you're going to get this fired up over Gator, then apparently you should start.
kanetrain said it best: It's not illegal, it's unethical. Ethics aren't laws, they are moral values. Sit back and think about things that you agree with, they may not be 100% "ethical", but are at least legal.
Gator isn't the one to blame, it's the judicial system that doesn't make spyware crap illegal. Until it's illegal, the problem lays in the hands of "The Man", not Gator.
My 2 cents.
To everyone else who disagrees with what we're saying, well ... have you ever bought a house? Remember how many pages and pages and pages of crap you had to sign at the closing? Did you read THOSE? Do you read what's covered when you buy car or life or medical insurance? Do you read the warranty information when you buy a car?
Ever take your car in to be serviced and found out something wasn't covered by the warranty? I bet you were pissed, eh? I bet you complained to the warranty writer and said "I didn't know that wasn't covered, no one told me" and I bet they said "Well, it's RIGHT THERE IN PLAIN F-ING ENGLISH IF YOU HAD BOTHERED TO READ IT".
Software license agreements are no different - there are terms and conditions, warranties (or the dismissal of such warranties) that go with using the software and if you're too lazy to read them, it is no one's problem but YOURS. This liberal mentality that has been slowly taking over the world for the last 10 years really has to go ... that anything liberals don't agree with should be banned. You people need to grow up, this isn't Kindergarden - things aren't SUPPOSED to be fair and padded, things are what we make them.
Where do I find the time to read the license agreement? Come on, what kind of a dumb question is that. I MAKE THE TIME so I don't get crap like Gator on my system :) Besides, it's not like I'm constantly installing new software, I'm pretty happy with what's on my system already.
If you're so busy that you don't have time to read the license agreement, you need to slow down before you over-work yourself into having a heart attack.
[edited by: digitalv at 9:45 pm (utc) on May 19, 2004]
In the meantime, for those of you wishing to remove their software, download these 3 applications and you'll be all set: Spybot, AdAware, and Hyjack This, or HiJack This. You'll need all three to fully remove the registry lines of whenu and gator.
Second, when you buy a house, car, or something similar that is a bigtime investment. Downloading something gator is not of that size investment and therfore is not a fair comparison. I would not read a 2 page agreement to install some piece of software but on a $2,000+ investment I would.
Regardless, these practices are unethical and are simply decieving and taking advantage the ignorant web population.
What is happening is that someone's personal property is being substantially modified against their will by a third party forcing it on them without their knowledge that can cost them a lot of money to have someone repair it and/or have to purchase expensive software because they've had to reformat their hard drive and replace what they've lost. It can turn out to be very expensive, also causing loss of work and time.
All that with absolutely no consent given on their part.
Scumware like Gator and the like are a poor reflection on the people who use them, no matter how effective they claim to be.
As far as clicking on a disclaimer to clear them of sneaking their scumware onto an unsuspecting person, that doesnt cut it for me.
You can put a little sign on the front of your car that says " I am not responsible if I run you over" but that does not mean a hoot in hell in a court.
The software is ABSOLUTELY installed with no consent necessary or given. What can happen is that someone can click on a URL at a search engine with no idea it's a cloaked page, get redirected to a site they had no intention of going to, click on NOTHING and agree to NOTHING and then all of a sudden the people have a ton of software being installed on their computer that they don't want and sometimes cannot get rid of.
With all due respect Marcia, it is my opinion that this is impossible. You cannot do NOTHING, and get stuff installed. If you have an example of clicking on a URL in Google that will then install spyware on my machine with me doing NOTHING, I will gladly take the challenge.
Fine print is fine print. There's no law that says what point your font has to be; all that matters is that it's there. From a legality standpoint, it is my opinion that the "I couldn't/didn't read the fine print" will not work as an excuse.
Let me reiterate that I in no way condone the acts/actions of the spyware makers. I hate them as much as anyone else. But what bothers me is people complaining they are being "hit by a car" for no reason.
