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We submit this petition in order to prevent unauthorized advertising on web sites. We feel that contextual advertising is unfair to the web site owner, who makes no money from the advertising that eZula places on their site. Also, the site owner may lose traffic as a result. In the following, we will examine some claims made by eZula and give our disagreements with them.

1) Contextual advertising is less obtrusive than pop-ups

This is true, although there is one major difference between contextual advertising and pop-ups: web site owners make money from pop-ups, but they make nothing from unauthorized contextual advertising. If we were Microsoft, would contextual advertising be placed on our site? This is highly unlikely. It is simply the case that eZula wishes to profit from the average web site owner who hasn't the legal power to combat the situation.

2) TopText is like NBCi's QuickClick; it just gives users more access to information

QuickClick allows the user to have a choice of links to pursue, instead of links that went to the highest bidder(s). Furthermore, QuickClick is not an advertising program, rather, a contextual search engine.

3) The user doesn't have to install TopText

It's not as though the user knew ahead of time that they were going to install TopText. TopText is packaged with eZula's KaZaa, and the user only knows about TopText until the installation process has begun. Let's face it, most people simple click "Next" until the process is complete. Chances are good that many people weren't paying attention, and installed TopText by mistake, which is exactly what eZula is looking for.

4) Users are told that the underlined links are not part of the page they are viewing

True, but only after they have installed TopText.

5) It can be easily uninstalled by the user

Upon uninstalling TopText, not every component is removed. It is still possible to detect TopText on a machine that has gone through the uninstallation process.

Therefore, until eZula disbands the TopText software altogether, or provides a method of circumvention to allow web site owners to disable the software when a TopText user views their site, the undersigned will boycott all eZula software. Furthermore, all web site owners of the undersigned will place detection devices on all owned web sites in order to prevent the use of TopText on such web sites.

(Petition Statement written by Derek Soviak)