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The use of OpenCandy in freeware

#1 User is offline   marko 

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    Posted 19 May 2011 - 06:53 AM

    After much debate, thought and collating of new information regarding OpenCandy, we here at FreewareBB have came to the conclusion that OC is not the harmful ad-ware we were led to believe it was by multiple incorrect and over-reactions across the net. OpenCandy is a form of ad-ware although it is not considered a dangerous or intrusive form of ad-ware as the opportunity to decline any recommendation by OC is available, just like a lot of other ad-ware which is bundled within freeware. Unfortunately, sponsorship and ad-ware are very much a part of freeware as we know it today, even Open Source now contains non-threatening ad-ware. One of the reasons OpenCandy was frowned upon was regarding a developer who decided not to include details of OpenCandy in their license agreement which triggered all kinds of alerts across the web, but OpenCandy themselves state this is against their terms and conditions and contacted the developer in question to rectify the matter.

    Having read the entire FAQ on the OpenCandy website we feel it would be irrational and irresponsible of us to exclude software which contains OpenCandy, whilst at the same time still allowing other freeware titles to exist that offer end-users the choice to install additional software (which is also the same form of ad-ware). OC state they check all software they recommend, and although the potential to recommend bad software is possible, it would only mean cutting their own throats and for us to ban software based on 'potential' is somewhat unfair - kinda like found guilty before the trial so to speak.

    To ban developers choosing to use OpenCandy right now would simply result in the end-user having a very limited choice given the fact that all these offerings contain the option to opt-out of any additional software. In fact, unlike a lot of vendors, OC INSIST end-users have the choice to opt-in or out. OpenCandy had been labelled incorrectly by some anti-virus developers which has now been rectified, with the exception of Microsoft who still show alerts of 'Win32/OpenCandy' yet Microsoft themselves won't alert end-users to other similar forms of ad-ware.

    It's apparent to us that OpenCandy have been labelled wrongly, although as always, we will be keeping a close eye on the situation and we're more or less giving them the opportunity to prove themselves - needless to say we will always listen to our members and should anyone discover a problem with any software containing OpenCandy or anything else, please let us know through the usual channels and we will investigate it immediately.
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    #2 User is offline   Bala7 

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      Posted 19 May 2011 - 03:44 PM

      Personally, I'm a strong proponent for developers monetizing their creative works.
      This has more to do with how human psychology functions rather than promoting capitalism. Without some kind of incentive there would be very little or no progress. All pleasantries and platitudes cannot compare with making some monetary gain. How many users here can honestly say ?I work for free and love it?? Altruism can only carry us so far. Some monetary gain greatly encourages developers to continue updating, working on bug fixes and adding new functionality to their creations.

      But, obfuscation and deception are evil. If a developer intentionally hides bundled third party programs in order to hoax the user into installing without warning then this kind or developer must be punished.

      A prime example of the latter is the widely used Shark007 Vista and Windows7 codec pack. I've spend months on their forums attempting to convince users that Shark007 stealthfully bundles the 'ask toolbar' and 'weatherbug' gadget while no mention of any such tools¿ in the license agreement. After six months of persistence the developer finally came clean. This kind of outright lie MUST BE PUNISHED. Shark007 actions defies all civilized norms.

      Honesty is the best policy. (most of the time)
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      #3 User is offline   marko 

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        Posted 19 May 2011 - 04:00 PM

        Bala, I agree entirely, and make no mistake, any developer who intentionally or even unintentionally misleads an end-user won't stand a chance on our site - we like to think of ourselves as one of the VERY FEW freeware sites who actually care about what we offer to our users and what we wouldn't download and install ourselves we most certainly wouldn't recommend through our site. The whole OpenCandy issue became somewhat confusing after I personally started banning sites that included it, regardless of whether they included details in their license agreement or not, but after much thought I realised I had in fact made a mistake and concluded it was unfair of me to do this, OpenCandy hasn't been proved to be a dangerous inclusion and I know the code which OpenCandy uses is not in any way dangerous - the potential behind OpenCandy could be if they started recommending toolbars of all types, but the potential is still no more dangerous than anything else we've seen and we all accept and if that were to happen we most certainly would have good reason to start banning OC.

        If anyone, including OpenCandy were to start recommending add-on's which were dangerous, they would be history, and so would any developer using this or any other form of adware which was proven to be dangerous. Our stance is now clear in regards to OpenCandy and any other form of 'non-aggresive' adware, if it's in the license agreement, isn't dangerous and the end-user can opt-out then it's acceptable. If any of the above terms of our site aren't met, then it's banned, pure and simple ;)

        Hope this clarifies the situation for everyone :good:
        Marko
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        #4 User is offline   Photo Magician 

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          Posted 19 May 2011 - 04:14 PM

          The only reason why I develop for free is to gain maximum exposure across the globe and to become a household name.

          There is too much crap out there that we have to pay ridiculous amounts for...

          I have included Open Candy for the last year and as far as I'm aware it has always been transparent (EULA and opt-in/out recommendations). The money I make from this is purely to keep up with running costs of my domain, hosting and bandwidth.

          I have Microsoft Security Essentials installed and it doesnt recognise my installer with win32/OpenCandy so it seems this issue has gone away.

          Best Regards
          Andy
          Photo Magician
          http://photomagiciansoftware.co.uk
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          #5 User is offline   marko 

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            Posted 19 May 2011 - 04:30 PM

            That's good news about MS Andy, and even better news we're able to re-list your software. Long may it reign!! ;)
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