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No Honor Among Malware Purveyors 416

Posted by timothy
from the say-it-ain't-so dept.
metalion writes "True to the saying 'no honor among thieves,' adware company, Avenue Media, is finding that competing adware company, DirectRevenue, is detecting and deleting their software. Now Avenue Media is crying foul and have filed a lawsuit against DirectRevenue stating that DirectRevenue 'knowingly and with intent to defraud, exceeded its authorized access to users' computers.' DirectRevenue acknowledges that it may uninstall competing applications in its user license agreement. A researcher at Harvard University, Ben Edelman, reasons that 'Once the computer is infected with 10 different unwanted programs, the person is likely to take some action to address the situation.' Just how far will adware companies go to continue to attempt to bombard us with their ads?"
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No Honor Among Malware Purveyors

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  • Too funny (Score:5, Insightful)

    by networkBoy (774728) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:13PM (#11033326) Homepage Journal
    We all have been complaining about malware for years. . .
    Now they are complaining about themselves.
    When does it stop?
    -nB
    • Hopefully it will stop with me complaining about you complaining about them complaining about each other.

      -Peter
      • by tomhudson (43916)
        Hey, this could be a Good Thing - an arms race among malware vendors to delete each others' crap.

        Between that and expending resources suing each other, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel.

    • When it will stop. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by AltGrendel (175092)
      Never, of course.

      However, when the stupid malware companies realize that what they really need to do is be more like the true biologial parasite, then it may slow down. A RL parasite is benign to the host. If they wrote their code so that you never knew it was there, you would never know to complain now would you?

      • Unlike a real parasite, malware's goal isn't just to survive and reproduce - it goal is to generate revenue. I don't see how a company can generate revenue by secretly installing truely benign software on your system.
      • by wcb4 (75520)
        I think you are confusing a symbiotic relationship with a parasitic one. In a symbiotic relationship, each gets somethign out of the relationship, so there is no need to complain. A Parasite, such as a tapeworm, does harm the host over time
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:49PM (#11033770)
        A RL parasite is benign to the host.

        Not quite. A parasite, by definiton, is an organism that harms its host. According to something I read a long time ago, there are three types of cohabitating organisms. A parasite harms its host, a symbiont benefits its host, and a commensal neither harms nor helps its host. It's the last one you were thinking of.

      • by Bertie (87778) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:02PM (#11033891)
        Not benign - there's nothing much benign about malaria, for instance. It's not about not affecting your host, it's about not killing it, and that's true of malware as much as it is of a biological parasite.
      • Somebody flunked biology class. A real parasite is not benign to the host. That sounds like a symbiote. Parasites by their nature take the resources from a host for their own. When was the last time you saw someone with a tapeworm that had no symptoms? How about ameobic dysentery? Does that sound like benign? Perhaps Giardia Lamblia? No? They cause severe disturbances to the host including fevers, bleeding, diarrhea and vomiting. Check your info.
    • Re:Too funny (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kawika (87069)
      Every adware/spyware company complains about their competitors. Each company always claims they are legitimate and that users love their software. It's always the "other guy" that is a sleazeball and giving the "contextual advertising" business a bad name.
  • by Tetsugaku-San (717792) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:13PM (#11033341) Homepage
    Maybe they will destroy each other in an orgy of program deletion :D Neverthought spyware would be spyware removal . . . . .
    • by Ayaress (662020) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:21PM (#11033450) Journal
      I'd like nothing better than to see two spyware companies destroy one another in a glorious battle to the death, but I'd much rather they NOT do it on MY harddrive.
    • ...if they started bombing each others' offices, and wiped each other off the face of the earth.

      Now *that* would be great.
    • Cool! (Score:5, Funny)

      by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:35PM (#11033602)
      We may be witnessing the establishment of an entirely new biome with its own form of species and evolution.

      What spyware writers need to do now is add the following features to their code:
      • Random mutations
      • Breeding and crossover with other spyware programs so that chunks of similar malicious code are exchanged
      • A fitness evaluation function
      The fitness evaluation should take into account:
      • A penalty for network infrastructure damage
      • Number of competing spyware programs "eaten" by an individual
      • Number of idiots knocked off the Internet
      • I've wondered for years when someone would write the first true 'genetic algorithim' based worm/virus. It would be a fantastic and alternately, horrible landmark in computer science.

