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How To Refuse ISA's Analytics Cookies

The ISA has a very strict Privacy Policy. You can read it in full by clicking on this dot (It opens in a different window by the way, so you do not lose this page).

If you do not have time to read it at this moment, then briefly, it states that it is the policy of the International Songwriters Association to safeguard totally the privacy of all of its members and of visitors to its website. Accordingly, you can visit the ISA site on the web without telling us who you are or revealing any information about yourself. Incidentally this (as any member will tell you) has always been our policy.

So why use cookies at all then?
99% of all websites use cookies - but they do not usually tell you that they are using them!

However, International Songwriters Association has always had (as I keep repeating) a very strict Privacy Policy, and even if 99% of sites use cookies, we still regard them as a form (albeit minor) of invasion of privacy. So we tell you we are using them, and then tell you how you can stop us using them!

Basically, how it works is this. We employ StatCounter (a highly-respected Irish-based web analytics service), to track activity on our website so as to determine (for example) whether a visitor is a first-time or returning visitor, and to work out which pages are the most visited by first-time visitors and by returning visitors.

What on earth use is this information to you?
It is actually very handy for us to know which pages you like the most.

For example, some years ago, we realised that one of the most visited pages on our Public Site dealt with Song Promotion. So it became obvious that a lot of actual ISA Members would also be interested in this subject.

As a result of learning this, we trebled the number of articles dealing with Promotion on our ISA Private Members Site.

Without this type of information, we would be working in the dark to a great extent, providing members with what we thought they ought to want, rather than what they actually wanted.

And so we use cookies.

What else do you know about me?
Nothing I'm sorry to say!

No personal information whatsoever is stored in the cookie. These stats simply help us to understand how visitors are interacting with our website and (hopefully) give us an idea how to improve the design and functionality of the site so that we can offer a better online experience. And of course, once you leave our site, that's it.

But suppose I don't feel like telling you which pages I prefer on your site?
Then we send a man with a bulldozer around to your house to persuade you....

(Oops, sorry, that apparently must have been the old policy).

What really happens is this. As you enter our site, you are given the opportunity at the top of each and every page, of refusing this cookie. Otherwise, a StatCounter analytics cookie (actually called "is_unique") may be placed in your browser.

You can block any StatCounter Cookie by clicking this dot and pressing the "Refuse StatCounter Analytics Cookies" button. It is as simple as that. Don't ask us how it works - sort of like magic really!

Will this then apply to all other sites or just this one?
Actually, your decision to refuse/accept a StatCounter Analytics Cookie will then apply to all websites which use the StatCounter service (including the StatCounter site itself!)

When you decline a StatCounter analytics cookie, a refusal cookie (called strangely enough "refusal_cookie") will be set to remember this preference and any existing StatCounter analytics cookies in your browser which you might have picked up unknowingly on visits to other sites will also be destroyed. Sort of glorified cookie monster as far as I can see.

But if I do that, will any part of the site become difficult to read?
Nothing will change on the ISA site simply because we did not design our site around the use of cookies anyway, so our website will look exactly the same as it does right now, whether you block the cookie or not.

Do you use any other cookies?
No, but remember - we carry links to lots of other sites, particularly news sites, and as I said earlier, 99% of sites use cookies anyway, whether they tell you this or not.

The difference is, we tell you!

Most people regard cookies as harmless - a part of the modern web experience, and this is true (although we only grudgingly admit that it is). We seem to have several hundred on our own PCs for example at any one moment and we have no problem with this as they speed up our visits to Amazon, PayPal, TicketMaster etc.

But it is still nice to be asked first - and even nicer to be given the opportunity to decline while still being able to use the site unimpeded.

But then, we're very nice people anyway!

Honestly, that bulldozer remark was just a joke.

Why is everybody looking at me like that?

ISA International Songwriters Association (1967) Ltd
PO Box 46 Limerick City Ireland Tel 061-228837 Fax 061-2288379
ISA Website Editorial E-Mail

International Songwriters Association Limited
Registered In Dublin, Ireland Company Number 38917
Registered Address
High Chaperal, Raheen Heights, Limerick City, Ireland
Postal Address
PO Box 46, Limerick City, Ireland