AdBlock Plus Ruled Legal by German Court

/ 4 years ago


Despite being the life-blood of many websites, some internet users understandably find online ads annoying, especially when they are intrusive and impair their ability to engage with a site (for the record, all of eTeknix’s ads are tastefully placed, unobtrusive, and will bring you great wealth, long life, and the adoration of all the cats).

For such users, AdBlock Plus, the advertising blocking software, is like mana, but businesses that rely on revenue from web advertisements are understandably opposed to the application, with many challenging the legality of AdBlock Plus in court, the latest of which has failed. A group of advertisers took AdBlock Plus to court and, after a four-month trial, the Hamburg court has ruled that blocking advertisements is entirely legal.

The plaintiffs, German website operators Zeit Online and Handelsblatt, alleged that Eyeo, the parent company of AdBlcok Plus, were breaking the law by blocking adverts on their websites, since it circumvented their wishes. Had the court ruled in the plaintiff’s favour, the decision would have effectively killed AdBlock Plus, but the judge came down on the side of the users, maintaining that they were free to maintain control over how they enjoy a website.

Ben Williams of AdBlock Plus wrote of the decision on the company’s blog:

It may surprise readers of this blog to know that some advertiser groups believe blocking ads is illegal. They are upset that adblockers impede their multi-billion dollar business (or in this case, euros) of shoveling ads at you whether or not you like it or asked for it. In fact, a group of publishers in Hamburg, Germany was so upset that they actually took Adblock Plus to court.

Today, after a four-month trial, reasonable heads prevailed as the regional court in Hamburg ruled in our favor by declaring that ad blocking is, in fact, perfectly legal. I know, it’s restating the obvious. But it cost us lots of blood, sweat and tears nonetheless.

Thank you Beta News for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of AdBlock Plus.

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