        However, there is no point in designing a fitness evaluation. In real natural processes, the fitness evaluation is competition for resources. The only reason why it has to be introduced into modeled simulations is that there is no real competition in a model unless you include it. The real fitness evaluator of a virus is how
  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:14PM (#11033347) Journal
    Reminds me of the stories of people calling the police because someone stole their weed.
    • Or even worse... Thieves breaking into houses and injuring themselves, only to sue the homeowner they were originally trying to steal from.

      I remember the 6 o'clock news reporting on a guy who tried to steal from a Chinese restaurant by crawling through the kitchen's exhaust at the top of the building. Unfortunately for him, he landed on a stove that was left on at the end of the day. And of course, the very next week he was suing for the injuries he had sustained as a result of his illegal activities. Don'
  • Firmware ADS. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:14PM (#11033348)
    " Just how far will adware companies go to continue to attempt to bombard us with their ads?""

    When ads are burned into BIOSes.
  • Now here's an idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:14PM (#11033353) Homepage Journal
    We should require by law that when a spyware application installs itself, it must uninstall another spyware application without damaging the host system, and further that it put itself into add/remove programs. Then we should just shoot the bastards that don't comply. Oughta solve the malware problem...
    • by garcia (6573) * on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:19PM (#11033422) Homepage
      We should require by law that when a spyware application installs itself, it must uninstall another spyware application without damaging the host system, and further that it put itself into add/remove programs.
      Just because it is listed in Add/Remove Software doesn't mean it is removed entirely.
      • Half the time it's not listed at all but at least it would give you an idea of what had installed itself.

        Of course, a law doesn't automatically make people comply, but it does provide for additional punishment for those who don't if you can catch them. This is the reason for a lot of the laws we have on the books...

    • by danheskett (178529) <danheskett AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:29PM (#11033541)
      That'd be great! This is the very last law we need to pass, and then the problem of untrustworthy software, vendors, and tactics will be solved!

      Great! I am going to write my congressman and tell him to get busy writing the "Penultimate Fix for Unethical Software bill.

      Once Congress gets involved the problem will be solved within 6 months!
    • by Anonymous Coward
      > We should require by law that when a spyware application installs itself, it must uninstall another spyware application ...

      But on a clean install, there IS no spyware to uninstall. So how can you install the first program without breaking...wait, that's brilliant!
    • by kahei (466208) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:41PM (#11033672) Homepage

      Wait, I have a better idea... don't do that first bit and go straight to shooting the bastards!

  • by sczimme (603413) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:14PM (#11033356)

    Just how far will adware companies go to continue to attempt to bombard us with their ads?

    A) As far as they think they need to go
    B) As far as they are allowed to go and remain on the right side of the law
    C) As far as they need to go despite the law
    D) All of the above
    E) Profit?
    F) CowboyNeal
      • Just how far will adware companies go to continue to attempt to bombard us with their ads?

        A) As far as they think they need to go
        B) As far as they are allowed to go and remain on the right side of the law
        C) As far as they need to go despite the law
        D) All of the above
        E) Profit?
        F) CowboyNeal

      Sad, but true. I think the answer is A) and E). They will go as far as they think they need to go in order to make more money. The better question might be, how far will they be allowed to go, either by com

  • a pit (Score:5, Funny)

    by gotem (678274) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:15PM (#11033361) Homepage Journal
    great idea, put all the malware to fight, and the survivor gets to be deleted by spybot.
    More fun than core wars
    • Re:a pit (Score:3, Informative)

      by jc42 (318812)
      More fun than core wars

      Not really. Much of the fun of core wars is documenting the battle and figuring out why particular competitors have won. Core wars is generally played out on a machine set up for just that purpose, and the competitors are known beforehand.

      With malware, the battle is generally hidden, and you can't learn much from it. You just know that something's happened, because innocent bystanders (i.e., the software you want to run) has been injured in the battle. And you didn't volunteer
  • by Se7enLC (714730) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:15PM (#11033362) Homepage Journal
    Now if only we could make these malware programs only target other malware programs and not the operation of the PC...

