Comodo Software Removed from Softpedia


We don't normally feature news items in this column but this one is of unusual importance for freeware lovers:

From the Softpedia website:

"... if you had searched Softpedia for Comodo in the past week, you would have surely noticed that the company’s [i.e. Comodo's]  flagship programs were no longer listed on Softpedia. This was not our decision, of course, but let’s start with the beginning.

On April, 15th, Softpedia received an official cease and desist letter from the Comodo legal team requesting us to "discontinue all references on Softpedia identifying CIS as adware" within seven days, because Comodo Internet Security is not adware.

The first thing we did was, of course, to double-check the license, but, as we’ve tried explaining to the Comodo team, CIS is indeed adware. Why? Well, for starters, because the installer attempts to change both the browser’s homepage and search engine. As if that wasn’t a good enough reason, the setup also offers to install SafeSurf. Here’s what the official Comodo letter states: "SafeSurf is optional and does not display unsolicited advertisements on a user’s computer, nor does it hijack browser settings or perform search overriding or home page changing without the user’s consent."

Aside from the fact that SafeSurf is a component that the program (CIS) does not require to fully function, therefore it alone would be a good reason to mark CIS as adware, this utility also installs Ask Toolbar without asking for the user’s permission. This type of behavior is clearly not the one described in the Comodo email and could be easily classified as spyware (since adware would imply prior user consent)."

What's my opinion on this? Both Softpedia and Comodo have a case. Yes Comodo does include additional components with their security software installs but as far as I can see they are up front about it in much the same way that CCleaner is up front about installing the Yahoo search bar. On the other hand the Comodo practice does seem to challenge Softpedia's "100% clean" policy.

In summary - caveat emptor.



Please note that Comodo products are now back on Softpedia as of October 2009.  The designation of Comodo Internet Security has now been changed to 'freeware' or 'trial' as before. 


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