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Fraudulent clicks are not legally fraud?

Point made in this article about Google lawsuit

     

HughMungus

12:04 am on Dec 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Reading an article about one of the click fraud lawsuits (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051208/wr_nm/media_google_lawsuit_dc).

This was mentioned:

Click fraud is not "fraud" as defined under the law. Rather, it is an industry term used to describe the deliberate clicking on Web search ads by users with no plans to do business with the advertiser.

I thought click fraud IS legally fraud.

Tropical Island

2:27 pm on Dec 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tropical_island is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



It's most probably just theft.

rfontaine

2:45 pm on Dec 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I do not always click on ads with the intent of doing business - I often click to find out more information on a topic of interest.

hp11

5:43 pm on Dec 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Rival companies might employ people or machines to do this because the advertiser has to pay the Web search provider for each click.

I believe that this is fraud regardless of anything. If a competitor is depleting or running down my spend on purpose, it is fraud! But I also agree with rfontaine, that plenty of people do click on ads just "to find out more information on a topic of interest".

dmorison

6:08 pm on Dec 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member




I do not always click on ads with the intent of doing business

As an AdWords advertiser, I have no problem with that attitude whatsoever. If my ad catches your interest then you're a prospect regardless of any pre-supposed intent to do business with me or not :)

eWhisper

2:25 pm on Dec 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ewhisper is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



This has been my non-lawyer take on the legality of click fraud.

Fraud is when you profit or stop someone else from profiting. Hence, clicking on your AdSense ads over and over is click fraud; however, it's questionable if it's legally defined fraud until you cash the check (i.e. have profited). It could be that it's just easier to prosecute with the proof that you made money from the deception, and thus all the lawsuits have waited until that point in time.

You are suppose to click on a search result on Google.com - so if you choose to click on the same listing over and over, it's not really fraud - you're just clicking on an option and NOT directly making money from it. Of course, one could argue intent and ruining someone else's business - and that gets into lawyer speak (which is over my head).

Leosghost

3:08 pm on Dec 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Depends entirely on where you are physicaly when you "click" and where the ad you click on is hosted physicaly ..

and the juristiction that is trying the case ..

no 2 countries fraud type laws are the same ..

bird

8:39 pm on Dec 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



In most jurisdictions, fraud requires an element of deception.

This means that the so-called "fraudulent clicks" are indeed just normal theft, or maybe "tortuous interference with business" or something along those lines, but not technically fraud.

In the end, the difference only matters if your lawyer doesn't understand the difference, and convinces you to file a suit under the wrong label...

 

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