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Download.com Claims Removal of All Programs Containing Adware
April 28, 2005
Thomas Mennecke
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Adware and spyware have been an unfortunate accompaniment to many programs, particularly P2P applications. Their intrusions range from minor opt-out programs such as those contained in eDonkey, to hijack-ware that destroys one's computer experience - as found in Grokster.

In an effort to stem the proliferation of adware and spyware, Download.com has initiated an effort to remove all software from their site containing such third party intrusions. In the past, egregious abusers of the ignorant such as Grokster or Kazaa Media Desktop have been downloaded millions of times, leaving many with a bad taste for file-sharing. Download.com hopes this trend will cease with their new policy.

"During the past few years, we've brought you the best tools and tips in our Spyware Center, and we've maintained a strict policy toward adware by allowing only software that discloses advertising partnerships during installation," said CNET Download.com Senior vice president Scott Arpajian."

"This week, we've upped the ante: we're launching a new zero-tolerance policy toward all bundled adware. That means every time you download software from Download.com, you can trust we've tested it and found it to be adware-free--period."

Although Download.com's new policy may seem like a good idea, there are some serious flaws and inconsistencies - especially when it comes to P2P programs. From Download.com's top 25 titles, the following P2P programs are potentially affected by the new policy.

eDonkey, Morpheus, BitComet, LimeWire, Warez and iMesh.

Here is where a serious inconsistency comes into play. The eDonkey client has been de-listed from Download.com, while ad supported programs such as Morpheus, Warez and iMesh still remain unmolested. The following text is displayed when an attempt is made to download eDonkey:

"This title is no longer available!"

"The program you've requested, "eDonkey", is not available for download at this time. You might try searching for this title at a later date, or use the search box to look for a similar program now."

Although all four aforementioned clients contain "opt out" adware and force advertising via banner ads, eDonkey is the only one de-listed despite being no different. Morpheus, iMesh and Warez P2P all force advertising on the user and have "opt out" adware, yet remain on Download.com.

It is possible this inconsistency is a mere oversight, and will be remedied in the near future. To remedy such oversights, Download.com has instituted a feedback form to advise of such incidents. You can inform Download.com of this gross inconsistency here.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Technology News :: Organizations/Initiatives
Technology News :: Software

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