My objection to OC isn't so much what it does on a technical level. My objection is with it's business model.
What they are doing is attempting to unilaterally redefine what constitutes adware and to justify an installation method that is basically stealthed.
I additionally have a problem with their "dealers choice" options for how it gets used (default in/default out) in an individual developer's application. I don't know if this is to provide OC with what they may feel is 'plausible deniability' when accused of being adware, or what.
Up until now, there has been pretty much universal agreement that anything
which gets installed on your PC without giving notice and asking your permission is unacceptable.
OC is attempting to do an end-run around that understanding. First, by muddying up the waters with their insistence on their own definition of what "advertisement" means. Second, by refusing to have OC ask permission prior to doing what it does.
From what I've seen, there seems to be a very deliberate decision not to draw attention to the fact it's on there at all. Otherwise, it would add a mandatory splash banner, and ask if it's ok to proceed.
But it doesn't...
From what I've seen and read of it, it's left up to the app developer just how much to say about the fact OC is piggybacking on his installer.
And I'm sorry folks, but to require that some information be put in the EULA about OC is almost laughable. Not to defend people who don't read the EULAs, but the people who produce OC know (as those of us in the industry do) that very few people ever read
license agreements. I'm almost tempted to say "How convenient."
This is a potential "camel with its nose in the tent" issue. OC may be the most innocuous and benign piece of code out there. But what it is asking us to see as acceptable behavior for a software installer is not. Because it asks us to greenlight an action that has, up until now, been considered unacceptable behavior.
This whole issue could have been avoided if OC just did what every other ad-type software does - pop up a notice and ask to be installed before
anything actually is.
But OC has chosen not to do that.
And I think the reason for that is very simple: most people wouldn't install OC if they knew about it.
And in order for OC to sell their services to their advertising partners, they have to offer some unique sales proposition that gives them the advantage over more traditional piggyback product installers.
And that unique sales proposition is a low key approach to installation that borders on stealth, even if it doesn't quite cross the line, combined with a policy of substituting the term "recommendation" for "advertisement."
Not that it matters. Actions always speak louder than words.
To quote Douglas Adams remix of the classic 'duck test': If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.
In my little corner of the universe, if you ask me - out of the blue - to consider buying something, then it's an 'advert' AFAIC.
And calling it something else - and insisting it's not - only makes it quack louder.