I am on the internet for up to 16 hrs a day most days. I do not have ANY anti-virus protection. I have NEVER gotten a virus/spyware program that I did not deserve to get. How is this possible? Am I immune to them? No, I read every little popup that pops up on my screen... I read up on every company's software that I want to install. If I see something fishy, I don't use it. It's not rocket science. I do firmly believe every user virus problem can be prevented.
In my experience in advertising, publishing and internet, I can say that it is never a good idea to decieve, coerse or trick a customer into getting your message. It always backfires in the long run.
Who is being deceived or tricked? It says right in the license agreement what software is being put on your system and what it does. No one is deceiving you because you choose not to read the description of what the product does or what third party software comes with it. The product is doing EXACTLY what it says it's going to do. I mean really, if you don't want to read the license agreements that's your choice I guess but it's a pretty stupid one - You could be agreeing to something you don't really want to agree to. You should really start paying attention to what you're doing.
Also, I challenge someone to give me a URL that will install software on my computer with NO PROMPTING and no license agreement. If it's against the rules of the board to post it here, send me a private message and I will check it out. I have NEVER seen a page that automatically installs Gator on my system without prompting. I have been to several pages that popped up a box ASKING ME if I wanted to install Gator and didn't let me get the content I was looking for if I said no, but nothing that forced it.
If your security settings are so low that this could happen to you, then again that's your own stupidity too - anyone could start putting software on your system if they can get you to a web page. Does it matter whether it's software you "agree with" or not? No - it's your job to secure your system to make sure stuff like that doesn't happen.
I'll put my money where my mouth is ... if any of you give me a URL that will install software on my system WITHOUT ANY PROMPTING I will PayPal you $20.00 tonight, no strings attached. What you're saying is complete B.S. and (at least on my computers) it isn't freakin possible.
Overstock.com is set to become the first company to take action under Utah's new anti-spyware law. The company has filed a complaint against online retailer SmartBargains in the third district court in Salt Lake City.
Overstock alleges that SmartBargains is using spyware to display pop-up ads over the top of Overstock's website.
If I download some freeware, I can "reasonably expect" to get a pile of scumbagware along with. Fine. My fault and I deserved it.
If I buy a WebCam, and got to instal the driver from the supplied CD, and get scumbagware and a bunch of icons-to websites installed on my machine (and yes, this actually happened to me), then the manufacturer can "reasonably expect" me to bounce that webcam off the wall, and mail them the pieces, and demand a refund for faulty ecquipment (never did get that refund).
They can also "reasonably expect" me to post the fact their driver comes bundled with scumbagware on as many forums as I can get access to.
Purveyors of Spyware, AdWare, etc, should be given uniforms, and made the front line in a human shield around the world's top 10 most likely terrorist targets.
Only then would they contribute anything to society.
Running Internet Explorer with the default security settings is not recommended, but IMO it does not qualify as "stupidity" and certainly does not create an implied license to install scumware. And even with higher security, or with Netscape which is more resistant to drive-by installs, you might still end up with a mere confirmation-of-install box which is at best confusing and at worst "accepted" by mistake because you were typing something else when it popped up.
I'd strongly recommend against anyone trying to take up digitalv on his offer. The last time I installed a scumware filter and went looking for dodgy sites to test it, I ended up with several infections and had to spend a couple of hours uninstalling them.
These people are the bread and butter of the internet. They make us all money and if the spyware and spam doesn't stop or at least slow down, their money will likely one day stop because the web will be too much trouble for them to use. These new and novice users don't care how many bits are in a byte or what http means they just want what they want when they want it. They don't want to study for weeks learing about it either.
Basically all I'm trying to say is that this scumware has to stop. It's costing everybody, including me, far too much time and money.
My Two cents,
P.S. I spend more time on an average computer removing spyware/adware than I do viruses. Certain companies go to extreme lengths to make their scumware impossible to remove. One even generates random file names so that the removal programs can't find it. Others if removed will corrupt the winsock.