The story of adware maker Direct Revenue has been both amusing and depressing at the same time. The company, who has gone through a number of name changes (each time the negative attention was too strong, basically), claimed late last year that it had learned the error of its ways and was going to become much more "transparent". Of course, even after this announcement plenty of people were still claiming they had no idea how Direct Revenue's adware got on their computers at all. In fact, when anti-spyware researchers went and checked it out, it appeared that Direct Revenue was anything but transparent. Almost everything the company claimed was at least somewhat misleading. However, with a big lawsuit facing them down, the company is claiming (once again) that it's really (no, seriously, we mean it!) going to clean up its act this time. How, exactly? Well, by getting rid of their affiliates. It seems like the new strategy of these adware firms isn't to take responsibility for their sneaky software, but to blame affiliates. It's the same thing 180Solutions did in suing a bunch of affiliates. That gives these companies an "out" where they can claim all the bad stuff was really the fault of these affiliates. Most people believe that's not quite true -- and even if the adware firms weren't directly involved, they at least looked the other way as sneaky install procedures were put in place. At the same time, most of these adware apps have license agreements and start up wizard screens that mask the real purpose of the adware -- and that's usually not the affiliates creating those. Still, the bigger question looms: if Direct Revenue is really getting rid of their affiliate program and promising to be "more transparent" can they actually still make money? The early evidence isn't too encouraging. Either way, given Direct Revenue's promises in the past, it would seem that they really need to prove they've cleaned up their act instead of just telling everyone they have.
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