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Old 08-15-2006   #1
Wavy Davy
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Arrow Yahoo! Checkmate Lawsuit

Anyone else get this email.......


David
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Old 08-16-2006   #2
Wavy Davy
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Unhappy

mmmmm Just me then. I received a pdf file regarding a lawsuit against Yahoo! ppc advertisers from 1998 - recently.

Must be BS
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Old 08-16-2006   #3
SkGold
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavy Davy
mmmmm Just me then. I received a pdf file regarding a lawsuit against Yahoo! ppc advertisers from 1998 - recently.

Must be BS
I got it as well. I guess it BS.
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Old 08-16-2006   #4
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Not me. I wonder what it looks like.
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Old 08-16-2006   #5
Discovery
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I recieved it as well.

I gave it a quick read to see if it was bogus. The format and so on seems like it is a real suite. However, reading the actual complaint and if the lawsuite is won what YSM will have to do is an absolute joke. Its as if YSM wrote this themselves.

Basically, if the lawsuite is not won, anyone in the class action can never again file suite for click fraud against YSM.

If it is won, YSM will assign a quality control team to keep a check on click fraud... weee hoooo! And invite a few advertisers of their choice to give their input on a review team. Yes, hard hitting stuff.

This must be a fraud as it is so oneside and to me seem all in ysms favour.

Well thats my quick read of it, here is the actual BS. You can derive your own interpretation

A. The Proposed Settlement

Since filing the action, Plaintiff, through Class Counsel, has conducted an investigation of the facts, including review of Yahoo!’s billing procedures and Yahoo!’s click filtering systems, interviews with key Yahoo! personnel, and has analyzed the relevant legal and factual issues. Class Counsel obtained substantial information about the nature and extent of Yahoo!’s challenged practices through this process.

Although Yahoo! does not believe it has done anything wrong and continues to deny all claims and allegations of wrongdoing asserted in the Action, Plaintiff and Yahoo! agreed to enter into a settlement agreement after an extensive exchange of information and vigorous arms-length negotiation. If approved by the Court, the settlement agreement will result in dismissal of this case and final resolution of all claims raised. Such dismissal will release Yahoo! from future liability for the acts and practices complained of. The settlement terms are described in full in a document known as Stipulation and Settlement Agreement (hereinafter "Agreement")1. The Agreement is available for your inspection at the clerk’s office of the United States District Court, Central District of California, Western Division. The terms of the settlement, in summary form, are as follows:

i) Yahoo! shall launch an online traffic quality center, which will be available to its advertisers within 90 calendar days of the Effective Date of the settlement. The traffic quality center will include a resource center which will contain FAQs, best practices documents, traffic quality articles, enforcement guidelines, and an advice column.

ii) Yahoo! shall designate a Yahoo! employee as a traffic quality advocate who will be part of a traffic quality group to fulfill the function of fielding advertisers’ concerns regarding traffic quality, including its click fraud prevention efforts, within 90 calendar days of the Effective Date of the settlement.

( commentary: I like this, you mean they dont have one already? No kidding? And let me think, just 1? For exactly how many advertisers?)

iii) Within 90 calendar days of the Effective Date of the settlement, Yahoo! shall start a program in which it chooses at least three advertisers per year who will be invited to Yahoo! to obtain special access to the traffic quality team and additional information with respect to Yahoo!’s click protection system, subject to the advertisers’ execution of nondisclosure agreements.

iv) Yahoo! shall work with third parties in an effort to develop industry-wide standards that define click fraud, set forth standards with respect to the detection of click fraud and provide the public with periodic general evaluations regarding the effectiveness of providers’ efforts to filter and prevent the charging of click fraud to customers.

Commentary: Yes, great idea lets have the offenders police themselves.

v) Yahoo! will temporarily lift its 60-day contractual provision to allow Class Members to make click fraud claims for the period from January 1, 2004 to July 31, 2006. Any Class Member that wishes to participate in the additional claims review process will have to complete the Assertion of Right to Participate form, and mail by certified or registered mail the completed form to the Claims Administrator on or before November 20, 2006.

B. Attorneys’ Fees and Class Representative Compensation

Class Counsel will request that the Courts award them attorneys’ fees and expenses. They intend to request $4,950,000 in attorneys’ fees plus costs in an amount not to exceed $25,000. The fees and costs figures were determined independently of negotiation of the other terms of the settlement.

