What most of us hate most about e-mail is spam, but pop-up ads are a close second. U-Haul went to court to complain that a moving company displayed pop-up ads when customers went to its U-Haul site and tried to get them removed as a violation of their copyright. However, a judge ruled against them. He says that when we surf the internet, we’re “consenting” to seeing pop-up ads. That’s news to us.
Brian Morrissey writes in internetnews.com that U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee wrote, “While at first blush this detour in the user’s Web search seems like a siphon-off of a business opportunity, the fact is that the computer user consented to this detour when the user downloaded WhenU’s computer software from the Internet.” He says the ads don?t violate the company’s trademark or copyright because they appear in a separate window.
“Clearly the ruling is incredibly important in the sense that the Internet will be a very different place as a comparative shopping medium,” says Avi Naider, who created the pop-ups. “We’re at the tip of the iceberg with this type of technology.” In other words, now that they have the law behind them, we’re going to have to endure more pop-ups than ever before.
A U-Haul spokesman Tom Prefling says, “U-Haul has long believed that unwanted pop-up ads?are the scourge of the Internet for both businesses and consumers, and that website owners have the right to display their websites without having their sites hidden behind such invasive advertisements.” Most of us think we users have a right to go to websites without having ads pop up in our faces as well.
If it makes you feel any better, Judge Lee empathized with internet users. He says, “Alas, we computer users must endure pop-up advertising along with her ugly brother unsolicited bulk e-mail, spam, as a burden of using the Internet.”
Ever wonder why laws never seem to favor the little guy? Could it be some kind of conspiracy?
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