Are They Stealing Your Commissions???
A Top source for info. on the Internet
© Copyright 2002
All Rights Reserved
First it was "Smart Tags", and they came onto your web site
and using your "Keywords", they stole your visitors.
Now these same FREE software people have managed
to legally steal your affiliate commissions!!!
It might be legal but it certainly smacks of theft and
of being just plain WRONG!!!
These online services are using their FREE software to include
within the bundle, a new type of software that will divert your
earned commissions into their own pockets.
We will call this type of software - Theft-ware.
With this software, commissions that should go to you when you
provide someone like, Amazon, http://www,amazon.com/, a visitor
via a link on your web site, the software makes it appear as if the
FREE software provider is the referring link rather than you.
This Theft-ware software, which apparently is currently being
made and distributed by about 15 companies, is said to be
perfectly legal, because they make users agree to this THEFT
of commissions within the FINE PRINT, which we all never
read in accepting the use of FREE software online.
Worst of all, and typical of these sleazy businesses, is the fact
that the average user of their FREE software is totally unaware
that this Theft-ware software is operating on their computers.
If you have downloaded any FREE software from Kazaa, of the
infamous "Smart Tags" scandal, Morpheus, WhenU.com, BearShare,
SaveNow, LimeShop, BuyerSport, TopMoxie, or LimeWire, just to
mention a few of these modern day pirates, then you may be losing
money right now!
Some affiliates estimate that they have seen a drop of 50 percent
or more in their commissions and we are just now learning why.
The deception is simple for these companies.
It all starts when you or I as consumers download FREE software
from the Internet with the belief that it is going to help us swap
music, photos or other files, or to find the best bargains online.
As you go through the process to install the FREE software, the
little window will innocently enough ask you to show support for
their FREE software if you will shop through an affiliate program.
What you and I as consumers are not being made aware of
specifically is that when you click, "I Agree", our computer
is then branded electronically.
From that point on, all future purchases you make online will be
made to appear as if made through the affiliate link of the FREE
software distributor even if it was not.
This same FREE software thus cancels a purchase made through
YOUR AFFILIATE LINK by making it appear as if it was made via
the FREE software's affiliate link.
It is conservatively estimated that the Theft-ware distributors,
including Kazaa, Morpheus, WhenU.com, BearShare, SaveNow,
LimeShop, BuyerSport, TopMoxie, and LimeWire, have had their
Theft-ware software downloaded by close to 100 million
unsuspecting Web surfers, who thought they were being
treated to a great FREE piece of software.
The affiliate market online is estimated to be a $100 billion
enterprise so one can only speculate that these pirates have
stolen millions of dollars in commissions already!!!
Amazon, and a few of the larger affiliate network sites, have
blocked some of these pirates from profiting from this deception.
However, this problem is HUGE.
We can remove programs from our computer but even so, the
FREE Theft-ware program may REMAIN on your computer
even after the original FREE software is deleted.
This is a pervasive deception!!!
The companies distributing this Theft-ware FREE software argue
that when a consumer clicks, "I Agree", thus giving their legal
consent to the terms of the agreement for use, when they then
download the FREE software, they are SOL, sh*t out of luck!!!
[ Please excuse the apparent language. :-) ]
Technically, it might be legal but do you think this is fair?
Personally, I feel that the deception speaks for itself.
Yes, it may be legal to deceive consumers into clicking, "I Agree",
by hiding your intentions within the FINE PRINT of the agreement
but even a child could discern that doing so is WRONG.
And, quite unfortunately, there may not be any easy
remedy to this nightmare.
Certainly, as consumers, we have the right to REMOVE ALL
Software made by the offending companies from our computers
And further refuse to ever deal with these companies ever again.
To remove software from your PC, do the following:
Click the Start button.
Scroll to Settings.
Highlight and Click: Control Panel.
Double-click on the Add/Remove Programs.
Click on the Name of the Software to remove.
Close the Add/Remove window.
Close the Control Panel window.
And, you are done.
But, since the Theft-ware part of the FREE software may
remain on your computer even after deleting it, we are
ALL going to have to keep our eyes and ears open for a
viable solution that should come shortly from the Internet at large.
A.T.Rendon is an entrepreneur and published writer.
Subscribe to our FREE Business Classifieds Newsletter
& receive FREE online access to our ENTRY Protected
"FREE Submit To Over 3.1 MILLION FREE Ad Sites - DAILY!!!"
Visit us at: