Germany's Supreme Court court throws out case claiming Adblock Plus violates competition...

By Polycount · 10 replies
Apr 20, 2018
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  1. It's no secret that many internet users don't care for ads. While many will accept the occasional non-intrusive ad to help support their favorite websites, online advertisements have gotten quite a bit more sophisticated -- and arguably annoying -- over time.

    Pop-ups, pop-unders and autoplaying videos are all common ad formats today. As such, it wasn't a surprise to see the Adblock Plus browser extension take off.

    Similarly, it was no surprise to see online content publishers protect their business model by pushing back against adblocking extensions. Some websites have resorted to paywalls while others have turned to polite pop-ups asking users to turn off their adblockers.

    One publisher, Europe's Axel Springer, turned to legal action. The publisher brought a case to Germany's Supreme Court with the hope that the court would ban the distribution of Adblock Plus, arguing that serving an extension which blocks online ads while allowing some companies to pay to be "whitelisted" violated Germany's competition laws.

    Fortunately for Adblock Plus and its legions of fans, Reuters reports the court today threw out the case, effectively overturning a lower court's ruling that "operating a white list was tantamount to unfair competition."

    "We are excited that Germany’s highest court upheld the right every internet citizen possesses to block unwanted advertising online," Adblock Plus said...

    Adblock Plus was quick to celebrate their victory with a statement and a GIF. "We are excited that Germany’s highest court upheld the right every internet citizen possesses to block unwanted advertising online," Adblock Plus said after the court's decision.

    Permalink to story.

  2. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Maniac Posts: 292   +183

    "blocks online ads while allowing some companies to pay to be "whitelisted" violated Germany's competition laws"

    Umm. Competition would mean Adblock Plus is blocking out other ad blockers and ceasing their function.

    This case is completely unrelated businesses. I'm glad this was a fail.

    If this was the case, then any script blockers and cookie management add-ins could be sued as well. I use it to block their tracking by them running scripts from 3rd party websites. Cookies are also grabbed from unrelated external websites as well. Scumbag websites. Screw 'em.
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. ghostf1re

    ghostf1re TS Addict Posts: 244   +110

    I hate ads and I'll continue to block them. Ads are far more annoying than they are useful to me.
    ShagnWagn likes this.
  4. bob333

    bob333 TS Enthusiast Posts: 66   +28

    Ublock origin
  5. merikafyeah

    merikafyeah TS Booster Posts: 160   +97

    Every argument against ad-blocking is completely irrelevant now because of one reason:

    Ads are no longer just an inconvenience, they're a major security liability. Cryptojacking is only the latest in a series of threats that can be introduced into a system via ads. In the future vulnerabilities and exploits will only increase, to say nothing of the numerous tracking functions of ads which completely undermine any semblance of user privacy.
  6. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,788   +1,920

    It would be great if there was a standard body for online ads, that they web browser could allow ads that pass the standard and block ones that don't. In all cases, web browsers should be setup to scan any dynamic content that could contain malicious code before running it.
    Capaill likes this.
  7. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,181   +311

    Forcing ads is not a right. I remember the days of pop ups..... They will do whatever they can getaway with I feel not pity.
    AdRaffle likes this.
  8. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 2,747   +1,310

    And Cookie Controller - at least in Firefox anyway -
    Agreed about the scanning, however, IMO, where there is any standard, there are those who find ways to exploit it.
  9. Ravey

    Ravey TS Enthusiast Posts: 75   +25

    You mean like an international standard? - Something like this?
  10. AdRaffle

    AdRaffle TS Rookie

    Since anyone can block all ads, why shouldn't they get something out of it instead?

    We use similar tech to give people a good ad experience instead of just blocking everything. Advertisers pay into a prize fund, and all users have a chance to win cash - one raffle ticket for every ad you see:
  11. amghwk

    amghwk TS Maniac Posts: 296   +154

    If I'm not mistaken Adblock Plus itself was involved in a controversial whitelisting activities, whereby companies paid adblock to include themselves into the whitelist... means, Adblock Plus no longer block these ads by default.

    UBlock Origin with Anti-Adblock-Killer script is what I'm using now.

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