Zango is Hijacking Videos!?

Zango Hijacking Exhibit A

WTF is this!?

I do a Google search to find the link for an old recording, and in the results I find Zango search results. It’s not the search results with search results that causes me concern, so much as the search results are from Zango. Moreover, three of the top 5 links in the Zango results are links to former recordings of mine. Not links to our YouTube channel, not links to our archives

But if it weren’t Zango, I’d probably be thrilled. Why?

Zango Hijacking Exhibit C

Let’s look at what happens when you click through to on one of my videos on Zango.com. Instead of being directed to the actual video, you’re directed to an intermediate page with a “Unlimited Play – Play Now!” header right next to the thumbnail for the video in question. WTF?! It gets worse.

In order to play the video through Zango, the user must agree to a EULA and a checkbox that clearly states:

By clicking “Continue” I represent that I (1) am at least 18, (2) agree to the EULA terms and (3) consent to install Zango and play Accounting Software.

But that disclaimer and action item is sitting next to:

Zango Hijacking Exhibit B

Thanks to Zango, premium content on this and other websites is free, paid for by advertising. When installed, Zango software presents ads (based on keywords from your Internet browsing) in the Zango Toolbar and in a separate browser window that pops up on your screen. If included in this download, the Zango Outlook/Outlook Express Toolbar gives you access to free emoticons and other fun content from within Outlook or Outlook Express when you are online. Zango is always running and will upgrade automatically. You can uninstall Zango via Add/Remove Programs, but then won’t have access to most Zango content.

Now, unless I missed a checkbox somewhere, I don’t remember giving Zango permission to push crapware on my behalf. It’s the software installation part that has me queasy, especially given their questionable past. How many people have been duped into believing that they needed to install Zango before they could watch anybody’s video?

Don’t install Zango, people! You don’t need to install Zango to watch my videos, and I’ll go as far as to state that if you want to watch videos, the last place you’d want to watch them is on Zango or with anything they’d ever give you to install!!!

This is just… unacceptable. >:( If I were a lawyer, I’d file a lawsuit (class action?) tomorrow. They make it look as though the user needs to install Zango software in order to play back the content that I’ve already given to them for free.

Why hasn’t Google blacklisted these guys yet?