As many of us are aware, online publications and media outlets rely heavily on the revenue generated by displaying ads throughout their content. We also know there are products out there that allow us to block those pesky ads. Recently a group of media outlets in Germany took AdBlock Plus to court because it was threatening their business.
The group, which consisted of publications including Die Zeit, Handelsblatt and others, said to judges in Hamburg the AdBlock Plus web browser extension is anti-competitive and should be shut down.
Unfortunately for the publications, Germans will continue to be able to avoid advertising online as the court ruled in favor of AdBlock Plus. "Now that the legalities are out of the way, we want to reach out to other publishers and advertisers and content creators and encourage them to work with Adblock Plus rather than against us, “ Project Manager from AdBlock Ben Williams said.
However, it appears that won’t be the case. Publishers have indicated that an appeal is underway and that they will continue to fight against ad-blockers: “we are still convinced that AdBlock Plus is an illegal and anti-competitive practice.” The group feels ad-blocking technology “infringes” on the freedom of the press and will “examine the prospects” of an appeal.
While it’s hard to imagine that giving users the choice as to whether or not they will support the publications they visit is a bad thing, AdBlock has also come under fire regarding what some are calling a whitelisting racket. The group has reportedly been accepting money from advertisers in order to have their ads pass through AdBlock, but the company has recently denied those claims.