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Spyware vs. Spyware

from the just-what-everyone-needs dept

What would you expect from sneaky companies that feel the need to put nasty applications on your computer without first making it clear to you what they really do, and then making themselves nearly impossible to uninstall? Since there are so many of these spyware/adware/malware offerings out there, sooner or later they were going to have to clash. The latest is that one such firm, Avenue Media, is freaking out that another firm is removing their software. That’s right, while it’s nearly impossible for you to remove some of the adware crap you get stuck with — other adware providers are figuring out ways to disable the competition. It’s tough to feel sorry for either party. Avenue Media claims that DirectRevenue has disabled 1 million customers — representing half of its installed base. All this says to me is that people who tend to get one piece of crap adware seem to end up with multiple pieces of adware. As for DirectRevenue, the company that actually raised a bunch of VC money, recently claimed they were shedding the spyware label by focusing on “transparency, transparency, transparency,” with their users. Apparently, that transparency doesn’t apply to competitors. The one good thing that may come of this, is that the lawsuit may bring about a more detailed understanding concerning what’s legal for software applications to do in changing your computer without first making it clear what they’re doing.

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Comments on “Spyware vs. Spyware”

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Beck says:

Detection Avoidance

If one piece of spyware is running on a computer, the owner doesn’t notice. But when several get on their and they really start to bog things down, and compete with each other for resources, and start locking up Internet Explorer, then the owner realizes that something is wrong and calls his brother-in-law to fix his computer. The brother-in-law comes over, discovers all of the spyware, and removes it.

hanzie says:

Funny debate coming up in court

I can see how this lawsuit could turn out to be fun. You see, DirectRevenue actually specifies in their EULA that, by accepting the EULA, the user grants them the right to uninstall any software they like. So technically, users have granted their permission for Avenue’s spyware to be removed by DirectRevenue (that is, if they can be said to have accepted the EULA).
So what argument is Avenue Media going to use? “No, they can’t do that. The only one who can determine what software stays or goes on this user’s PC is us!!” Yeah, that’s gonna stick! 🙂

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