Legal Publisher Notice from Commission Junction

Have you checked your email lately? This arrived yesterday:

The revised PSA that governs your relationship with Commission Junction is effective as of October 20, 2005. It is posted at for your complete review.

Put your glasses on, cross your eyes and good luck trying to walk your way safely through this new PSA. Here’s the best I can make out of it:

1. Watch Your Links

You may not place Links to an Advertiser’s Web site or Web site content in third party newsgroups, message boards, blogs, unsolicited email and other types of spam, link farms, counters, chatrooms, or guestbooks. Publishers using IRC channels, instant messages or similar Internet resources must designate their program as special requiring manual review and acceptance by the Advertiser.

I *think* this means you can’t spam your links around town. I think. I would *hope* that it’s ok to pay to advertise on forums and blogs and email newsletters (as long as they’re opt-in), etc. But I don’t know. It says quite clearly you cannot place Links to an Advertiser’s Web site or Web site content in third party newsgroups, message boards, blogs, unsolicited email and other types of spam, link farms, counters, chatrooms, or guestbooks. If you pay to advertise on sites other than your own, you better ask for clarification first.

2. Special Methods On Approval Only

In Your Account, You must accurately, clearly and completely describe all promotional methods by selecting the appropriate descriptions and providing additional information when necessary. Some promotional methods will be designated by the system as “special�. Special programs are linked to promotional methods and practices considered unique and require manual approval and acceptance by the Advertiser. CJ reserves the right to define any program as special

Maybe this applies to parasites? Parasitic raping of affiliate links are a unique method of marketing IMO. I think CJ is saying that if you do this – they want to know about it and approve it first. I think. But I guess it’s also saying they want all your tips and tricks, all your methods of driving traffic through your aff links (off site). So if you pay to advertise links on someone’s forum or blog or website, it seems they want to know?

3. You Must Maintain A Privacy Policy

You agree to: (i) use ethical and legal business practices, (ii) comply with the Advertisers’ Program terms and this Agreement, (iii) maintain a privacy policy on Your Web site and for any non-Web site based promotional method made available to Visitors, and (iv) designate Your Publisher Account as “specialâ€? if You promote an Advertiser(s) by any means other than displaying a Link to the Advertiser on Your Web site.

Huh? What’s my privacy policy going to say? I don’t collect any information. I don’t save any information. But some links you click on this website will collect (a), (b) and (c)? This makes no sense to me. I have no control or implicit information as to what CJ and some parasites collect when they click my aff links. Mucho Headache.

4. Popups and Popunders

You represent and warrant that You will not engage in pop-up or pop-under advertising using any means involving third party properties and/or services (software). Pop up/unders are acceptable on a first party basis only when triggered by Your site content /site visit or by downloadable software applications for which You are the owner/operator. Pop up/unders delivered through downloadable software cannot engage in means that force clicks or perform redirects, or pop over a pay-per-click listing or natural search results. Pop up/unders must honor the CJ Publisher Code of Conduct requirements (as such requirements may be modified from time to time), including but not limited to: (i) installation requirements, (ii) enduser agreement requirements, (iii) afsrc=1 requirements, (iv) requirements prohibiting usurpation of a Transaction that might otherwise result in a Payout to another Publisher (e.g. by purposefully detecting and forcing a subsequent click-through on a link of the same Advertiser) and (v) non-interference with competing advertiser/ publisher referrals.

Is cookie stuffing ok or not ok? This is very confusing to me. It seems to me this says as long as it’s a visitor on your site and you don’t use software to generate the click, you can use popups – your own generated popups (not software or third party generated). I don’t know. If you use popups and funky software loaded with CJ cookies, clarify with CJ. That’s all I can say.

5. Explain CJ’s Cookies to Your Visitors

Privacy. You must conspicuously post Your privacy policy on Your Web site and otherwise make it available to all Visitors. Your privacy policy must comply with all laws and regulations regarding the privacy of Visitor information, be commercially reasonable, and fully and accurately disclose Your collection and use of Visitor information. You must fully and accurately disclose Your use of third party technology, including CJ’s tracking technology, use of cookies and options for discontinuing use of such cookies.


6. If CJ Sees No Money – You See No Money

CJ shall have no obligation to make payment of any Payouts for which CJ has not received payment from the relevant Advertiser of all monies due to CJ (including for all Payouts owed by such Advertiser to all of such Advertiser’s Publishers). If CJ elects, in its own discretion, not to make payment to You for amounts not received from an Advertiser, those amounts shall not be included in the Minimum Balance Amount. Your recourse for any earned Payouts not paid to You shall be to make a claim against the relevant Advertiser(s), and CJ disclaims any and all liability for such payment.

Got that mister? If your merchant is a DUD, and keeps extending or delaying payment – drop them fast. CJ isn’t going to pay you for sales, they’re aren’t going to babysit who owes you what, they are simply tracking sales – the ‘trusted third party’. So don’t go crying to CJ when the merchant takes a dive.

7. All Your Information Belongs To Us – And We Can Pass It Around

(b) Provision of Info to Advertisers/Third Parties. You agree that CJ may, but is not obligated to, provide Your email address(es) and basic Publisher Account detail (including but not limited to Your address, phone and fax number, Web site name, the date the website or subscription email first entered into operation, and visitor demographics) to Advertisers. CJ may provide any and all Visitor, Transaction and/or Tracking Code data to the Advertiser to which You referred such Visitor, and to any third party in CJ’s sole discretion, including but not limited to all regulatory, legislative and judicial bodies, and pursuant to allegations and claims of proprietary rights infringement. CJ reserves the right to be able to utilize Tracking Code data provided to it, which may include: information about Your performance statistics, to analyze Network Service trends, monitor Network Service efficiencies, maintain the integrity of the tracking code, promote Network Service capabilities and efficiencies, and promote You and Your Web performance to Advertisers.

Big whoop. We discovered this common practise with the recent (affiliate list) fiasco didn’t we? All our info and stats and yada yada floats from one fat cat to the other. Suuuurpriiiize Suuuuurpriiiiize. 😉

That’s all I can muster. I *think* this is ok, that it may be a good step in the right direction for bringing parasites under control within the Commission Junction Network – but I also suspect this just makes the average affiliate’s life more complicated.

So much for building new affiliate sites, I need to figure out how the heck to write a privacy statement yacking about CJ’s cookies and info collection.



I've been trying to find my way online for more years than I care to admit.