Sneaky Add-On Annotates Ads To Your Web Surfing Experience

from the sneaky-bastards dept

Well, it’s about time for the next big controversy to spring up, so here’s a candidate. One of the popular new music sharing programs is KaZaa. KaZaa has a deal with EZula to automatically install a program called TOPText which adds random “advertisment” hyperlinks on any webpage you surf. It’s very similar to Microsoft’s SmartTags idea, or ThirdVoice’s defunct annotation program – except that most people don’t realize they’ve installed it. They think their surfing experience has been hijacked and they might be right. The article gives a number of examples where a site has the added “advertisement hyperlinks” to a competing site. Can’t wait for people to get angry about this one.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Sneaky Add-On Annotates Ads To Your Web Surfing Experience”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Cconnolly says:

Kazaa Hi-Jacking

I recently updated to the new version of Kazaa, and although I had no Idea that it was “smart tag” like software that would be installed, I was prompted as to whether or not I wanted to install it (which is to say, that I opted out of that particular “feature”). So although it’s not my cup of tea, I can’t blame Kazaa for trying to make a buck, but I can blame lazy PC users for just clicking through Installation menus without reading what the hell is going on in them, and then being annoyed at the consequences of their lack of attention. Just my 2 cents.

The Captain says:

will the s**t hit the fan?

Now I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy…and I remember quite well the uproar (and my own sense of indignation) when they tried to do this themselves.

I still think this is a sleazy and insidious way to advertise, with many questionable ethical uses (ie: the fact that those tags can be used to highjack traffic from a competitor’s site).

I’m hoping this will raise as much of a stink for this company as it did for Microsoft…

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...