Ok, so Direct Revenue are dead... but....
There is some partying going on because of the news that Direct Revenue is apparently defunct.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am very pleased that Direct Revenue (or a portion thereof) is no longer around, but at risk of being the only person to rain on this particular parade, let me remind everybody of something...
Back in July 2007 the FTC issued final approval for a $1.5 million settlement against Direct Revenue, but there was one dissenter - Commissioner Leibowitz. He said, and I quote:
"The consent order in this matter, to which the Commission has now accorded final approval, includes strong injunctive relief that will put an end to practices that allowed DirectRevenue to foist unwanted software on untold millions of consumers. The injunctive provisions, like those in Zango, Inc., f/k/a 180 Solutions, Inc., will serve as a model to adware companies in future. But the $1.5 million in monetary relief that the Commission obtained as part of the consent order is a disappointment because it apparently leaves DirectRevenue’s owners lining their pockets with more than $20 million from a business model based on deceit."
I ask you... is it really that painful to shut up shop when you know you get to keep $20 million or so??? Hell, I could retire on that quite happily - invest it and live on the interest proceeds month to month.
I'll let you in on a little secret.. I reckon while so many are partying because of the news of the demise of Direct Revenue, there are some other people partying all the way to the bank. Sure, the injunctive relief meant that they couldn't earn *more* dosh, but what the heck, they still have their $20 million. They can afford to shut down and go do something else... grow purple bananas or something like that.
Until such time as the fines imposed on malware companies are large enough actually inflict some sort of realistic *pain*, the bad guys will continue to operate. Seriously... $1.5 million to a company like Direct Revenue is no more than a blip on the radar... it's a business expense... no more than another tax to be paid.