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A critique of Norton AntiVirus and Symantec; their affiliate program!
Written by an independent affiliate who still has FREEDOM OF SPEECH!
Now don't get me wrong about this. I don't doubt the quality of Norton AntiVirus and the sincerity with which Symantec try to protect their brand. However, I feel I must tell you that I refused to sign their affiliate program because I considered that their terms and conditions were against freedom of speech!
For a long while I've given Symantec and Norton AntiVirus a free link at the page of antivirus software at this site, and so when I heard they were going to have an affiliate program at Commission Junction I thought ooh good! An opportunity for a dedicated page alongside their rivals such as McAfee and Panda AntiVirus at the AntiVirus category. However my optimism turned to dismay when I saw their terms and conditions forbade any free critique of Symantec, and this I consider is a sticking point. Not that I have an intention of decrying their product, but the thing is, if freedom of speech isn't allowed, then anything that's said, even anything good, is suspect to bias and question as to its truth. You can see this explained on the paragraph about the "no disparaging clause" at contract clauses to beware of. Besides, the 2008 Symantec affiliate contract forbade ALL comment about Symantec. It's reminiscent of Lenin, and the Chinese Olympic situation, and Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, etc.
Of course I refused to sign the contract, as my freedom of speech is worth far more than any commission that Symantec could pay me. However, I also pride myself on being able to explain things. I can even explain quite tricky things such as Rocket Science and The Speed of Light to young children without getting into confusion. So, it might seem relatively easy to explain to those people at the Symantec Affiliate Team, who it might be presumed are quite clever, that you just can't ban free speech in order to "protect a brand name" and that banning freedom of speech generally doesn't actually protect a brand name and instead it ends up like the Invasion of Tibet where Zero Tolerance and all that nonsense ends up embarrassing for the oppressors.
However, in the end, no agreement was reached, even though I would have thought it was obvious: If we don't sign the agreement, we don't have to obey the rules in it. And, freedom of speech is worth more than the commission. And, whatever edicts Symantec choose to dictate, it's not going to make them look better in the wider world, any more than various belligerent heads of state can do anything about their unpopularity in the wider world that doesn't want to be ruled over! George Warmonger Bush didn't exactly win any Islamic friends when he came down hard on countries he ordered the invasion of.
Now look, if you want to be an affiliate, it's up to you what contracts you sign. But I say: If you don't like it, don't sign it. Here are some clauses to beware of. Plus, don't just sign on the assumption that it doesn't really count. Remember that in the year 2008 the British government used anti-terrorist legislation to do something about the country of Iceland during the financial crisis.
Having a strict contract doesn't do any good against criminality or against total rogues. It just gets in the way of honest people who believe in sticking to their word.
I could have embarrassed Symantec a lot more on this page, but I have chosen to take a sensible measured approach, and leave them to mull over the situation in the same way as Elephant Insurance with their slightly embarrassing situation. It's not like More Than and their allegedly scandalous accusations of "nude cats" and the revisionist history about a credit card which actually existed. Actually, More Than have changed their position about this, which is good! So, Welcome Back to More Than! However, Tesco Finance have embarrassed themselves by trying to ban the commentary about Silvertap and Tesco which hasn't endeared them.
Meanwhile, of course, other antivirus solutions are available, as they say at The BBC. Plus, not only that, but also if you dump old Microsoft and instead upgrade to the much better Linux system, you can get rid of almost all the virus problem in one go, as Linux isn't so full of holes in the first place! Plus, with some good commonsense you can avoid getting a virus in the first place. Another well-known brand of antivirus software can be seen here at the Microsoft ridiculous email Message completely failing to notice a virus that was right under its nose!
If you've come to this page looking for Symantec, then as a public service, here is the information on how to contact Symantec:
The web address is http://www.symantec.com and the product is known as Norton Anti-Virus, and the phone number was +44 (0) 1628 592222 last time I looked. If any of this changes, please tell me.
Also, if Symantec have a change of policy and decide to have sensible terms and conditions on their affiliate program, please tell me. I might even join at some time if the terms & conditions are reasonable and if they ask me nicely, although the present embarrassment will take a bit of living down.
To the credit of the Symantec Affiliate Team, they did at least have the decency to enter into discussion with us, although at the time no agreement was reached as they seemed unable to understand the significance of most of the points being mentioned.