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XBiz News: 09-11-03

Stephen Yagielowicz

This week’s XBiz Industry News takes a look at the latest news concerning the ongoing saga of adult Webmasters and their struggle to obtain reliable and affordable VISA / MC processing services, as well as the latest on the misleading domains case, and the end of another IPSP...

David vs. Goliath
The latest news concerning the ongoing saga of adult Webmasters and their struggle to obtain reliable and affordable VISA / MC processing services comes from PSW Billing Solutions, who this week sent an official advisory to Visa USA, Visa International, MasterCard, and MasterCard International, forewarning the filing of federal, state and common law claims against them.

The basis of the legal action resides primarily in the corporations' deceptive and unfair business practices, the non-protection of friendly fraud and the imposition of illegal fines.

According to John Lombardi, CEO “We are willing and ready to take on all the giants at once. What they do to adult webmasters and payment service providers is unjust.” Lombardi reaffirmed the billing company’s longstanding commitment to the adult industry: “With overwhelming initial support from the adult community, we hope to stop this vicious cycle before more businesses are damaged by their unfair business practices. The time has come to say 'enough is enough.’”

Visa and MasterCard now have an initial period in which to reply in order to resolve the PSW complaint in lieu of litigation in Federal court. However, PSW is primed “to fight the good fight” for the long term future and stability of adult businesses online.

The Big Apple for Domain Name Scammer
The first person in the U.S. charged under Amber Alert and anti cyber-squatting laws which makes it illegal to use ‘misleading’ domain names to deceive adults and / or lure children into porn sites, will be extradited to New York in order to face federal charges there.

Held without bail after his arrest in Hollywood Florida, John Zuccarini faces more than 100 lawsuits and a possible four-year prison sentence as well as heavy fines if convicted of a scheme in which he allegedly used thousands of misleading domain names to send traffic to sponsors. This earned Zuccarini an estimated $1 million annually from those familiar ‘pop up hells’ designed to ensnare surfers – a technique commonly known as ‘mousetrapping’ – and a technique which the FTC frowns upon. So much so in fact that they have already won cases against him...

Globosale: Death of Another IPSP
In a letter addressed to “To all our clients, friends, enemies and Webmasters,” Globosale’s Andreas De Terra announced the news: “What happened to others in this industry in the past happened to us today. What we think is an unfortunate example from Visa, we have been advised that our bank was instructed today to terminate our processing in order to avoid threatened fees in the hundreds of thousands of dollars…”

While the processor’s user management will be alive until the expiration of the last user subscription, Globosale is no longer accepting any more transactions – a move which has over 6000 Webmasters and marketers scrambling to find a replacement. A process made more complicated by Globosale’s switching of their phone, fax and email contacts over to automated systems, mandating written communications with the Swiss firm, a process expected to take 6 weeks or longer.

“We are very disappointed with the sudden situation which terminated GloboSale.net AG operations within a matter of hours. Not only have we been accused of wrongdoing without any proof from VISA [they] also abruptly terminated our contracts without prior consultations. Please accept our regrets and we sincerely hope that we can bring this to an acceptable settlement for all our valued customers.” lamented De Terra.

Stay tuned for more industry news here at XBiz!

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