09 September, 2003


Judge Rebuffs Legal Challenge to Pop-Up Ads. Basically, WhenU is a program that pops up advertisements for various companies while you surf the 'net.

Lee said the ads don't violate the law because WhenU's software didn't copy or use U-Haul's trademark or copyright material, and because computer users themselves had chosen to download the pop-up software.

Er, right. Never mind that programs like WhenU and Gator piggyback themselves onto more-or-less legitimate programs, and are only mentioned in the fine print of multi-page licenses that come up during installation. Because we all read those licenses, right? Every single word? Hmmm?

"This is a victory for consumer choice -- it ultimately protects consumers' right to control what they see on their computer screens," WhenU chief executive Avi Naider said in a statement.

No, Avi, your program is controlling what the consumers see on their computer screens. Given the choice, I think the average consumer would like to see the link he or she just clicked, not an advertisement.

1 comment:

  1. Eh, it was the right decision, really. I mean, if you *wanted* to install a program to plop ads on your screen whenever you visited www.uhaul.com, then U-Haul shouldn't have the right to prevent you from doing so. Problem is, of course, that WhenU slithers onto most consumers' machines not by choice, but by ignorance on the part of those consumers. It shouldn't be the court's job, though, to coddle consumers who blindly click on "accept" without reading the crap they're accepting.U-Haul picked the wrong target. They should be going after companies that piggyback WhenU on their applications without fully disclosing what they're doing, and what effect it'll have on your machine. *shrug*