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From Rob Weir <robw...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Scam issues.
Date Fri, 17 Aug 2012 17:04:48 GMT
On Thu, Aug 16, 2012 at 8:40 PM, Tamblyne <tamblyne@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> On 8/15/2012 9:06 PM, Rob Weir wrote:
>>
>> On Wed, Aug 15, 2012 at 4:28 PM, Tamblyne<tamblyne@gmail.com>  wrote:
>>>
>>> On 8/2/2012 11:31 AM, Rob Weir wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 11:50 AM, David H. Lipman<DLipman@verizon.net>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> From: "Anastasia Cher"<koshka.gsps@gmail.com>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> Hello there,
>>>>>> I didn't know where to email, so I decided to just email to you.
I
>>>>>> just
>>>>>> want to tell that there is an issue, some website
>>>>>> www.*openoffice*.fm/suitepretends that its you. When I googled Open
>>>>>> Office it was the first website
>>>>>> in research so I just clicked and downloaded what they offered. The
>>>>>> say
>>>>>> that it's an Open Office suit. When I finished and installed it,
I had
>>>>>> lots
>>>>>> of bugs and staff but no office. So I don't know, but these guys
are
>>>>>> using
>>>>>> your name for scam.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> This is going on for numerous software from Adobe Reader to VLC Media
>>>>> Player.
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Right.  This is how it seems to work:
>>>>
>>>> 1) They buy advertisements on Google and Bing and spam social
>>>> networks, offering OpenOffice,Free Office and similar keywords.  These
>>>> lure users into going to their page.
>>>>
>>>> 2) The pick URL's and brand the site in a way that makes it look
>>>> official.
>>>>
>>>> 3) To download OpenOffice you need to use their special "downloader"
>>>> tool.  The main purpose of the downloader tool is to install other
>>>> unrelated applications onto your system.  It may or may not then
>>>> install OpenOffice.
>>>>
>>>> 4) These other applications are sponsored apps, meaning another
>>>> company is paying for these applications to be promoted.  That is the
>>>> source of revenue for the websites that do this.
>>>>
>>>> I did a blog post on this:
>>>>
>>>> http://blogs.apache.org/OOo/entry/how_to_safely_download_apache
>>>>
>>>> Note:  Users are not powerless.  There are places to report such
>>>> issues.  Some are listed in the blog post.
>>>>
>>>> Regards,
>>>>
>>>> -Rob
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Users aren't powerless, but too many of them just don't pay attention. I
>>> pulled up your blog post to see if you addressed the easiest "clue" --
>>> for
>>> me, anyway -- the URL itself and I see you do mention it, but maybe it
>>> could
>>> be more directly stated.
>>>
>>> *Any* URL that ends in a dot other than COM or ORG or NET should be
>>> suspect
>>> and probably shouldn't be clicked on at all.  The ".fm" in the URL the
>>> poster provided is a dead giveaway.  Most of your suggestions of things
>>> to
>>> watch out for require the user to actually visit the page first, and too
>>> many times it's already too late after that's been done.
>>>
>>
>> I think that another issue is that users are not very Google (or Bing)
>> savvy.  They don't all know about sponsored links in search results,
>> especially when they appear on top.   They have in mind what they are
>> searching for, and naturally gravitate toward the top listing.  Subtle
>> shading or small print does not cause them to slow down and even check
>> the URL.
>>
>>> It always frustrates me that in these "modern times" so much time is
>>> spent
>>> cleaning up messes in the wake of these unethical people -- thieves and
>>> liars.  I have no use for them.
>>>
>>> For instance, I'm sure it took you a fair bit of time to write that blog
>>> post -- which is very helpful.  Unfortunately, I would guess that a vast
>>> majority of the people who need that knowledge won't find it until
>>> *after*
>>> they've been screwed and go to try to find out why.
>>>
>>
>> True.  But it does have some value for us to articulate what we
>> consider to be acceptable and unacceptable.  As open source software
>> we tread a narrow line.  We're open as a matter of principle, and from
>> a copyright perspective our license allows anyone to copy the software
>> for any purpose.  But that is only with respect to copyright.
>> Trademark use is an entirely different beast, and no one is given
>> permission to use our trademark in a way that confuses or harms our
>> users.
>>
>> If we were a big corporation we'd have legions of attorneys at our
>> call to apply their special powers of persuasion to remedy this.  But
>> we're a non-profit, relying on volunteers.  So the emphasis
>> necessarily focuses on user education.  We're not the only product
>> that runs into this problem.  Many of the popular open source apps
>> have the same issues, like 7-ZIP and VLC Player.  It comes
>> hand-in-hand with popularity.  No one tries to misuse trademarks of
>> unpopular programs.
>>
>> -Rob
>
>
> I definitely agree with what you say, and am familiar with the issues. It's
> only that the horse will have already left the barn before the people who
> really need that info will find it.
>

Any suggestions for how we could do this better?

The one thing we're not able to do is go out, guns blazing, with cease
and desist orders and DMCA take-downs, etc.  We're not a big
corporation.

One idea -- more of a dream than a plan -- is to contact other open
source projects who face similar issues, and work together to raise
recognition of the issue, educate users, but also push for less
expensive routes for non-profits to raise complaints in these areas.

>
> Tam
>
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