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Amazing but true. DR is bombastically and self-rightously rebutting the NY AG’s lawsuit. It’s almost funny if it weren’t so sad.

“This lawsuit is a baseless attempt by the Office of the Attorney General to rewrite the rules of the adware business. It focuses exclusively on the company’s past practices – practices we and other industry leaders changed long ago [how long is “long ago”? The AG’s investigation has evidence from as late as June of last year of pernicious practices – ed] – and says not a word about what we’re doing today,” said a company spokesperson. “We are proud of our products and the value they bring to both advertisers and consumers — the former by delivering positive, measurable results for their ad dollars, and the latter by offering free content and applications in exchange for viewing a few targeted advertisements per day.

“Mislabeling our products as ‘spyware’ does a disservice not only to our company, but also to the public by creating an atmosphere of hysteria, confusion and inaccuracy.” Direct Revenue’s software adheres to the following fundamental principles:

  • Consumer Consent: we obtain explicit and affirmative consent from the computer user prior to installation, and we tell the user–in plain English–that the software they are about to download is advertising-supported.
  • Easy Removal: we make it easy to remove our software, both by supplying a link directly from every advertisement to a consumer opt-out process, and by being listed in Add/Remove Programs.
  • No Personally Identifiable Information: We collect no Personally Identifiable Information (PII) about our users.
  • Control of Distribution: We do not use third-party affiliates to distribute our software.
  • “Moreover, Direct Revenue is a member of the Network Advertising Initiative, has pledged to adhere to TRUSTe’s proposed adware guidelines, and already adheres to HR 2929, even though it has not been enacted. This suit complains solely about past practices – practices, in fact, that were consistent with those of virtually all of the leading players in the rapidly evolving adware industry, including some publicly-traded companies much larger than Direct Revenue. The OAG knows that none of the challenged practices have been in use for at least six months and that this case will change nothing about our business model going forward.”

    Direct Revenue is represented by the Andrew G. Celli, Jr. of New York law firm Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP.

    “While we emphatically believe that all of the contested past practices were in fact legal, we have made a good faith effort to settle this matter with the Office of the Attorney General. To that end, we offered the Office of the Attorney General a resolution of this matter which would provide a blueprint for other adware companies to comply with the Attorney General’s view of the law and afford the broadest possible protection to consumers. The Office of the Attorney General refused,” said Celli. “Accordingly, we will defend our conduct vigorously and we are confident that the courts will bring clarity and a satisfactory conclusion to our case.”

    Direct Revenue’s founders are represented by Richard Strassberg and David Goldstone of Goodwin Procter LLP.

    Link here.

    While DR may have changed its ways, the Spitzer lawsuit is about a fairly staggering amount of things that occurred during their investigative period last year. A review of the evidence is damming.

    Alex Eckelberry

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