Regarding Partner Offers

Updated with uninstall information at page bottom*

The safety and trust of our users is very important to us, and we strive to make the µtorrent experience an easy, direct, and efficient one. In the past 24 hours, we have seen some complaints in our user forum regarding our partnership with Epic Scale. We take these claims very seriously, respecting our users’ passion for µtorrent and their desire for privacy.

Many companies offer partner offers in their install path, encouraging users to download and install a partner’s software. µtorrent is no different — and we always strive to work with partners that would appeal to our user base. For partners of µtorrent that make offers upon install, we have a strict policy that they are only optional. A user must accept the offer for any third party software to install.

We can confirm that the Epic Scale partnership is, per our policy, an optional install presented to users during the install of µtorrent. They are one of many partners that may make an offer during install, and there are cases where no offers are made during install.

We do our best to work with partners that will appeal to our community and think Epic Scale is doing some really interesting work. They are a cryptocurrency miner that uses a portion of your CPU cycles to contribute to the mining effort. In the future, Epic Scale plans to contribute CPU cycles to other initiatives, such as Genome mapping and other academic studies that require a great deal of processing power. A portion of the proceeds from this effort go to philanthropic initiatives. Please visit their site for more information.

But to the issue at hand this morning, we want to reiterate: there is no silent install happening.

That said, we take all complaints seriously and we are continuing to look at the issue both internally and with our partner.

Thanks again for supporting our product, and we’ll update if anything further comes to light.

*For information on how to remove Epic Scale conventionally or manually, please visit http://www.epicscale.com/how-to-uninstall-epic-scale

Epic Scale has also provided a statement

Epic Scale was founded with a dual mission:

  • Benefit high-impact charities
  • Advance research science by providing affordable high-performance computation

Our team is a small group of developers who are determined to solve these problems.  We started with cryptocurrency mining as a way to advance the first mission.  Today 100% of our profits go to charity because we are just starting out and want to make as big of an impact as we can. As our company grows our plan is to donate 75% of our profits to charity.  Our next step was to start helping researchers with compute problems.  We’ve partnered with tier 1 research organizations such as UCSF to help with genomic computations and are working on partnerships with many more.  We believe we can build a new kind of social impact company that not only makes it easier for non-profits to raise funds but also enables researchers to answer their biggest questions.

The charities we support today are Watsi and Immunity Project.  To date we’ve donated thousands of dollars to both and are making growing monthly contributions.  On Watsi we support individual patients with their healthcare needs.  
Some of the patients we’ve supported include:

Keo:  https://watsi.org/profile/1023ff0a5cd5-keo

Saradjina: https://watsi.org/profile/023f76a89895-saradjina

Ry:  https://watsi.org/profile/2e6cdf6c5a05-ry

Licheng: https://watsi.org/profile/c317874c6fb4-licheng

Caleb:  https://watsi.org/profile/0e6122027ceb-caleb

Patience:  https://watsi.org/profile/fbc1ffb0d75a-patience

Nay:  https://watsi.org/profile/475e7be23511-nay

And many more.  For Immunity Project we are donating money towards their Phase I/II human clinical trial.  Going forward, our plan is to support many more high impact charities.

Epic Scale is distributed through partners like BitTorrent on a 100% opt-in basis.

Jordy Berson
Written by: Jordy Berson

Jordy is the VP of Product Management for µTorrent.

14 Responses to “Regarding Partner Offers”

  1. Will

    Just give it a rest already… You know you did wrong, just admit it, fix the mistake by removing and distancing yourself from this malware and move on.

    Trying to justify this by blaming your users for not reading the EULA is one of the worst things a company can do. Shameful… and I bet every single person with a conscience there knows it., they just cant say so.

    Do the right thing.

    Ehh, why am I even bothering, you wont let this be posted in the comments section. It will be whitewashed just like everything else on this topic you get your hands on.. like your forums.

    • Chris G

      It IS the users fault. Either pay attention during the install of all software (because many software ask you for permission to install other applications) or stop using a PC until you learn.

  2. Scalesian

    How can uTorrent users check to see if they (mistakenly or inadvertently) downloaded and installed the Epic Scale software?

    • µTorrent

      This offer is only being distributed to Windows client installs. Windows users can find or delete the application in Add/Remove Programs and remove any residual files in C:\ProgramData\Epicscale.

  3. Higbey

    will users be asked permission before partners offers and non-uTorrent software are installed from now on? will there be a tool released to remove all unwanted partner offers data?

