We're not Spyware, dammit! We're going to sue!!!!
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Thread: We're not Spyware, dammit! We're going to sue!!!!

  1. #1
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    We're not Spyware, dammit! We're going to sue!!!!

    Ironic that a discussion started here does bring to light the question of what exactly is spyware. It's interesting to see how much effort iSearch is putting into this. I almost want to say "They doth protest too much, me thinks". Anyways, has anyone had experience with iSearch/iDownload?


    Source: CastleCops

    Letter sent to CastleCops

    On the 16th of February, 2005, we received Certified Mail from the office of Savrick Schumann Johnson McGarr Kaminski & Shirley, attorneys and counselors at law, Mark D. Hopkins, Partner - Austin Office representing iDownload.com. The letter, dated February 10, 2005 begins:

    "Re: Incorrect Classification of iDownload's Product as Spyware & Related disparagement of iDownload"

    Rest of the letter in full quotation:

    Dear Sir or Madam:

    This firm represents iDownload.com with respect to your inaccurate classification of iDownload's software product, iSearch toolbar, by referring to it as Spyware in its description. Specifically, a recent review of materials disseminated by your company, via the Internet, revealed that your company is falsely disparaging iDownload's product, iSearch, in that CastleCops f/k/a Computer Cops, L.L.C. classifies the product as Spyware and articulates that,

    iSearch is certified spyware/foistware, or other malware.

    Castle Cops f/k/a Computer Cops, L.L.C.'s characterization of iSearch as Spyware is damaging to the iDownload brand. As we all know, Spyware is a phrase within the public conscience that has a specific meaning. A classification of Spyware is usually reserved for those programs that not only have the ability to scan an end- user's computer, but also seek to remain unnoticed or hidden, and also seek to gather personal information such as passwords, account numbers, etc. of the end-user. iSearch does not fit this profile.

    iSearch does not qualify as Spyware. iSearch is a toolbar that in no way attempts to remain hidden or evade detection. Continuing, unlike Spyware, iSearch does not gather any personally identifiable information about end users, does not collect data about the user's web usage, does not collect any information entered into web forms, does not share information with third parties, does not send or cause to be sent unsolicted e-mail, and does not install items such as dialers on the end user's computer.

    We would request that you correct your disseminated materials immediately to remove any reference to iSearch as Spyware, Foistware, or Malware. To the extent you fail to remedy your improper disparagement of the iDownload brand on or before February 15, 2005, we will take all necessary action against your company to protect iDownload from your continuing tortuous conduct. Should you have any questions regarding the foregoing, please feel free to contact me.

    Best Regards,

    Mark D. Hopkins
    *italics added by me.
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  2. #2
    Master-Jedi-Pimps0r & Moderator thehorse13's Avatar
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    This is not uncommon now. We saw a similar complaint from WeatherBug, who happens to do business in our community. They have been trying to separate themselves from the nasty spyware name and have also secured council to assist them. In fact, they have petitioned Websense, Spybot and other related products to remove their weatherbug app from their spyware signatures.
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  3. #3
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    But the question remains: are they or are they not spyware? Or is the definition too wide? (perhaps a new class called "damn pain-in-the-ass to remove ware"?)
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  4. #4
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
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    It's interesting, they go on to explain why they are "not" spyware then all of a sudden lump spyware in with malware and foistware. Call it, "things you may not want ... thymnw-ware" Apperently people installing anti"spyware" tools are hurting business?
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    I'm going to have to agree with you ms. mittens. There are 3 types of spyware
    1-damn pain-in-the-ass to remove ware
    2-
    3-
    You know what, there is only one type of spywere. SO...I guess the definition isn't wide at all.
    I\'d try to be pestimistic, but that probably wouldn\'t work.

  6. #6
    Master-Jedi-Pimps0r & Moderator thehorse13's Avatar
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    The real issue is that the law hasn't caught up with technology. It will be difficult to define these things (and letigate with success) until some kind of standards and definitions are setup.
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  7. #7
    ********** |ceWriterguy
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    I've been calling junk like this 'sneakware' - since the company sneaks it onto your machine. I firmly believe that all 'sneakware' should fall into the same category as spyware/malware : I didn't ask for the bloody thing, don't want it, and want to be rid of it for all eternity. If spybot and the others are forced to remove it from their definitions, it might be time to write an 'anti sneakware' tool...
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    Along somewhat the same lines

    Microsoft compensates blocked Dutch web firm

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/02..._spyware_ilse/

    Microsoft is to compensate Dutch web company Ilse Media because its AntiSpyware software blocked one of Ilse's portals, Startpagina ("Startpage").
    I wonder if MS would be as quick to act to a US company? The EU courts seem much more anti MS.
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  9. #9
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    Too weird. This just happened.

    A co-worker of mine was helping another auditor remove some spyware just a few minutes ago and the co-worker asked me if our corporation has spyware... with my mouth agape, I muttered "Man - I hope not, please don't let it be so." And then he said "Well it might be like WeatherBug - you know, it's kinda like spyware." Weird.

    I was also wondering if the law will always be in catch-up mode with technology... I believe it will be. As it seems as soon as one issue is dealt with, 5-10 more develop - like should their be classifications of spyware?

    Also - just because a organization accused of using spywarefirm hires a lawyer and the lawyer sends a letter stating their client should not be classified as using spyware, that the accused still isn't a proprietor of spyware. I think there will be more issues like this as companies refine their spyware approach to make it look, feel anything other than spyware, but when analyzed - it's still spyware. Back to the point, just because a lawyer says that their client does not do this or that, does not prove anything. The proof so to speak, is in the pudding. Ask Bill Cosby - he'll tell you.
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    Reply

    The dictionary defines spyware as the following:

    any software that covertly gathers information about a user while he/she navigates the Internet and transmits the information to an individual or company that uses it for marketing or other purposes
    Now, keeping this in mind as we have said this is pretty broad. Vauge even. Nevertheless there are certain key words in this definetion that should be focused on. Covertly. transmits. individual or company. marketing. Some spyware that we have been discussing does this, gator is an example. The weatherbug. I have always thought as these kind of spyware like T.V. commercials. They are for marketing purposes. However just like when you are watching the game, you do not wanna see these commercials. You just wanna watch the damn game. Does this mean we should sue McDonalds for interupting our viewing plesure? No, of course not. Instead let's make TiVo. Should these companies be sued becuase they are practicing there freedom to market there product. No. Let's instead make a anti-spyware. But, as with any other freedom this applies only to the point when it infringes on our peaceof mind. If I wanna crank up some Hatebreed while in my apartment I have the freedom to do that. However by law when that noise becomes a nucience to others then I have broken the boundries and should be punished.

    Keeping this in mind now, if a company is infringing on my freedom to pursue pleasurable internet surfing shouldn't the samerules apply? Of course they should. No one has the right to just install something on my computer with out my autorization. That could be compared to someone entering my home and setting on my end table a plethora of ad's and coupons. No one has the right to do that. So where do thesecompaines find the reason to do this to my computer? No where. It should be treated the same as we as humans are treated. I we infringe on someone elses freedom to be left alone then that action should be countered with a just punishment. In otherwords, force them to take that stupid ass spyware off of there software. Make a commercial, make a website about it. There is no need to make hidden packages that infest my computer with crap.
    Don\'t be a bitch! Use Slackware.

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