Overstock files complaint under Spyware law

Overstock.com will use the recently enacted Utah Spyware Control Act, which went into effect May 3, to file a complaint against Massachusetts-based online retailer SmartBargains, Inc. in the Third District Court in Salt Lake City.

Spyware is software that is surreptitiously installed on a personal computer for the purpose of collecting certain information from that computer and enabling marketers to target the user with pop-up ads while browsing the Internet.

Since the Utah Spyware Control Act, Overstock.com stated it has observed SmartBargains using spyware to display pop-up ads over the Overstock.com Web site, and that this has been occurring within the State of Utah in violation of the new Utah law. Overstock.com is seeking injunctive relief, damages, attorney's fees and other costs arising from SmartBargains' actions.

Overstock.com President Patrick Byrne said, "Pop-up ads have been to Web browsing what spam is to e-mail. Within the world of affiliate marketing, such software is often called 'parasiteware' on the grounds that the companies which distribute such code and those who advertise through it are parasitic on legitimate commerce. ...

"Several years ago, we decided on principle to cease any advertising with such firms, and have encouraged members of the vast affiliate marketing community to respect the position we have taken by refusing to act as affiliates for sites that avail themselves of parasiteware."

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

 Home Textiles Today is the market-leading brand covering the home and textiles markets, offering a comprehensive package of print and online products. Home & Textiles Today provides industry news, product trends and introductions, exclusive industry research, consumer data, store operations solutions, trade show news and much more.

Featured Video