    We could have a little battlebots competition! The Amazing Bonzi takes on reigning champion THE GATOR.
  • by Soulfarmer (607565) * on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:15PM (#11033370) Homepage Journal
    That way, competition would again benefit us, the regular consumer.

    Personally, ad/malware is one of the rare reasons I would encourage less strict weapon laws... :)
  • If they succed . . . (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:15PM (#11033372)
    If they succed with the lawsuit against DirectRevenu , what does that mean for software like ad-aware?
    • Well, since Ad-aware is run with the full consent of the user, I don't see how it would "exceed the authorizations of the user" or whatever the lawsuit language is.
      • DirectRevenue does have the users authorization. From the user license agreement;

        "You further understand and agree, by installing the software, that the software may, without any further prior notice to you, remove, disable or render inoperative other adware programs resident on your computer."

        So if a user agrees to this, what is the difference in terms of "user authorization" is this and him running ad-aware?
        • Hard to tell from the details in these stories. One argument Avenue Media could run is that DirectRevenue is interfering in the contract between the user and Avenue Media. Whilst it (arguably) has the user's permission to do this, it doesn't have Avenue Media's.
    • I don't think it will have any effect. The scumware makers would have to convince a court that users should not be allowed to run software of their choice on their own machines. I see very few legal strategies that could work here, especially if the case went to a jury. Would you, as a juror, side with the spyware/adware companies?
      • THe slimebags are both sides of the case... there's not much choice.
      • I see very few legal strategies that could work here, especially if the case went to a jury.
        Jury nullification aside, EvilCo could argue that the consideration for its Super Useful Adware is the consumer's agreement to 1) view the ads and 2) not remove their adware from the machine. In that case, the software vendor providing a removal tool would be interfering with EvilCo's business relationship with the consumer. I'd say that line of argument has a shot.
      • Would you, as a juror, side with the spyware/adware companies?

        If they gave me some free penis enlargement pills I would!
    • by Rycross (836649)
      Given that they're basing their argument on the asssumption that DirectRevenue "knowingly and with intent to defraud, exceeded its authorized access to users' computers," (Pot, I'd like you to meet Kettle...) I don't think there is much to worry about. Users running ad-aware are directly giving their consent to the program to modify their system.
    • by GauteL (29207) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:33PM (#11033582)
      Nothing. Ad-Aware's advertised main function is to remove adware.

      This lawsuit is about some adware going outside the boundaries of their advertised function, and removing other adware and only telling the users by the fine print of the EULA.

  • by Ev0lution (804501) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:16PM (#11033385)
    Now Avenue Media is crying foul and have filed a lawsuit against DirectRevenue

    Sometimes you just wish that both sides can lose...

  • Familiar... (Score:4, Funny)

    by which way is up (835908) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:17PM (#11033390)
    Two programs fighting for dominance on my computer? Brings me back to my AOL on Windows days.
  • Ironic that they file a lawsuit of thier program being removed when they didn't (explicitly) ask permission to get there in the first place. Maybe we all should just download Virtual bouncer to clean off our systems....oh, wait....
  • by Total_Wimp (564548) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:19PM (#11033423)
    I hope they win the lawsuit. If they were to get the courts to agree that hiding malicious wording in the EULA is fraud then that would be a nice boon to shutting some of these people down.

    In fact, just about any attack on the concept of click-through EULAs is pretty good in my book. Scream "contract!" all you want, they're bad for me personally and bad for the industry. Consent and informed consent are two different things and it appears the industry has completely abandonded any pretext of the latter.

    TW
    • The EULA will have little impact on this. If a user were filing a law suit or class action against Direct Revenue for removing the software from AvenueMedia then there may be a chance of addressing EULA landmines. However, AvenueMedia is suing Direct Revenue for removing their software, not for telling users about it first, then doing it.
    • by Rich0 (548339) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:48PM (#11033766) Homepage
      I think the reason that EULAs get away with that nonsense is that people are used to just clicking on them and the general impression is that they aren't terribly legally binding.

      Imagine that whenever you went to the grocery store you were handed a 12 page contract at the checkouts - every time. Imagine that you had to sign a 27 page document every time you bought gas. Imagine having your babysitter and yourself exchange 107 page contracts every time you went out to dinner.

