ePN Announces New Software Policies, Scheduled for September 30th

It’s been said that technologies can be good or bad depending on how they’re used.  In recent years, there’s been a proliferation of software applications (e.g., toolbars, custom browsers, mobile apps) designed to enhance users’ shopping experiences and that, in turn, drive traffic to networks like ePN.  Although these applications are often innovative, sometimes they’re designed in ways that don’t benefit customers, or in extreme cases lead to confusing or detrimental experiences.  In light of this, we recently observed that our software policies were deficient in certain ways:  ambiguous, silent on vital issues, or failing to reflect our intentions consistently.  So, to provide clarity and consistency, we’re pleased to announce the redesign of our software policies, scheduled to be integrated into our Code of Conduct on September 30, 2013.  You can see the entire policy HERE. In our new policies you’ll find a few changes: - Clearer, more explicit language

- A “Statement of Purpose” articulating the philosophical standards we expect

“…eBay adopts these terms … to assure that ePN offers appear only in software that achieves the highest standards of benefit to users and respect for users and for users’ computers...”

- Policy enhancements like the following:

  • Recommendation for ease of installation, use, and, removal
  • Restriction against bundling
  • Prohibition of designs that obstruct testing
  • Explicit ban on confusing experiences, particularly cases where applications modify host sites
  • Explicit ban on ‘round-tripping’ (i.e., directing users who are already on eBay back to eBay and tracking that traffic)
  • Requirement that software publishers work directly with ePN (not through sub-affiliate networks or other agents)
  • Requirement that publishers integrate with ePN before completing our Software Special Business Model application, so that ePN can review and evaluate the completed integration ‘look and feel’
  • Requirement for notification when software updates materially change the user experience

The official policy will be posted shortly, but we wanted to provide advance notice of some of the key terms.  We encourage all software publishers to be familiar with these terms and, where needed, make the necessary preparations.  We will update our Code of Conduct and begin enforcing these policies on September 30, 2013.

ePN welcomes the many ways in which software applications add value by driving new users and traffic to eBay.  We hope you’ll agree that these policies improve things by helping to ensure that software integrations with ePN achieve “the highest standards of benefit to users and respect for users and for users’ computers.”

As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions.  If you have questions on this topic, please submit a Contact Us form or email us at [email protected].