Drug Dealer Ware* is software/services that are peddled the same way a drug dealer drives sales of addictive dope: It's given away for free, until the user is "hooked" on it, at which point the prices are jacked up. Some Adware products are distributed in this manner, as well as many "free" internet services such as email, web space and internet access. For example, an adware developer may set up his/her software so that it masquerades as a Freeware product for a length of time, until the user has gotten accustomed to freely using this "freeware" as part of his/her daily life, created files in this program's proprietary format, etc., and is somewhat "stuck" to it. Then the program suddenly changes from Freeware to $hareware or Advertising Supported $hareware. While a normal user looking for a software product may see a program listed as Adware and keep looking, someone who's already wasted the time downloading this one may not have the ambition to start the search all over again (hence more $$$ for the drug dealer developer, and one of the reasons they may pull this type of scam). This is a shameful and deceptive practice that, much like an actual drug dealer, often targets children.
CEXX.ORG would like to formally state its opposition to Drug Dealer Ware software and services. Such exploitative practices not only take advantage of trusting end-users, but also serve to diminish trust in, and the reputations of, legitimate developers offering free and shareware services in an honest manner. CEXX.ORG takes pride in helping DDW victims "get the monkey off their back." Developers should note that CEXX.ORG does actively assist DDW victims in subverting the collection schemes of Drug Dealer Ware developers.
Want to try "the patch"?
Software patches, firewalls, cracks, and other methods of neutering software
advertisement are on the Adware Neutering page. Also, this list provides dummy (non-functioning) replacement files for several major advertising modules commonly used by DDW.
Want to go cold turkey? Look for useful software on these freeware and shareware sites...
Priceless List - Completely free programs, no adware/spyware. Policy...
- Ziff-Davis' large freeware/shareware page. (To my knowledge, contains
some spyware apps under "Shareware")
- Freeware, shareware, and public domain. Allows adware, but requires
software developers to disclose adware behaviour in its readme.txt or equivalent
documentation (it would be nicer, though, if they fully disclosed it right
in the program descriptions, before downloading).
- Freeware and shareware, Internet tools. Lists adware, but clearly labels
it as such.
- Freeware and shareware. Discloses the nature of software (free, shareware,
adware, etc.) upfront.
- Freeware, free services; links to humor, news and informational sites
as well. Strict no-spyware policy.
* "Drug Dealer Ware" has a catchier ring to it, but I am informed a more proper term is Drug Pusher Ware. (Even drugdealers do not want to be associated with this class of software :-) A dealer merely sells the product, but the "pusher" is the one you see hanging around near a school playground, handing out free samples.