Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Two Class Action Lawsuits Filed Against CJ/BeFree/ValueClick

I'm not certain who reported it first, but I read about this on Kellie's blog over at AffiliateFairPlay.com, so I'm going to give her credit for breaking the news. Here's the lead paragraph from Kellie's blog:

Two separate class action lawsuits were filed on April 20, 2007 against Commission Junction, BeFree and ValueClick. One names CJ and BeFree publishers (affiliates) as the plaintifs. The other names CJ and BeFree merchants as the plaintiffs. So what do these lawsuits center around? Adware.

You can read the rest of Kellie's post at AffiliateFairPlay.com.

Because Blair.com is a merchant, I've focused on the merchant side of this, and the suit that was filed on behalf of Commission Junction/BeFree/ValueClick merchants. So... who is the lead "merchant" listed in the suit? Settlement Recovery Center, LLC. I know, I know... that name caused me to raise an eyebrow, too. My first question was "What type of a merchant are they?" Here's the description from the suit:

Plaintiff is a merchant that offers class action settlement services
via offline and online advertising.


Offers class action settlement services? Are you kidding me? Is this the best we can do in the fight against illegal adware/spyware? It sounds to me like this suit is little more than a couple of opportunistic legal firms grasping for a giant payday and/or some free publicity.

I'm not a fan of seeing my sons' computer slow to a crawl every 3 months because they've downloaded every cool screensaver, pointer and music program they come across, but I really don't think this lawsuit is what everyone has been waiting for. Maybe it will draw some needed attention to the problem. Maybe it will force companies to take a stand. I don't think we'll see thousands of affiliates and merchants splitting the proceeds from a large CJ settlement.

I'll be keeping an eye on this at AffiliateFairPlay.com.

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