  4. Higbey

    will partner offers be set as a separate download so those who only want to download the client can choose that option, even if partner offers are optional?

  5. Critter

    Isn’t it a small price (CPU Cycles) to pay for the great potential this could bring, if not for charity for raising funds to Hollywood?

    If uTorrent and it’s partners run smoothly, giving me the impression there’s nothing extra loading down my system then I think this is a good step froward.

    Remember SETI? we weren’t downloading while that was running on our screensavers and I’ve yet to see an alien :p

  6. Wilson

    The public response to this was absolutely pathetic. I never heard any outcry when vendors bundled google chrome or ask search bars into software installs. Adobe attaching McAfee products to Flash Player wasn’t newsworthy. I’d rather have a cryptominer on my PC than any software from McAfee, Ask.com, or google.

    • Chris G

      At times Internet blogs are worse than mainstream media about championing causes that aren’t even noteworthy and making a business look bad just because users can’t pay attention to what they are accepting during an install.

  7. NIick J

    I have a very difficult time not reading this as a complete bundle of lies.

    You say “A user must accept the offer for any third party software to install.” but this does not appear to be the case, and installing the 3rd party software WITHOUT asking is akin to MALWARE. http://www.currly.com/s/3795a76/

    You say “We do our best to work with partners that will appeal to our community and think Epic Scale is doing some really interesting work.”
    Well most offers DO something for the user such as adding a search bar or suggesting search results that otherwise wouldn’t have been suggested. As dubious as it is THOSE are value adds.
    What you’re doing is MINING CURRENCY, that is not a value add to ANY uTorrent user, but you are DIRECTLY costing us U.S. Dollars for this project as you use measurably more CPU on our systems.

    You say “In the future, Epic Scale plans to contribute CPU cycles to other initiatives, such as Genome mapping and other academic studies that require a great deal of processing power. ”
    Why not now? Why are you mining CURRENCY right now and supporting charities that sound like bullcrap? HOW ABOUT SUPPORTING RED CROSS? No? I guess you’re happy with that amount of money helping like 7 people instead of 7,000.
    http://www.nature.com/news/crowd-funded-hiv-vaccine-project-sparks-debate-1.14675

    Your product appears to support greed.

    Epic scale’s mission statement: “Advance research science by providing affordable high-performance computation”

    Are you kidding? AFFORDABLE, HIGH-PERFORMANCE COMPUTING?
    That’s what Amazon EC2 is!! Except it’s not hosted on all our individual computers!
    I take it from the wording of that mission statement that Epic Scale’s computing services (aka OUR COMPUTERS) are for sale. They charge money for access to compute with OUR COMPUTERS.

    This is a scam. You benefit no one but yourselves. It’s disgusting and you should be ashamed for your lack of ethics.

  8. webfork

    A few loud users aside, the community knows developers gotta eat. We also appreciate when software projects innovate to find new ways to make income. We certainly like free software and uTorrent does a great job.

    However, you’re running up against an increasingly hostile and cynical public in light of a wealth of developers attaching more and more junk software. After the fiasco with Lenovo and the wide variety of programs employing OpenCandy garbage software, it’s no wonder. BitCoin — good or bad — still carries the pallor of Silk Road and other criminal activity. In terms of public relations, you’ve already lost this argument.

    Maybe the users left the box checked or didn’t – it’s irrelevant. Calling your users liars and pledging to “keep looking into this” isn’t a recipe for success. The only obvious course of action is to offer these programs with those boxes set unchecked by default going forward. Think about it: antivirus companies are going to come out with an “auto-uncheck” option for your software and update the “uncheck” prompts like their definitions for malware. There’s already programs out there that do this — it’s just a matter of time before it becomes standard.

    • webfork

      Quick addendum here: In my post, I meant to suggest an “opt-in” option, meaning that by default it doesn’t install rather than requiring the user to take additional action. I say this because the EpicScale screen I saw in forums doesn’t actually have a checkbox.

      Also, the “auto-uncheck” freeware I was referring to was Unchecky. (I am not the author nor have I tested it with uTorrent.) http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/OS-Enhancements/Unchecky.shtml

  9. David H.

    I understand that Epic Scale is not included in the Mac version of uTorrent. However, the uTorrent on Mac includes Spigot adware. How does one opt-out of the Spigot installation on Mac? There seems to be no option to bypass Spigot installation when installing uTorrent on Mac. My malware scanner (Avast) is blocking installation of uTorrent because of this included adware. Please clarify if it’s possible to install uTorrent Mac WITHOUT Spigot. Thanks.

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