Any info Commission Stealing ?

  • RichB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I was reading in one of the many newletters that I receive, but can't quite remember subscribing to, that the Napster Clones, Grokster Kazaa et all, have figured out a way to divert affiliate commissions. The article claims that the client software package includes some means to do this and that the users agree to it when they agree to the EULA, but how a user can legally agree to divert someone else's commissions is beyond me.

I was wondering if anyone had heard of this or had any info on how it was being done - or more to the point how to prevent it. I have enough trouble getting people to buy stuff without worrying about someone stealing the commission. Supposedly there are scripts to prevent it, but I did a search on Google and only found similar articles and one product for sale that claims to prevent it by encrypting links .
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • UNFLUX
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I haven't heard anything about the commission thing at all to even
comment on the redirection. Sounds shady tho, and I know I wouldn't
even bother to participate. That's just me though...
  • RichB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think it's shady to the point of being illegal and I want to prevent it not participate in it. I don't think that users downloading software can legally agree to divert my commissions to someone else.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

oh ok, i misunderstood sorry. :D I agree 100%
  • Bigwebmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

So are you saying they would be able to divert affiliate commissions that I might make on some of my sites?
  • RichB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Unfortunately, yes. This is the excerpt from the DevWebPro newletter:

4. Affiliate Marketing - are you aware of the "commission stealing" game that is going on with many of the file sharing downloads? Last year, a lot of the software used to share music also ended up over-writing affiliate codes and replacing them with their own when a user clicked on an affiliate link, either with or without the user's permission. This situation is fluid and changes all the time, but just search Google on "commission stealing" and you'll find a ton of info on it. There are some tricks you can employ to try to keep this from happening. My guess is your target market is probably heavily into music file sharing, so you might be particularly hurt by this.


I searched Google and did not find too much about it except an abstract of an article from the NYTimes, so presumably it is accurate. This is the NYTimes abstract:


ABSTRACT - Some popular online services are using new kind of software to divert sales commissions that would otherwise be paid to small online merchants by big sites like Amazon and eToys; sites that use software, which is made by nearly 20 companies and used by dozens, are acceptable, because users agree to diversion; amounts involved are estimated to have mounted into hundreds of thousands of dollars and are likely to continue to grow, in part because most users are unaware that software is operating on their computers; diversion begins when customers get software from Internet that helps them swap music or other files or find bargains online; Shawn Collins, who feeds customers to Amazon and other online merchants, says his commissions have fallen 30 percent in six months; instructions for removing shopping software from computers noted; diagram; photo (M) Some popular online services are using a new kind of software to divert sales commissions that would otherwise be paid to small online merchants by big sites like Amazon and eToys.

Critics call the software parasite-ware and stealware. But the sites that use the software, which is made by nearly 20 companies and used by dozens, say that it is perfectly legal, because their users agree to the diversion.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

To me this stuff is illegal. This is crossing the line and I see it as stealing. If a client were to click through on one of my ads after visiting the content on my site, using the bandwidth that I pay for, and all the hard work I put into it, I would rather not have that visitor visiting my site. For the most part websites stay in business for two reasons. Either they have their own services that they sell directly, or they make money from a sponsor / affiliate site. For the sites who depend on sponsors to stay online, its totally unfair and unjust.
  • RichB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I agree, but I don't think that the visitors even know about it, since few people bother to read the EULA before clicking "yes."

I'm concerned because I have almost a thousand click-thrus a month on the ads on my site and I have barely made enough on commissions to pay the cost of hosting and I suspect that many of them use those napster clones. No matter how high I drive the traffic and clicks I don't seem to see any results in sales. Maybe it's just that people come to my site looking for a free lunch in the first place, but it seems that I should see some results.

I've pulled the ads temporarily, so I can switch from banner ads to text ads and maybe smaller buttons because the banner ads don't seem to generate any sales, yet people are clicking through so I've been getting a little suspicious about whether the advertisers are accurately reporting sales. Now I don't know what to do about this latest problem.

Anyway, if you hear about any scripts that can defeat the practice, I'd like to try them out.

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