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September 02, 2005

Class Action Lawsuit Against Sneaky Adware Firm Moves Forward

Adware firm Direct Revenue is having a bad week. The firm, who has one of the worse reputations among adware firms (none of whom have a particularly good reputation, of course), not only ended up laying off a number of employees, but also has experienced a setback in the class action lawsuit against it. Direct Revenue tried to have the lawsuit dismissed by claiming that everyone who had their software obviously agreed to it by clicking through the EULA. While even that is questionable based on some of the company's past actions, the judge clearly didn't buy the whole EULA argument and has allowed the case to move forward. Even better, the judge made it clear that the claim that adware ads aren't a burden since users can just click to close them isn't a legitimate line of arguing either: "This argument ignores the reality of computer and Internet use, and plaintiff's allegation that part of the injury is the cumulative harm caused by the volume and frequency of the advertisements. The fact that a computer user has the ability to close each pop-up advertisement as it appears does not necessarily mitigate the damages alleged by plaintiff, which include wasted time, computer security breaches, lost productivity, and additional burdens on the computer's memory and display capabilities." It's also worth noting that the judge allowed the case to not only include Direct Revenue, but also advertising firms that send ads through Direct Revenue. The ad firms tried to get out of the case by saying they just serve ads, but the judge makes it clear that they knew they were serving ads through Direct Revenue's "spyware" (the judge repeatedly refers to the software as spyware), knowing that such ads would pop up and potentially interfere with the computer user. Should be an interesting case to follow.

Posted by dymaxion at September 2, 2005 12:33 AM


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