      Contracts are great for their intended purpose - outlining rights and responsiblities in major transactions (your house, your car). They work best when you're talking about tangible things, or clearly defined services. Things are already getting murky when you start talking employment contracts and non-disclosure agreements. The standard we-can-kill-your-entire-family-and-you-can't-sue-u s things you get at the ski slopes are highly questionable.

      What is the point in having all these one-sided contracts for every possible action under the sun?

      Perhaps there should be a law that all contracts are reviewed for fairness by a state attourney. There would be a fee of about $100 for every contract that is executed - this can be split by the parties however they feel is fair. Something like this wouldn't be a big deal for a house sale (gosh, most areas charge 1% plus a bundle of other fees). On the other hand, if MS had to send the state $100 for every windows installation, they'd think twice about those contracts. Ditto for the million other documents that serve no purpose.

      Standard forms of business that have standard disclaimers should be covered by state law - such as a law stating what ski-lift operators are and are not responsible for. If they want to use a non-standard set of disclaimers, fine, but fork over $100 per customer. The state bears all the litigation costs when the contract is disputed - this lets them approve the contract before there is anything to argue over.

      I wonder if a concept like this could actually work?
    • by rainman_bc (735332) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:55PM (#11033809)
      IANAL, but the easiest defence to this lawsuit is to prove that the plantif has been deceiving users into installing their software, and have been doing illegal activities.

      Of course that also might incriminate the defendant. But you can't sue for damages over an illegal activity.

      Let's hope they get a judge who's had a computer taken over by spyware / adware...
  • by wowbagger (69688) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:21PM (#11033443) Homepage Journal
    ...knowingly and with intent to defraud, exceeded its authorized access to users' computers.

    Mr. Kettle, a question upon your comments about Mr. Pot's absense of reflectivity to EM radiation between 680nm and 430nm....

    Really, doesn't ALL adware exceed authorize access to user's computers?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:21PM (#11033444)
    It's nice to think that at least one adware purveyor is going to be inconvenienced by this little tussle, but it's not so uplifting when you consider that the choice of winners is "adware company #1", "adware company #2", or "lawyers who represent adware companies".

  • stating that DirectRevenue 'knowingly and with intent to defraud, exceeded its authorized access to users' computers.'

    That should be put in the dictionary under "hypocrisy".
  • by ClubStew (113954) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:23PM (#11033465)
    exceeded its authorized access to users' computers

    And is my mom and other not-so-savvy users granting said authority in the first place? This suit seems riddled with assumptions that it was legal in the first place to install such software.

    And since when has malware displayed any EULA - or any UI, for that matter?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I think AvenueMedia deserves to be compensated for this. Let's give their owners the nicer of the two jail cells.
  • Spy Vs. Spy (Score:2, Funny)

    by SCOX_Free (806174)
    Am I the only one who thought of MAD magazine's Spy Vs. Spy when I read this? Didn't they both end up killing eachother everytime?
  • by mikael (484) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:31PM (#11033562)
    I wondered how long we would have to wait for this to happen. I always imagined it would be university students or black-hats. I never imagined it would be spammers/spyware authors trying to kill each other's programs.
  • by bedelman (42523) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:32PM (#11033568) Homepage
    Perhaps also of interest:

    After DirectRevenue removes competitors' programs from users' disks, it also transmits extensive information about users' computers [benedelman.org]. Among the information: MAC address, Windows Product ID, all running tasks, and registry entrise for certain additional competitors (Gator, 180solutions) and removal programs (Ad-Aware, PestPatrol) if installed.
  • In Capitalist America, Adware deletes... um, ITSELF!
  • Two ads enter one ad leaves!

    There can be only one!

    Gah.. my brain.

  • by baadfood (690464) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:34PM (#11033598)
    Enough shit like this and no Judge will ever take an EULA seriously.
  • We all new they would eventually turn upon themselves, when they have nothing *new* left to feed upon.

    It seems the day of reckoning may be seeing it's first light of dawn. Here's to hoping they all devour each other in a darwinistic orgy of competition. Maybe, in the end, each company competing will be the best form of Spyware removal tools a user could ask for.