Class Counsel’s petition for fees and expenses will be filed with the court no later than October 30, 2006, and may be reviewed by any interested party. The amount paid for attorneys’ fees, expenses, and costs will be paid by Yahoo! and so will not diminish or affect any Credits which Class Members may receive.

7. WHAT AM I GIVING UP IF I PARTICIPATE IN THE SETTLEMENT?

The settlement provides that once the Court enters an order finding the proposed settlement fair, adequate, and reasonable and all appeals have been resolved or all appeals periods have expired, those Class Members who have not timely requested exclusion from this Action shall be deemed to have and by operation of the Final Judgment shall have fully, finally and forever released, relinquished, and discharged all Released Claims as set forth below.

Specifically, the settlement is intended to settle any and all known and unknown claims from January 1, 1998 through July 31, 2006 against Yahoo! that Class Members have asserted or could have asserted based upon or in any way relating to, referring to, or arising out of the charging or overcharging for Challenged Clicks (the "Released Claims").

The settlement provides that once the Court enters an order finding the proposed settlement fair, adequate, and reasonable and all appeals have been resolved or all appeals periods have expired, those Class Members who have not timely requested exclusion from this Action shall be deemed to have and by operation of the Final Judgment shall have fully, finally and forever released, relinquished, and discharged all Released Claims as set forth below.

The release will extend to Yahoo! and its past or present directors, officers, employees, partners, principals, agents, predecessors, successors, parents, affiliated and sister corporations, subsidiaries, licensees, divisions, and related or affiliated entities, and the Yahoo! Ad Partners (defined as all Persons together with any past or present directors, officers, employees, partners, principals, agents, controlling shareholders, predecessors, successors, parents, affiliated and sister corporations and subsidiaries of same, that disseminated, displayed, distributed, delivered, served, published, and/or otherwise provided any Yahoo! Ad (defined as the participation and/or the ability to participate in a system which displays advertising, including without limitation, titles and descriptions, uniform resource locators, images, text and all other content delivered, served, published, and/or otherwise displayed by Yahoo! and the Yahoo! Ad Partners, including without limitation, via any and all web sites, e-mails, applications, and software, including without limitation domain channels, downloadable applications, content match, domain match, adware, spyware, arbitrage, and e-mail campaigns)).

If the settlement is approved by the Court and not otherwise terminated, the Court will dismiss the Action with prejudice, and bar and permanently enjoin the named Plaintiff and each Class Member from prosecuting the Released Claims. As a result, once the judgment of the Court in accordance with this settlement has become final, each of the Class Members and their legal successors-in-interest shall be deemed to have forever given up any Released Claims against Yahoo! and the other Released Parties. If you have purchased advertising on the Yahoo! Search Marketing System between January 1, 1998 and July 31, 2006, and do not elect to exclude yourself from the Class, you will be deemed to have entered in to this release and to have released the above-described claims. If the settlement is not approved by the Court or does not become final for some other reason, the litigation will continue.
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Old 08-16-2006   #6
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Hello All,

I noticed there were some concerns on the boards as to whether or not the email notification around the Checkmate settlement is legit. It is in fact a legitimate notice and you should also be getting a notice via snail mail.

If you have any questions call the number referenced in the notice or take a look at the announcement here: http://yhoo.client.shareholder.com/R...leaseID=202354.

Hope this clears things up for you.

Best,

YahooSarah

Last edited by YahooSarah : 08-16-2006 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 08-17-2006   #7
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can anyone post the link to the settlement website?
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Old 08-17-2006   #8
Wavy Davy
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Post I posted a SCOOP???

My first in all these years

I bloody hate lawsuits......
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Old 08-17-2006   #9
Discovery
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Settlement or Diversion?

To put a serious dent in click fraud and junk clicks it takes more than a quality control team, technical systems and PR spin. Those are important for dealing with click fraud AFTER the fact. What Y! and others need to do is stop the SOURCE of click fraud. Nothing I read in the settlement suggests that Y! has offered a way to shut down, cut off or eliminate the source of offending applications/domains/partners.

I can see that Y! and others want to make the issue all about strict click fraud. Because if they really thwart "click fraud" they only decrease revenue slightly and have a leg to stand on to go out and say "we have solved the problem". All the while an equally as important issue remains un-addressed. One that produces a great deal of revenue for them and unjustly charges the advertisers. To address the whole issue, I believe it needs to be divided into two elements.

