Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Microsoft Wants Spyware Laws To Say Spyware Name Is In The Eye Of The User

from the protection-from-lawsuits dept

Spyware companies still like to dance around the definition of spyware, by coming up with a very specific definition that is not the same as what users think is spyware. It's become so silly that it almost seems like common practice for these companies to sue anti-spyware vendors for calling their products spyware. With yesterday's multiple anti-spyware bills moving forward, Microsoft has noticed that, while they try hard not to define spyware, this leaves a loophole in the other direction, in that spyware firms can continue their legal threats towards anyone who calls them spyware. With that in mind, they're suggesting any law offer protection from lawsuits from companies upset that a vendor has labeled their product as spyware. Microsoft's argument is that all their anti-spyware product does is define spyware the way users see it -- which are applications installed surreptitiously that they don't want. Of course, this might be a bit of a slippery slope. If a company has a legitimate complaint, they should be allowed to sue. Perhaps the solution is to have the companies penalized if the lawsuit is deemed frivolous.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  • identicon
    Jeff, 24 May 2005 @ 1:08pm

    Perhaps the gov't should stay out

    If people are sick of spyware, don't run Windows! Otherwise, shut up and learn to live with it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 24 May 2005 @ 1:32pm

      Grow up

      Hardly the case. I run and maintain 60+ Windows machines, and my users have very few issues with spyware. Your ranting is just total BS, and has little to do with anything but your ignorance.
      As for what should be considered spyware, any program that does not register the proper Add-Remove functionality (from Control Panels), or does not actually remove itself when requested, should be considered sypware.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Hero, 24 May 2005 @ 2:27pm

        Re: Grow up

        You know, there are operating systems that don't have "Add-Remove" or even "Control Panels". Yet programs that run on these operating systems are not necessarily spyware. And Windows itself includes many programs not listed in "Add-Remove".

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Robert, 24 May 2005 @ 3:56pm

    No Subject Given

    Cant we just call it "annoyance-ware" ... very goofy, but then at least you would have none of these silly disputes over semantics.

    Microsoft anti-annoyance-ware .. hmm.. think it would make my mother in-law go away too?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Techdirt Logo Gear
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.