from the coming-soon-to-a-downloaded-program-near-you dept

On Monday we posted a story about KaZaa installing a very annoying adware program when you install KaZaa on your computer. Salon is now looking at this concept of parasite-ware. Lots of companies that offer downloadable software are now teaming up with plug-in and other software makers to bundle them in their applications for a fee (for instance KaZaa gets 10 to 20 cents per download from the many plug in companies they’ve partnered with). It’s definitely an interesting business model for KaZaa – but it’s also one that seems to annoy and confuse their users (always a dangerous move). It seems that the trend is moving in the direction to have more and more of these hidden programs installed each time you download a piece of software.

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Comments on “Parasite-ware”

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emmzee (user link) says:

Just a note

While there is not question that installing Kazaa can result in adware (or “parasite-ware”) being added to your system, it must be noted that Kazaa at least doesn’t try to hide anything from the user installing the software; when installing Kazaa (I did this just a few days ago) the user is presented with a list of other software that it wishes to install and the user has the opportunity to opt out of TopText and whatever other evil programs it wants to install. I’m not saying that this is something we want to be encouraging, but at least they are up-front about what is going on.

David says:

Re: Just a note

Yesterday I downloaded KaZaa from CNET. Tonight I went to load the program, and when I saw the warning about the adware, I backed out of the install. HOWEVER, when I ran AdAware immediately after this, I discovered that KaZaa had added 3 registry entires and a .dll which AdAware considers adware *SIMPLY BY DOWNLOADING THE PROGRAM*. The time of the 4 entries coinsides with the download. I do not know if these 4 “additions” have the capacity to function as spyware, but it certainly strikes me as dishonest to add this crap to a pc *before* the user even decides they are going to load the program


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