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Nice blog post on the parasitic software hosting sites bundling junkware

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We've discussed this before and it's still as infuriating as ever.

I recently came across this new blog article written by someone who used my Screenshot Captor tool as an example:

That just reminded me of the last time I had to clean up a friends PC after she downloaded some piece of SW from such a site. What I expected to take half an hour turned out to be like 4 hours. I was close to telling her to just re-install Windows.


Not a bad post, but the company behind it looks like they've been changing their branding a lot in the background.

The blog post leads to this wordpress homepage that they picked to be "simple and blogged":

I often find it useful to check "other things on the same top domain". One earlier version was this:

Then one with a definitely older design is at the very top:

Their business model is selling direct connection computer repair services. So the blog post is an "info loss-leader". The only thing then becomes that I as a user have no way to attest how reputable they are to fork out $90-120 for a repair session!

Would it not be possible to insert a clause in the license that states your software cannot be bundled with additional software or use an installer other that the one provided by the original author without specific written permission? That gives you a legal leg to stand on. And while a lawsuit is probably out of the question for most small code shops due to the cost involved, it does give you some "administrative legal" options - such as a complaint to an ISP or a search engine. It's sad to resort to some of the legal nonsense big companies use to bully or otherwise abuse the legal framework. But since it looks like this will be a permanent part of the tech landscape, it's also silly to not use it to your advantage.

Here's a thought...

How about embedding an article - with a registered copyright - in the installer or app itself. Maybe an essay on DonationCoder or the whole donationware concept. It doesn't need to be intrusive. When the installation is completed there's a link in the 'installation completed' dialog box and on the 'about' screen that lets the user read all about it. A block of text shouldn't bulk things up too much.

DMCA takedown rules don't apply to trademarks or licenses. But they DO apply to registered copyrighted works - which allows you to send notice (without hiring an attorney) to the ISP or website administrator demanding the title be taken down. Or to Google requesting the link pointing to another site that's carrying your software be removed because said software includes a copyrighted literary work that is being distributed without permission.

Might be worth a try. :)

Per 40hz, maybe we can spin that angle in all sorts of ways. Since it's the exact same problem in all sorts of ways, aka only some five big name companies at first, let's get a friendly lawyer to draft the first warning letter that x program is not supposed to be "packaged/wrapped etc". Putt out all the bug guns. Copyright like you were saying, Comp Abuse Act, and others.

Then again from that (or another) attorney to be on standby because the first draft of the motion is the same. "You were presented with the do-not-tamper letter and ignored it...".

How deep do their tendrils go? We all joke about how many lawyers are out there, some with a little spare time on hand... what if some pro-bono counsel was on tap at level 3 to push it all the way!?

I vaguely have heard here and there about attorneys pushing 70 "aka nothing to lose", so why not go out with a few landscape changing suits for their posterity!?


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