You knew it was going to happen eventually. While a few Internet Marketers got in and out before getting caught for cooking stuffing, a select few weren’t as fortunate.
eBay Sues Alleged ‘Cookie Stuffers’
SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Three men defrauded eBay in a “cookie stuffing” scheme that made it appear the men’s companies should be paid commissions, eBay claims in Federal Court. It sued Shawn Hogan and Digital Point Solutions, Todd Dunning and Kessler’s Flying Circus, and Brian Dunning and Thunderwood Holdings.
eBay says the men devised software programs that, “unbeknownst to the [computer] user, redirected the user’s computer to the eBay Web site without the user actually clicking on an eBay advertisement link, or even becoming aware that they had left the page they were previously viewing. As a result, the eBay site would be prompted to drop an eBay cookie on the user’s computer even though the user never clicked on an eBay advertisement or even realized that their computer had ever visited the eBay site.”
The complaint continues: “once the cookie was stuffed on the user’s computer by one or more of the defendant’s any future revenue actions initiated by that user when the user later visited eBay intentionally, and not as a result of any advertisement places by defendants, appeared to be eligible for commissions payable to one of the defendants”.
eBay claims the defendants also used deceptive means to prevent it from discovering the fraud, and to conceal it. eBay demands compensatory, treble and punitive damages. It is represented by David Eberhart with O’Melveny & Myers.
Here’s what I think is going to happen… it’s nothing too serious and no jail time will be handed down. Perhaps a fine or maybe all parties can agree on a settlement out of court. I spoke to a few fellow marketers on the DP forums on Sunday night who are in direct contact with the alleged “stuffers” and they’re all laughing. For eBay to explain this kind of case to a courtroom may be extremely difficult, as it’s very complex and unless you know a lot about how the Internet works, I can see this kind of ordeal being tossed out. I’ll keep you updated.
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