    Let the programs compete until there's a winner, then shoot the winner. Problem solved.
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:35PM (#11033615) Journal
    Clearly, its the customer who is giving the other application permission to uninstall the exisitng malware. The vendors of the other application have no influence or stake in the agreement between the exisitng malware authors and the user. The only party that can breach the agreement is the user.

    So, the users should be punished for violating the copyright on the software they didn't want in the first place, and was installed without their knowledge.
  • by bob670 (645306) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:36PM (#11033622)
    thing to be an easy answer to home users, but someone has to explain to me why corporate customers continue to tolerate this stuff that is directly targeted at Windows weak spots? It would be tough, and damn unlikely to get mom, pop and granny off of their Windows XP machines, but I have several customers who spend all day in Office, e-mail and the web for all of their business and I make a steady buck doing spyware removal. And they dont' want to talk prevention, every meeting ends with "well, we just won't allow employees to install things like this any longer" and 2 months later I get a call to come back.

    Barring use of some Windows based Spyware prevention tools (most of which aren't free for corporate use), mirgating to some combination of Mac OS X and Linux would end virtually all of this and then I could charge them for stuff like implementing cool new tools for them to use instead of upkeep of a broken system. Of course, these are the same customers who won't try FireFox because it "just doesn't feel right"???

    I'm truly torn between my ethics and the need to keep up my income in a crap economy.

  • by wowbagger (69688) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:36PM (#11033629) Homepage Journal
    I'd submitted this gem [nbc10.com] to /., but they obviously felt it wasn't news.

    A lady in El Paso gets a telemarketing call. She says no, repeatedly. Telemarketer ignores her, repeatedly. She hangs up, forcefully.

    She later gets a letter saying:

    Jill Beyer,

    Before you are rude to another telemarketer, you should keep in mind that he or she has your phone number and your address.

    Many of them live in your own state and most don't give a (expletive)!

    So, Ms. Beyer, the next time a telemarketer calls and you don't want to be bothered, a simple "not interested" will do.

    Your son or daughter or next-door neighbor's daughter could very well be a telemarketer. A handicapped, wheelchair-bound person could be a telemarketer. A biker or ex-con is more likely to be a telemarketer. You really, really shouldn't (expletive) with them!

    As they say in the telemarketing industry, "Have a good day Ms. Beyer!"


    So, we have:
    • Television stations prohibiting us from recording shows (via the broadcast bit)
    • TV execs saying "skipping commercials is theft"
    • Telemarketers threatening those who will not listen to their pitches.
    • Adware companies fighting over who can infest your computer.
    • Drive-by installs of adware


    OK, I move that we commit all advertisers to institutions for the criminally insane, right now.

    Any seconds?
  • and how long before (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hsmith (818216) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:39PM (#11033653)
    Users are sued for deleting malware off their computer? where do you go from here?
  • Now Avenue Media is crying foul and have filed a lawsuit against DirectRevenue stating that DirectRevenue 'knowingly and with intent to defraud, exceeded its authorized access to users' computers.'

    *brain asplodes from irony*

  • If I were on this jury I would intentionally deadlock, forcing a mistrial. In that way, both companies would have to pay to have another trial. I would hope the next jury would do the same.
  • They'll never stop (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Scutter (18425) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:47PM (#11033745) Journal
    Just how far will adware companies go to continue to attempt to bombard us with their ads?

    I remember reading this short story once about an ad-infested world where there were ads on every available surface. On your toilet paper, on your pancakes, on every square inch of wall, *everywhere*. One image was the protagonist attempting to shave (with difficulty) by looking through a letter "O" on his mirror. He finally gets fed up and he meets a woman who offers him a secret place to go to get away from ads for a few hours at a time. The twist was that the tiny one-room ad-free apartment was actually a government-run re-education facility to brainwash "ad-hating dissidents" to start accepting ads again.

    Anyone know this story or remember the name? Now that us TiVo people are considered TV thieves, I'm starting to feel the story to be prophectic.
    • by Trifthen (40989)
      That makes me think of another point. If ads become so pervasive that they're on every surface, everywhere; like spam, who has time to read them all? Seriously, if ads were everywhere, they'd just start blurring together.

