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

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