Richard Warner, Adware and Spyware
Richard Warner, Adware and Spyware
Keywords and Pop-Ups
If you search on Google for U-Haul or Ryder
Truck, several advertisements appear on the
right hand side of the search results.
These ads are triggered by keywords.
A business contracts with Google for its
advertisement to appear when, for example,
someone uses “U-Haul” as a search term.
“During the morning a number of people step into a
Milan café for an espresso. They do not doubt that it
will be available. What justifies their confidence?
Making the coffee available rests on a great deal of
cooperation, specifically the assignment to many
people of performances that together accomplish a
feat far beyond the capacity of any one person alone.
It is accomplished by market transactions that assign
and link both multiple performances and multiple
chains of them. Farmers cooperate in growing and
harvesting the coffee beans. Truck drivers or
locomotive engineers transport the beans to a seaport
on highways or railroads that have been constructed
by many kinds of cooperating laborers.
At the seaport, longshoremen and ships’ crews join
the chain. At a dock in Genoa, shipping the beans on
to Milan calls again on performances from
longshoremen, warehousers, and truckers.
Somewhere along the chain, some people roast the
beans, and others fabricate bags for carrying them.
Think of other participating cooperators; insurers
and inspectors; wholesalers and retailers. . . .
However great their distance from Milan,
innumerable people play their roles in cooperation,
no less so than the surly or obliging waiter in the
Lindblom, The Market System.
Information and Efficiency
Information, not centralized planning, is the thread
that ties the individual efforts together.
The farmers growing coffee beans estimate the volume
buyers will want to purchase.
Coffee manufacturers and wholesalers coordinate their
efforts through communication with each other and with
those who transport the beans from the coffee fields.
Wholesalers estimate the demand from retailers, who in
turn estimate the demand of consumers like the café in
Milan, which estimates the demand from its customers.
Market economies depend on a flow of information.
Efficiency and Pop-Ups
The more accurate and less costly the
information, the more efficient the economy-we spend less to achieve the same results.
The savings can be used for other purposes-education, relief of poverty, improved health
insurance, and so on.
Pop-ups are a very efficient form of
advertising. They are highly targeted and
Targeting advertising is the process of matching
advertising to recipients in ways that maximize the
likelihood that recipients will purchase in response.
Targeting maximizes the return on advertising
Targeting does not merely benefit businesses; it also
benefits consumers by reducing the amount of
irrelevant information that bombards them.
UHaul v. WhenU
WhenU distributes a free, software program
called, “SaveNow.” The program is bundled
with free screensavers.
When you visit an Internet site the program
makes a pop-ad appear on top of the web site.
UHaul sued WhenU claiming copyright and
trademark violations. The court rejected these
Joe and Moe own coffee shops that face each other
on opposite sides of the street. Joe arrives for work
one morning to find that Moe has painted “Eat Better
At Moe’s” on the front of Joe’s store.
Moe trespass when he paints the sign on Joe’s
storefront, and Joe is entitled to remove the sign,
recover damages, and enjoin Moe from such
activities in the future.
Moe can walk up and down the sidewalk wearing a
sign that says, “Eat Better At Moe’s,” and he can
have the same sign on a billboard next to Joe’s.
Pop-Ups As A Trespass
Moe commits trespass to land: an intentional
The Internet: Think of the home page of a
commercial web site is a storefront.
Why should you be allowed to display ads over this
But: on the Internet, there is no sidewalk.
And, the pop-up ad is displayed on a consumer’s
computer, not on the property of a business.
Pop-Ups Behind The Site
These arguments apply when the pop-up
appears on top of the web site.
What if the pop-up appears behind the site so
that it is only seen once the browser is closed
You wear glasses with a wireless Internet connection
and a miniature camera and projector. As you walk
along a street, the camera sends what you see to an
Internet site that then sends advertising to the
projector which displays.
To you, it appears as if the advertising were
superimposed on the objects in front of you. The
glasses are free, provided by the businesses whose
products and services are advertised. These same
businesses maintain the Internet site.
Neither you nor the businesses commit any legal
Are pop-up ads like the sign on the physical
Or, are they like the glasses?
What are the grounds on which we should