SourceForge sorry for adware, promises only opt-in in future

Download site slaps self after GIMP grump, outlines meta-adware loopholes

Software download service SourceForge has changed its adware-insertion policies after earning users' ire for wrapping popular FOSS image-wrangling app The GIMP in an adware-riddled downloader.

The tale of how ads came to The GIMP is long and twisted, but the salient bits of the story are that the version of the program on SourceForge was no longer maintained because The GIMP took itself elsewhere. SourceForge took that as a sign that it could apply its own installer, complete with what it calls “third party offers”.

GIMP folk kicked up a stink about that and SourceForge has now responded with a new policy that says “... we present third party offers only with a few projects where it is explicitly approved by the project developer, or if the project is already bundling third party offers.”

“While we had recently tested presenting easy-to-decline third party offers with a very small number of unmaintained SourceForge projects, we discontinued this practice promptly based on negative community feedback,” the company's post says.

Unmaintained adware, it therefore appears, can therefore be wrapped in more adware if SourceForge feels like it. But wrappers can only be applied to other projects if SourceForge asks the developers who all-but-abandoned it.

The mouse, or The GIMP, has therefore roared and a small blow has been struck against adware, leaving the world free for nice ads like the ones in this story. ®

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