Well Softonic is really walking a narrow line there.
First the good things they are doing:
From the main page for the program they have a prominent link to the program homepage. To me this seems like an obvious no-brainer thing to tell people but we've already seen that cnet is going to extreme lengths to hide this information to keep people from leaving their site. So anyway that's good.
And they are at least including a link to the real original download of the program on the download page, at the bottom.
And they are at least explaining prior to user clicking download, that the user is going to first get the Softonic downloader which may install adware stuff, before they get the real program they want.
Now the bad:
Instead of presenting the user 2 downloads, one from the program authors home page and one with the softonic downloader, they are presenting their downloader as the right way to download, and then an additional link at the bottom labeled "Alternative Screenshot Captor download from an external server (availability not guaranteed by Softonic)" -- you can see they are trying hard to push people to download using their installer.
Just like Stoic Joker says -- they are deliberately trying to trick people to avoid the author's original site, as if it was somehow untrustworthy.
To me this is a clear case of trying to trick people to download your crap adware installer. Is it as bad as cnet? No, clearly not. But is it bad enough to warrant us trying to rally the troops to force softonic to improve this? I'm not sure. What do you guys think?
We are starting to see some glimpses into a really ugly possible future for free software (and uglier for donationware) if these 3rd parties can perfect a way of getting in between authors and users and profiteering from their role as middlemen snake oil salesman.
It's almost as if we are being told: Adware is the future and it's going to be injected into your software whether you like it or not. If you don't put it in yourself someone else will and they'll get the profits.