      Heck, we already see so many ads today, that I can't describe to you the last Ad I saw. Web ads? TV ads? Billboards? Radio? Magazines? Newspapers? It doesn't matter. The human brain works by recording general traits, only getting specific if something stands out, or you make a me
  • Just how far will adware companies go to continue to attempt to bombard us with their ads?

    Easy. Until people stop buying their products.
    Spam wouldn't exist if it wasn't economically feasable to do so.
  • by swb (14022) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:48PM (#11033768)
    I thought that there *was* honor among thieves, the contradictory nature of the statement "There is honor among thieves" giving it its resonance.

    • I thought that there *was* honor among thieves...

      The correct phrase is "There is honor even among thieves", apparently first recorded in 1630. Also, "Thieves are never rogues among themselves."

      There's an authoritative discussion here [msu.edu]. (The ODEP mentioned is the Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs).

  • by hoyty (35485) <hoyty@hoyty.com> on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @01:53PM (#11033795) Homepage
    In trying to clean a laptop yesterday I used Ad-Aware SE. At the end of its scanning process it allows you to select what to remove. When I got to this point one of the malwares took control of Ad-Aware quickly and added itself to the ignore list. I found this quite amazing. Part of the ignore was some of CWS, but there were other things there as well. I was able to scan again and remove the ignores. This new trend is mildly disturbing.
  • by RealProgrammer (723725) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:05PM (#11033947) Homepage Journal
    In about 1995 I worked for a telemarketer. Yeah, I know. Anyway, I sat in a meeting once with some people from a trendy ad agency. They said one of the best ways to market things on the Internet was to visit newsgroups and message boards (what we now call blogs), and ask a question as one user, then provide the answer as another. The answer, of course, would advertize Our Fine Product.

    I told them that was lying, and that it was wrong. They looked at me blankly. I may as well have been speaking Latin. I then explained a bit about Internete culture, and the negative feedback of spamming newsgroups. That, they could comprehend, but they didn't think I knew what I was talking about. Their model worked - and it wasn't lying, it was just business.

    The mindset of people who spam, sell banner ads, use covert marketing, and advertize on Channel One is (to overgeneralize): whatever it takes to make money.

    It doesn't matter what is "right" or "wrong" - rightness and wrongness are a matter of degree, and that degree is measured by a cost-benefit equation. If the

    (likely revenue) > X% + sum of (potential costs * likelihood of each)

    that's good and "right", otherwise it's bad and "wrong". 'X' represents the amount of margin you could make off some other investment.

    The thing that distinguishes telemarketers and spammers is that negative feedback from non-customers doesn't bother them.
  • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:06PM (#11033962) Homepage Journal
    ...but this just made my christmas! Since Santa seems to think I have been a good boy, I have a few more things to ask for...

    1) A video tape of rival gangs of spammers getting in knife fights over ISP bandwith 'turf'.

    2) Microsoft's Yakuzza getting irritated with SCO's failures to bring down Linux, and doing drive-bys shootings to the board menbers.

    3) George Bush Jr. getting in a sissy slap-fight with John Ashcroft over the pronunciation of the word 'Nucular'.
  • by Ratphace (667701) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @02:38PM (#11034367)

    ...and that question is just how binding is a company allowed to make its EULA?

    I think all the EULA's are out of control as to how much control and ownership these companies have over your PC and what right's we as owners of the PC should have reserved.

    I keep hoping someday, someone, somewhere will really bring all these EULA's that we are all subjected to each and everytime we install something, under a microscope and start really questioning the legality of said EULA's.

    Just my 2 cents...
  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday December 08, 2004 @03:07PM (#11034763) Homepage
    Here's the court filing. [benedelman.org] It's in the U.S. District Court in Seattle, WA. None of the parties are there; DirectMedia is in New York, and Avenue Media is in Curacao. But DirectMedia claims that Seattle is appropriate because the software is sometimes used there.

    Avenue Media is claiming "tortious interference with contract" on the grounds that DirectMedia is interfering with their contractual relationships with their customers. This is in addition to their Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim. The rationale, presumably, is that if they can show some kind of illegal act under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, their "tortious interference" claim might go somewhere.

    Some anti-spyware group might want to file a friend-of-the-court brief. The best possible ruling would be that both parties are violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and therefore DirectMedia cannot claim to come to court with clean hands.

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