Is ‘Stealware’ Next? Friday, September 27, 2002, 1:49 PM ET

Users of Morpheus, Kazaa, and LimeWire beware; these programs may be taking the commission from your online purchases for themselves, a New York Times article said today. Parasite-ware, or stealware, as it is called by its detractors, installs itself along with some of these popular music-swapping services, and cannot be uninstalled, even if the original application is.

Traditionally, when a consumer is directed to an online vendor from an affiliate site, the affiliate site receives a small commission on any purchases. However, when these ‘stealware’ programs are installed, that commission is redirected to the software’s proprietor.

The practice is legal, according to the companies that use the software, since users are always asked upon install if they would like to support the software’s designers by participating in the affiliate shopping program.

However, some larger online sellers have already started refusing payment, including Amazon, which recently cut off payments to Morpheus.

For more, see The New York Times (subscription required)

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