It appears that default judgments and voluntary dismissals occurring through Nov. 2010 seem to have caused the sites to be shut down, evidently it’s about trademark & copyright infringement, presumably game cheats can shorten the total play time, lowering their revenue.
This is tough news for hundreds of affiliates promoting these products. Zynga sussed out the true names of some of the Click-bank operators using ‘stage names’ in their business, probably not the best time to come out.
Zynga VP, Bill Mooney was a trial lawyer for 5 years, presumably he masterminded the actions, he’s had an interesting background, writing for TV programs and animations before joining Zynga.
Zynga is no stranger to lawsuits, a class action lawsuit was brought against them and Facebook in late 2009 for facilitating scam product offers through Zwinky toolbar installations.
You can view a presentation in which Zynga founder Mark Pinkus admitted using shady methods to keep the doors open. At about 10:40 of the video following is said:
“I did every horrible thing in the book to, just to get revenues right away. I mean we gave our users poker chips if they downloaded this zwinky toolbar which was like, I dont know, I downloaded it once and couldn’t get rid of it.”
Often internet marketing scams most commonly involving automatic re-billing of credit cards are eventually stopped when the bank handling their merchant account shuts them down after receiving too many consumer complaints, some financial institutions look the other way in order to continue to received their processing fees. Here’s an example of the money people prosecuted.
A 2007 complaint filed by the FTC and seven states alleges that Your Money Access, LLC and its subsidiary, YMA Company, LLC, processed unauthorized debits on behalf of deceptive telemarketers and Internet-based schemes that were violating the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule and state consumer protection laws.
The companies provided access to the banking system and the means to extract money from consumers’ bank accounts, a critical role in such schemes. The FTC alleged that in many instances the merchants either sent consumers relatively worthless items or completely failed to deliver the promised products or services.