View Full Version : CNET Response

09-21-2001, 05:11 AM
Hi all,

This is my first contribution to the StopScum issue, and I would firstly like to express my sincere appreciation of the hard work invested by many GEEKs in combatting this threat.

In any case, I've subscribed to CNET's Digital Dispatch for several years, and thought hat I'd bring the introductory statement from the latest issue to your attention, since I know that CNET have received a great deal of criticism from some for their continued willingness to distribute theftware apps.

Anyway, CNET's Editor in Chief, Steve Fox wrote the following:
Dear readers,
I get megabytes of e-mail each day: business correspondence, meeting requests, reader hisses and hurrahs, and, of course, spam. In the last month, though, I've been flooded by complaints about KaZaa Media Desktop, a free file-swapping application available at CNET's Download.com (http://one.digital.cnet.com/cgi-bin1/flo?y=hCY70BHQ160l0CN0AX) (and elsewhere). The form letter begins, "It has come to my attention that CNET is actively distributing a software program which directly alters Web site content without permission or authorization from its owner." These readers are objecting to TopText, an optional program that piggybacks on KaZaa. TopText inserts a yellow background behind certain keywords. Click the yellow link, and you'll jump to a TopText advertiser's page. Do I like this kind of commandeering? Absolutely not. In fact, TopText alters CNET's pages along with everybody else's. But KaZaa itself is an excellent program (see our review (http://one.digital.cnet.com/cgi-bin1/flo?y=hCY70BHQ160l0u7f0Ag)), and TopText is opt in, meaning you have to check a box to get it. So we've decided to continue making KaZaa available--with appropriate warnings and following the guidelines of our software bundling policy (http://one.digital.cnet.com/cgi-bin1/flo?y=hCY70BHQ160l0u8w0Ay)--on Download.com. This wasn't an easy decision, but we think it's the right one for our users, who turn to CNET for all the latest downloads.


09-21-2001, 06:00 AM
Great stuff CNET!!!

In order to be listed in any CNET Networks download library, the publisher of a downloadable product must do the following:

1.Fully disclose the existence of all bundled items in the product description. This includes all add-ons from the publisher itself or a third party.

2.The product's installation routine and documentation must fully disclose and explain the nature of all bundled products and include links to the privacy policies of all companies concerned.

3.All bundled items must at a minimum be opt-out during product installation. That is, the product must be able to be installed completely without requiring the user to install any bundled items.

4.CNET Networks strongly recommends that all bundled items be opt-in. That is, by default, no bundled items should be installed without the user's specific request.

I just hope the end user understands this. Some people may not understand what this might mean, or do to their surfing habits.

I think we can all testify to the ignorance of a lot of surfers. Especially newbies!

But a great step forward in the 'fight' none the less!!

09-23-2001, 01:31 PM
I'm also a Digital Dispatch subscriber and am glad they mentioned this growing issue and made light of it in front of thousands of subscribers.

09-26-2001, 11:06 AM
Here is their current descrition of Kazaa v 1.3.3
The KaZaa Media Desktop is a second-generation peer-to-peer file-sharing program that lets you search and download media files from other KaZaa users. You can also organize and play/view your media files through an integrated media jukebox, publish your own work, reach an audience, and communicate with other KaZaa users. KaZaa supports audio, video, software, games, images, and documents. Version 1.3.2 added a family filter, virus filter, buttons for sending instant messages, and more. Version 1.3.3 is a security update.

Note: This download includes additional applications that are bundled within the software's installer file, some of which may be provided by parties other than the developer of this download. These applications may deliver advertisements, collect information, overlay content or graphics on the Web site you are viewing, or modify your system settings. As with all downloads, CNET recommends that you pay close attention to the options presented to you during the installation process. Known third-party applications bundled with this download include TopText, Onflow, Webhancer, and New.net. For more information, please read CNET News.com's report on bundled software.

I think that's really good.

Click Here!