The war of words is alive and well in the battle of Eyeo (AdBlock Plus) vs. publishers:
The BBC Reports:
AdBlock Plus has successfully defended itself in court for the second time in five weeks.
The service prevents ads from appearing on websites unless it has given them permission to be displayed.
German broadcasters RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 had argued that browser plug-in was anti-competitive and threatened their ability to offer users content for “free”.
However, a court in Munich ruled in favour of AdBlock’s owner Eyeo.
Ben Williams, a spokesman for the German company, told the BBC the dispute had been the biggest one it had faced to date “just by nature of the people involved and the amount of claims that they had”.
“This is the fourth time that massive publishers have brought legal proceedings against our start-up,” he added in a follow-up email.
“Thankfully, the court sided with users and with compromise. So, we’re pleased to say that Adblock Plus will continue to provide users with a tool that helps them control their internet experience.
“At the same time we will endeavour to work with publishers, advertisers and content creators to encourage non-intrusive ads, discover new ways to make ads better and press forward to a more sustainable internet ecosystem.”
Notice the carefully chosen words that are used by AdBlock Plus’ well-lawyered PR team:
1. “Massive Publishers have brought legal proceedings against our start-up“. Notice the portrayal as some David and Goliath struggle. As if the game here is between a struggling “Start up” and the big evil publishers. The real losers in this battle are predominantly small publishers — many of whom are also start-ups.
2. “The court sided with users and with compromise”. Compromise? Where was the compromise? AdBlock Plus remains unfettered and 100% of the power to block or not-block remains in their hands.
3. “We will endeavour to work with publishers, advertisers and content creators”. For a fee.
4. “Press forward to a more sustainable internet ecosystem”. Oh it all sounds so positive. Let’s be clear: Sustainability is highly questionable because of AdBlock.
This is no Start Up
There’s something that needs to be said after reading this absurd spin: Eyeo is a multi-million dollar company, and it’s AdBlock Plus extension is downloaded between 50,000 and 100,000 times per day.
This is no “Start up”.
The default setting for AdBlock Plus is to block all ads despite the false distinction between “intrusive” and “non-intrusive”. Try launching a new website tomorrow. Then try placing non-intrusive ads on it, and visiting it with an AdBlock Plus enabled browser. You’ll note that none of your visitor-conscious, non-obtrusive ads are displaying. If you want your start-up to have any hope of generating advertising revenue from this increasingly mainstream demographic of AdBlock users, you’ll need to plead your case to the censors over at Eyeo Corporation. The default setting is to block *all* ads, despite Eyeo’s claims that their aims are to promote “responsible” advertising.
Ultimately, small publishers lose out to large Internet behemoths who pay for exemption.
ABP is anti-startup, anti-small business, and is fundamentally unsustainable.
The spin says otherwise.