Feeds

Gator bites back, sues suer

Pop-up goes the weasel

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

On-line ad company Gator has bitten back against recent lawsuits by launching its own case against a business that has complained about its pop-up ads.

US-based Gator Corp provides free software to consumers that enables them to store information such as passwords for logging onto sites. The catch however is that users of its software must agree to receive ads in return and when they visit certain Web sites a code is triggered that inundates them with pop-up ads. And, very often, the owners of these sites have not agreed to display these ads.

This has led to several companies such as the Washington Post and United Parcel Service (UPS) suing Gator for infringing on their sites. UPS, for instance, charged that it led to its competitors' ads appearing on its Web site.

However, now Gator has decided to turn the tables and has set the lawyers on Extended Stay America Inc to ensure that Extended cannot block its ads, a report on Bloomberg claims. Gator's argument is that consumers should be able to decide what they see on the Web and not Web site owners. It said in its suit that Extended Stay America has no right to prevent computer users from choosing to get its software and "viewing separate works, comprising advertising on that user's own computer screen, even when other works share the screen."

Gator has declined to comment about the case, but on-line advocacy group, Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is considering supporting Gator's case, has said the issue is about who controls a computer when people go on-line. "Is it you, or is it the company whose Web site you happen to be using?" asked Fred von Lohmann, a senior staff attorney for the Foundation. He told Bloomberg that if Gator loses, Web site owners would have "far more control over the end user than is appropriate."

Shenda Loughnane, managing director of Dublin based interactive ad agency, Ican, disagreed. She told ElectricNews.Net that Gator was effectively piggybacking on some sites without their permission and was not following standard rules for the use of pop-up ads.

"I have somehow had my computer 'infected' by Gator and it churns up pop-ads all the time, which is very irritating. Pop-up ads should be frequency capped and targeted at the site's audience or area of interest, and Gator does neither. It's very negative from a consumer's point of view and is something that a company like Ican does not want to see," remarked Loughnane.

She added that it could be argued that Gator is trespassing on sites that have not asked for its pop-up ads. Although she was not sure what could be done about the situation, she commented that consumers should realise that nothing is for free on the Internet anymore.

In its suit, Gator is asking for a ruling that it does not violate the rights of Web site operators. It is also appealing an earlier ruling that ordered it to stop putting pop-up ads on certain sites.

© ENN

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.