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Fueling the resistance
Hijacking affiliate links 
4th-Mar-2010 02:32 pm - Hijacking affiliate links
Skittish Eclipse
I've been given a heads up that has done some excellent sleuthing and investigation into hijacked LJ affiliate links:

What is LJ doing to my links?
What is LJ doing to my links? Part 2
What is LJ doing to my links? Part 3

Expect this post to be update through the day as I find out more and come up with a good summary.

ETA: No good summary, but I feel like I should say code got taken down, etc etc, business as usual.
Comments 
4th-Mar-2010 11:46 pm (UTC)
What's going to be done about lost revenues for everyone who had affiliate links replaced?

And the loss of trust for yet another sneaky code push that treats all users, paid and ad-supported alike, as something to be farmed out rather than as customers?
5th-Mar-2010 12:06 am (UTC)
Er, well, what *can* be done for the people who have lost revenue from having their affiliate links replaced?
5th-Mar-2010 12:13 am (UTC)
I dunno! That's a good question, isn't it? I'm sure glad I'm not the one who's gonna have to grovel through LJ and DrivingRevenue's databases to figure out who's owed what.
5th-Mar-2010 12:44 am (UTC)
Well, I don't think anybody's going to do that. LJ will say mea culpas and that'll be that. If somebody feels like going up against the limitation of liability clause in the Terms of Service in court, I guess they can, but I don't think enough people were making enough money to feel like that's a worthwhile cause:
XIX. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT LIVEJOURNAL SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF PROFITS, GOODWILL, USE, DATA OR OTHER INTANGIBLE LOSSES (EVEN IF LIVEJOURNAL HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES), RESULTING FROM: (i) THE USE OR THE INABILITY TO USE THE SERVICE; (ii) THE COST OF PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS AND SERVICES RESULTING FROM ANY GOODS, DATA, INFORMATION OR SERVICES PURCHASED OR OBTAINED OR MESSAGES RECEIVED OR TRANSACTIONS ENTERED INTO THROUGH OR FROM THE SERVICE; (iii) UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO OR ALTERATION OF YOUR TRANSMISSIONS OR DATA; (iv) STATEMENTS OR CONDUCT OF ANY THIRD PARTY ON THE SERVICE; OR (v) ANY OTHER MATTER RELATING TO THE SERVICE.

Maybe some people who bitch hard enough about being adversely affected will get gift certificates? It's possible, I guess.
5th-Mar-2010 12:50 am (UTC)
Yeah, (iii) pretty much gives them an out there, doesn't it. Gotta love those big blocks of lawyerese nobody ever reads, that say "we can update this any time we like without notice and you agree to it by just continuing to use the site"!
5th-Mar-2010 12:53 am (UTC)
Pretty much! It may not be ACTUALLY legally binding, but you'll have to pay a lawyer to find out, and I don't think a lotta people are going to do that about one month of affiliate link revenue. I mean, malware gets served in the ads, too, and there's nothing to be done about that, either.
(no subject) - zibblsnrt - 2010-03-05 03:39 am (UTC)
5th-Mar-2010 09:00 am (UTC)
Also, LJ authorized this script, in theory, without actually looking into what it did. Thus, (iii) doesn't apply. At least, so it seems to my admittedly unofficial brain. (v) probably does apply in the fact it's a CYA clause, but still.
5th-Mar-2010 02:13 pm (UTC)
Well, the terms of service say they don't have to support such practices without prior permission from Livejournal: "You agree to NOT use the Service to:
16.Engage in commercial activities within LiveJournal or on behalf of LiveJournal without prior approval. This includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:
a.Displaying a banner that is designed to profit you or any other business or organization; and
b.Displaying banners for services that provide cash or cash-equivalent prizes to users in exchange for hyperlinks to their web sites." That sneaky bit of "includes, but is not limited to" means they can interpret it to mean affiliate linking as well. Not saying their behavior was wise or fair, but the TOS is written to cover their butts when errors happen.
5th-Mar-2010 04:20 am (UTC)
Reporting that the affiliate was replaced to Amazon, EBay, and the rest might not get the money back, but it might make it harder for LJ to collect it.
5th-Mar-2010 05:28 pm (UTC) - gashing found
from tos:

journal content:

LiveJournal reserves the right, without limitation except by law, to serve any user Content on the web, through the downloadable clients and otherwise. LiveJournal also reserves the right, without limitation, to resell any portion of a user's LiveJournal back to that individual;
You acknowledge that LiveJournal does not pre-screen Content, but that LiveJournal and its designees shall have the right (but not the obligation) in their sole discretion to remove or refuse to remove any Content that is available through the Service. Without limiting the foregoing, LiveJournal and its designates shall have the right, but not the obligation, to remove any content that violates the TOS or is otherwise objectionable, or that infringes or is alleged to infringe intellectual property rights. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of any content, including any reliance on the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of such content. Furthermore, LiveJournal reserves the right to limit access to your journal, if found in violation of the TOS, including without limitation the Member Conduct described below, by removing the journal and related user information from the member directory, search engine, and all other methods used in conjunction with finding LiveJournal's users.

member conduct:

Engage in commercial activities within LiveJournal or on behalf of LiveJournal without prior approval. This includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:
Displaying a banner that is designed to profit you or any other business or organization; and
Displaying banners for services that provide cash or cash-equivalent prizes to users in exchange for hyperlinks to their web sites.
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