AdBlock Plus proves it's not illegal
Online ads are a serious pain in the ass, and lots of people turn to the likes of AdBlock Plus to clean up their browsing experience. Ad blockers are not universally liked, however; many website owners despise the tools. So hated is AdBlock Plus, in fact, that a case was brought against the tool to try to prove that it is illegal.
Now a court in Hamburg has come to a decision, and ruled that AdBlock Plus -- in case there was ever any doubt -- is entirely legal. The plaintiffs in the case alleged that AdBlock Plus should not be permitted to block ads on the websites it owns. The judge presiding over the case disagreed.
The court ruled that AdBlock Plus is well within its rights to provide the option to hide advertisements on websites. The company sees this as setting a precedent and is taking this moment in the spotlight to reach out to content creators to work together to "develop new forms of nonintrusive ads that are actually useful and welcomed by users."
Writing about the case on the company blog, AdBlock Plus' Ben Williams wrote:
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.