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Old 03-01-2001, 01:48 PM   #1
Ralph Slate
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Unhappy ISPs replacing banners

I know that this is technically possible to do, but I'm wondering if any ISPs have resorted to replacing the banner ads on sites being viewed with their own banner ads?

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Old 03-01-2001, 02:15 PM   #2
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that would be a very bad scenario, once one did it all would follow, imagine if aol did it, they could destroy us all.

[This message has been edited by jkcity (edited 03-01-2001).]
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Old 03-01-2001, 02:27 PM   #3
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To do so would be a terribly stupid move on the part of ISP's, and I think that is why they haven't. Why is it stupid? People pay $20 or whatever a month to look at sites on the Internet. Unless you are using AOL, the vast majority of sites you look at are not owned by your ISP, nor does your ISP give them a single penny.

If an ISP decided to pull something like this, sites would simply block access from a certain ISP, which is relatively easy to do. Then what reason do users of the ISP have to keep paying $20/month if only half the sites they want to visit will allow them to?



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Old 03-01-2001, 02:41 PM   #4
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I recall a recent discussion about a specific piece of software that has been devised with this in mind, but I can't remember where it was. I think it appeared on GetHighTraffic, but I can't seem to locate it in searches.

Anyway, although I can't link to the software due to my absentmindedness, the software could calculate where on a page ads were being shown, and then cover them with its own. It didn't actually affect the ad delivery (so presumably the publisher would still be paid), but the ad would never be seen, which would obviously reduce the advertisers all-important ROI.

I proposed that there would be no interest in such software for surfers, although the software developer claimed that it would only deliver ads targeted to each user. This is due to the obvious fact that it would slow down load speeds, while not actually eliminating any ads - just hiding them behind others.

I also don't think that ISPs would be interested in promoting such functionality, as it would sever their links with the web publisher and advertising communities - and these are two groups that provide a great deal of business to ISPs.

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Old 03-01-2001, 03:01 PM   #5
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i agree there is little to worry about at the momant but if the ad market ever recovers, then I would worry as people will do anyhting during this time to increase the number of ads they can show.
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Old 03-01-2001, 03:13 PM   #6
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It's illegal for the ISPs to alter your copyrighted content.
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Old 03-01-2001, 03:24 PM   #7
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brunnock, the software in question (I really hope SSacobie or someone from GetHigh can find the direct link), doesn't actually modify your site's content as such. That is, it effectively layers other content on top, and only those surfers who are using their software can see these changes. Although unethical, I don't believe that this is in violation of any existing intellectual property laws.

It is, in fact, very similar to the systems presently employed by NBCi (QuickClick) and Spedia (see the recent thread about this) that seem to change the content of your site by replacing keywords within your body text with commercial links to pay-for-placement search engines, or advertisers' sites.


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Old 03-01-2001, 03:53 PM   #8
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It is a major technical challenge to reliably replace banner ads with your own. There are a lot of ways to deliver ads and figuring out their size is often not feasible. All the ad removal software fails a lot of the time, substituting ads would be even harder.

Even eliminating popups without eliminating content is quite a challenge.

It might be easier if they targeted doubleclick or other major ad agencies for ad replacement, but this would bring out the lawyers.
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Old 03-01-2001, 07:20 PM   #9
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It's illegal for ISPs to modify copyrighted content. It's not illegal for you to modify content for your own private use.

It would be illegal for AOL to filter out banner ads from webpages that are requested by AOL subscribers. It is not illegal for AOL subscribers to install software on their own computers that would filter out banner ads for them.

The penultimate example of this would be TotalNEWS.com. When they started, they provided links to major media outlets like CNN and the NY Times, but they had a frame with a banner ad at the top of the webpage. They were sued by the big six media companies and TotalNEWS agreed to remove the frame. BUT, very quickly, TotalNEWS wrote a script whereas people could subscribe and create a "homepage" for themselves which consisted of links to the media outlets and with a banner ad frame at the top. This is legal. Details can be found on http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/content/zd.../zdnn0007.html .

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Old 03-01-2001, 07:39 PM   #10
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thats strange about frame linking its common practice and its simple to stop with a bit of java script. If it did become illegal I wonder what ask jeeves would do.
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Old 03-01-2001, 07:53 PM   #11
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There's clearly a lot of potential for lawyers here, from cached pages at google.com to http://www.askjesus.org/ .
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