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19 February 2007, 13:17

1.5 million dollar fine for adware trojans

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New York software business Direct Revenue LLC has, according to US media reports, agreed to pay a fine of 1.5 million dollars to settle an action brought against the company. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had brought an action against the company for distributing adware trojans.

According to the FTC, Direct Revenue and its five customers had concealed advertising software in free software, such as screen savers and games, which was difficult for users to locate and remove. The company had also failed to indicate the presence of unwanted content, which not only placed pop-up ads on the user's screen, but also recorded their surfing behaviour.

According to the company's lawyer, the company has accepted the fine. Stuart Friedel is cited in American reports as saying that the company is very pleased with the settlement. He blamed distributors of the company's software for the adware included in the software, and stated that the company had ceased working with these businesses in 2006.

However, not everyone involved is satisfied with the outcome of the process. Jon Leibowitz, a member of the investigating committee, considered the decision a mistake, since the company earned revenues of around 20 million dollars by distributing adware in 2004 and 2005 and this money will continue to line the pockets of the company's owners.

Last year the FTC enforced fines against Zango Inc., ERG Ventures LLC and Odysseus Marketing and John Robert Martinson & Sanford Wallace through the courts.


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