Straight out click fraud
Schemes are put into place by outside parties to intentionally run up clicks that have absolutely no association with an actual visitor. Many times these are automated clicks. Click bots are a good example although there are many techniques used to conduct click fraud.

Junk clicks
The click represents an actual person searching for information
however, the searchers have no relationship to the advertisers campaign. In other words the searcher has been mislead in some way, or has been given an incentive outside of the original advertisers offer. There are MANY schemes being deployed by "content partners" to increase click through traffic that mislead the searcher in some way in order to rack up charges on the advertiser. It's important to note that it is not the number of clicks coming from each "partner" its the number of "partners" that use these techniques successfully. 1000 partners sending 1-3 junk clicks keeps each of them under the radar, but still racks up large expenses for the advertisers over time. And revenues for the host SE.


Solution?
Since the techniques used to produce these junk clicks mostly fall in a gray area, on the edge of click fraud if you will, it is difficult for the engines to determine that it is pure junk and what's not. For some engines, especially second tier engines, this is the perfect out for them to line their pockets and still claim that these are legitimate clicks. The only entity that can truly identify what is a junk click and what is not are the advertisers themselves.

I know many of you have seen me write this before, but here it goes again.

There is a perfectly simple and easy solution to solve both of these problems at the same time! The engines only need to give the advertisers the tools to block ANY traffic the ADVERTISER warrants as "unqualified". It does not matter if they feel it's click fraud or junk clicks. It only matters that the advertiser can block future clicks from that source.

I understand this won't stop all click fraud and junk clicks but it would put a very serious dent in their business. It would also allow content partners to experiment with new ways of promoting their sites and ads within them. If their new ploy is not working advertisers will cut them out. With these tools in hand advertisers would trust that their search engine partners are doing all they can to help stop click fraud/Junk clicks. Advertisers would soon find the best producing content partners, competition for these spots would rise and so would the revenues for the host engine. The advertisers are rewarded, the content partners compensated for a solid site and the SE would get their fair share of the revenue. Advertisers would also identify the poor content partners who would quickly lose their ads and fade into oblivion or change their model to one that satisfies the advertisers. SE's would increase their public support and lessen the likelihood of class action suites.

There are other areas to explore in this solution I propose, but I'm long winded already. Here are some topics for discussion.
If I have full control of blocking traffic do I have any rights to refunds?
Not every click will convert, so is it a junk click?

I hope Y! and others don't resort to setting up paper tiger lawsuits to solve their click fraud woes. I hope that they will turn to the resourceful, dedicated community that makes thier businesses viable. The advertisers.

Discovery
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Old 08-17-2006   #10
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I got it too, and the corrected version. I sent it to corporate counsel for review as a precautionary measure. I got one similar to it a few months ago regarding Google - they seem to be popping up with more frequency these days...
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Old 08-17-2006   #11
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Looks like a spam or phising.
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Old 08-17-2006   #12
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Discovery's post

Once again you have hit it on the head, Discovery. Junk clicks are the bane of PPC for many of us advertisers. Site exclusion allows us to control it at least to a certain extent. And it also helps the engines - if every advertiser is suddenly blocking junkclicksite dot com, they'll realize in a hurry that that site isn't a good partner and can either dump them, or work with them to improve their results. A win-win for the SE and the advertiser. Unfortunately only Google currently has this functionality.

Melissa

Last edited by Mel66 : 08-17-2006 at 04:41 PM. Reason: fixed the fake URL I accidentally included! :>P
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Old 08-18-2006   #13
Wavy Davy
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One reason I never show ads on any content network....


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Old 11-10-2006   #14
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Yahoo! Slams Door on Advertisers, Click Fraud

I thought you all might appreciate a bit of an update on this subject an insights on how affiliates, advertisers are getting screwed (IMO).

The settlement's terms absolve Yahoo of liability for fraudulent, and more importantly “unwanted” (woah! that's broad and undefined), clicks sent to advertisers over the last 8 years. In return, advertisers’ get the opportunity to ask for credits (to buy more advertising) and these credits may ultimately be denied by the company. Wait till you hear the details on the process one must go through to be considered for credits! You won't believe it.

Details here.
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