Direct Revenue Has To Pay Back Only A Tiny Portion Of Money Made From Adware

from the punishment? dept

Adware firm Direct Revenue was considered one of the absolutely worst companies when it came to surreptitious installs of nasty adware/malware on computers. This was the company that changed its name a bunch of times to avoid getting caught. It then claimed that it was cleaning up its act, but was caught still being just as bad (it even had its own spyware uninstall other spyware) and then threatened anti-spyware firms for outing their bad practices. Eventually, the company had to face the music and today the FTC announced that it had settled with DirectRevenue. However, the "settlement" isn't making everyone happy. They've apparently agreed to pay a $1.5 million fine -- but as a dissenting FTC Commissioner noted, "it apparently leaves DirectRevenue's owners lining their pockets with more than $20 million from a business model based on deceit." That doesn't seem like it will act as much of a deterrent. I'm sure plenty of companies would be willing to pay a $1.5 million fine if they got to walk away with $20 million. On the more positive side, the settlement bars the company from delivering any more ads to computers that are still stuck with their adware.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    identicon
    Xanius, Feb 16th, 2007 @ 7:34pm

    Lucky for the already infected....

    What about the people that aren't infected by the company under the new name?

    I'm sure the owners were already working on making a new company while they were in talks with the FTC.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2007 @ 11:07pm

    Silly question

    ...the settlement bars the company from delivering any more ads to computers that are still stuck with their adware.

    What's going be the fine if the company doesn't keep this part of the agreement?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2007 @ 4:43am

      Re: Silly question

      Why, the FTC will ignore them for a decade and take further action against them when and if there is overwhelming public pressure to do so, of course.

      This is the FTC we're talking about. They've ignored the spam problem for fifteen years, and only took action against a tiny handful of the most egregious adware and spyware creeps when there was overwhelming public pressure to do something. Now they will claim they've solved the problem, and go back to ignoring it.

       

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    buckminster futt, Feb 17th, 2007 @ 5:58pm

    The govt has become their partner in crime

    Allowing a company to pay a minor fine and continue business as usual just means the government decided to become their partner.

    buck

     

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      daniel, Feb 18th, 2007 @ 10:40am

      Re: The govt has become their partner in crime

      That comment is a gross oversimplification of what occurred.

      The enforcement agencies do not make law. They make findings.

      The violator was fined the maximum amount allowed by law.

      If you do not like it, then take the same amount of time you took to create your comment, and complain to your congressional representatives.

       

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    Ruben Fuentez, Feb 17th, 2007 @ 10:43pm

    Adware deception

    It never surprises me to hear about this kind of,in your face lying.Remember when people didn't understand the english language and some how were robbed of there land and in many cases there lives.I believe the money used then was beads. Nothing has changed.I say let the cheats keep on cheating. It's the American Way right.
    Fed Up with it,
    RF.

     

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    Robert, Feb 18th, 2007 @ 9:13am

    The whole outcome is nonsense.
    I'm sorry at the semi hijacking of the thread...but Ruben's turn to historical acts is also nonsense. Since the beginning of time, man has conquered and has been conquered. Survival of the fittest. I'm sure if Ruben went far enough back he'll find his ancestors were amongst a group who conquered another land...in Latin America, maybe? The battle of land is still going on today and will still be happening until man's extinction. I offer no apologizes for the early America settlers.

     

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    justme, Feb 18th, 2007 @ 9:21am

    Just goes to prove that the FCC doesn't care about the general public. I wonder if they got paid to be gentle on the fine? Sure is worth checking into. I would of stuck it to Direct Revenue. No less than a 5 million dollar fine. Plus I would of demanded clean up tools for the public. I also wonder that now since they have been fined if the different Countries can now sue them? I hope every State in the USA sues them. A law suit worth going after. I would break their buts, and leave them in the same state as the SCO.

     

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    mike, Feb 18th, 2007 @ 8:10pm

    stupid govermnet

    they need a bigger fine this is just stupid should have fined them 24 mill and put them 4 mill in the hole and shut down there business then throw them in the jail! ass holes I wonder why the goverment is always broke? hmmm theres money to be had and they steer clear idiots! maximum fine is 1.5 million we shure need some new legislation. no limit period

     

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    malhombre, Feb 19th, 2007 @ 7:59am

    re: stupid gov't by mike

    >

    Like in Germany where traffic fines are assessed based on income for instance, heard that they hit some bigwig for around $20,000 for speeding. Thats gotta hurt.

    But we all know that companies have been playing the "We will do it till we get spanked, then settle for a fraction of profits" game forever.

    'Course, to be fair, I remember when George Harrison stole some old motown song, made around 20 mil, and wound up settling for around 1-2 mil with the copyright holders...and he said that was pretty much in the plan from the git go. Just business as usual.

     

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