Gator ordered to stop displaying pop-ups on other sites.
July 12, 2002 10:53 PM   Subscribe

Gator ordered to stop displaying pop-ups on other sites. "We are highly confident that once all the facts are presented in the upcoming trial, no court will issue a ruling eliminating a consumer's right to decide for themselves what is displayed on their own computer screens," Gator CEO Jeff McFadden said in the statement.
posted by skallas (10 comments total)
 
I completely agree with Gator on this one. (did I just write that?) No webmaster should be able to legally force me to display his site the way he likes. This could have chilling effects in the world of pop-under and banner-ad blocking.

Let consumers run what they want. If there's a problem here its the unreadable EULAs that hide what the software is really doing.
posted by skallas at 10:55 PM on July 12, 2002


I think Gator ought to have the law on its side, since users who install the program have to agree to the EULA first, no matter how inscrutable the text of the agreement may be.
posted by insomnyuk at 11:08 PM on July 12, 2002


I'm going to have to disagree on this one. Gator pop-ups aren't your typical pop-up advertisements. Theirs actually launch the install program and ask you if its okay to install Gator. I'm sure many web users think that its necessary to hit Yes so they can see the web page. Should a user be forced investigate for an extended period of time before deciding to hit No to such a pop up? I personally don't think so.
posted by howa2396 at 11:20 PM on July 12, 2002


Although, I'm clearly arguing an entirely seperate issue than the subject. :) My fault.
posted by howa2396 at 11:22 PM on July 12, 2002


I'm not sure what I think about this from a legal standpoint...

But I do hate Gator and its ilk, so I'm not too disappointed.
posted by nath at 11:39 PM on July 12, 2002


no court will issue a ruling eliminating a consumer's right to decide for themselves what is displayed on their own computer screens

I think I speak for just about everyone when I say Gator shouldn't be on anyone's screens!
posted by mcsweetie at 4:59 AM on July 13, 2002


skallas: I don't know about that. The issue here isn't about whether or not you have to display a site the way the author intended, but whether or not some random 3rd party can change it without your knowledge.
posted by delmoi at 6:11 AM on July 13, 2002


Yeah, the Gator people are all about "personal choice," but do everything in their power to dilute your ability to choose whether or not to have the freakin' software on your computer. It's hypocritical at its base.

In addition, they're making a big deal about how their users should be able to choose which ads are displayed, without ever demonstrating that anyone chose to install Gator for this purpose! I would imagine that they would be hard-pressed to produce even a dozen users who willingly downloaded Gator just so they would have different ads displayed on their screens. In my experience, people have it installed because it came as a little remora fish attached to the shark of some other download, rather than because they downloaded it independently.

If they want to have this case tried on its merits, they need to defend the position that other software companies have the right to modify web pages on the computers of the users who download their software. Whether you say that "other software companies" means Gator or that it means the software vendor who released the program on which Gator piggybacked, this is the truth of the matter. And of course, this sounds ludicrous to us all, because it is, and that's probably why they're not defending it.
posted by delfuego at 10:52 AM on July 13, 2002


A friend reported tonight that someone at her firm was fired for having Gator -- and apparently a bunch of other scumware -- on her system. I suspect there was more to it than this, but she said that Gator was automatically downloading screensavers and wallpaper and hogging half the firm's bandwidth.

It had my friend worried about using the Weatherbug.
posted by dhartung at 11:36 PM on July 13, 2002


I think that Gator relies on duplicity, deliberate obfuscation, and used to use outright lies to get its program installed on people's machines as a stowaway.

A significant part of my job is helping to publish a newspaper on the Internet, and my boss is extremely angry about what Gator does to our site with their piggyback ads.

All of that being said, this judgement is ridiculous. My user agent (that's the generic term for software used to access web sites, like your browser) should be able to manipulate the downloaded data in whatever way it wants. I don't think most of you would object if Gator replaced those banner ads with blank ones, or with white space. In fact, some large percentage of you probably use software that does exactly that.

Supporting this judgment is going to come back to haunt those of you who want to use ad-blocking software, and similar mindsets have already cost me user functionality when people got all up in arms about Smart Tags. I don't want the courts deciding what I can do with data on my own computer.

Go after Gator for scheming their way onto users' computers, absolutely. But don't do it at the expense of me having control over my own computer. McFadden's on the side of right this time, though his company and its products are despicable.
posted by anildash at 1:26 AM on July 14, 2002


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