Archive | Law

It’s been six months since China banned ad blockers. And?

Six months ago China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce raised eyebrows around the advertising world by banning ad blockers. Or at least that’s what everyone thought. Since then the legal follow-through hasn’t been nearly as dramatic as the legislation first suggested. The regulation, otherwise known as Article XVI of the “Interim Measures for Internet Advertising” seemed to suggest that distributing adblockers would be […]

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adblock plus court victory

What will it take to defeat adblocking in court?

Since last April, publishers have challenged Eyeo, Inc, maker of Adblock Plus six different times in court. They claim that both Eyeo’s “Acceptable Ads” program and adblocking itself are illegal under European law. After a total of six courtroom decisions, the current score is 0-6 in favor of Eyeo. Is it time for the publishing industry to give up? No. But it is […]

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website terms of use

Addressing adblocking in your website ‘Terms of Use’ agreement

Most major websites today contain a “Terms of Use” page which defines acceptable site-usage by visitors. These legally binding agreements cover a broad range of issues including acknowledgement of copyright laws, codes of user conduct, use of sponsored content, and many other issues. But the issue of adblocking is seldom discussed. Why do so few websites address adblocking in their […]

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adblock circumvention

Adblockers don’t break the law. Except when they do.

Is it illegal to block ads? No. According to multiple court cases, the choice to filter your own http requests is legal and ultimately up to you. It’s your computer (or your mobile device). You have the right to decide which content and scripts enter your system. The best way to understand this right is that adblockers are basically “selective downloaders“. […]

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adblock model illegal

Adblock Plus’ business model ruled illegal by German court

  In a legal victory for German publisher Axel Springer, a German court has ruled that Adblock Plus’ can no longer charge the publisher fees for whitelisting its ads. Currently, Adblock Plus generates revenue via its “Acceptable Ads”  program which allows publishers to pay to bypass Adblock Plus’ ad filters. In order to participate in the Acceptable Ads program, […]

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europe adblock law illegal

European governments begin deciding on Adblock detection

  For the past few months, privacy activists have been accusing publishers that detect (and forbid entry to) adblock users of breaking the law.  This past week, European national governments started to weigh-in on the legal issues of adblock detection. The claim made by activists is that detecting adblock runs afoul of the 2002 ePrivacy directive on the grounds […]

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Blocking Adblock without Javascript

While the rants of a particular activist bent on misrepresenting technology seem to be capturing the ears of Eurocrats this week — it might serve as a useful reminder that detecting and blocking adblock can be achieved very simply without using Javascript at all. What activists call “detection” is just the perceived action of the script. […]

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detecting adblock is not illegal

About that claim that detecting Adblock may be illegal

  Last week Twitter lit up when the European Commission indicated anti-adblocking technologies like BlockAdblock may be “illegal”. Before getting into why this position is based on a technological misunderstanding of how adblocking detection works and how the EC was led to its position by one agenda-driven privacy entrepreneur, let’s get a little background information out of the way…   The 2009 ePrivacy Directive […]

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Is Adblock Plus violating the DMCA?

As just about everyone knows, Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA is a United States copyright law that applies to all copyrighted digital media.  While originally penned to curb the illegal copying and distribution of digital media — there’s a good chance the DMCA applies in part to some practices of Adblock Plus and other adblockers.   […]

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