Online retailer goes to court over spyware

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Online retailer Overstock.com has become the first company to use Utah's anti-spyware legislation

Overstock.com has filed a claim in Utah, claiming alleged abuse by Massachusetts-based SmartBargains Inc.

Overstock.com claims SmartBargains used spyware to open pop-up ads over the Overstock website when users browsed to its site in violation of the Utah Spyware Control Act (HB 323), which came into effect earlier this month.

Patrick Byrne, president of Overstock.com, said "Pop-up ads have been to Web browsing what spam is to email. Spyware hijacks not only consumer spending, but the commissions that would otherwise be paid to legitimate affiliate community."

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