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German Court Rules in Favor of AdBlock Plus

According to the news from Domain Forum of China on April 27th,a German Court has determined AdBlock Plus is not illegal. AdBlock Plus – which is owned by the Cologne-based firm Eyeo – faces three separate but related cases involving the media groups, ProSiebenSat.1, RTL Interactive and Axel Springer.

The publishers plan to appeal the ruling. AdBlock Plus does allow for publishers to get their ads white listed if they meet certain requirements. Some have called this a racket, as they claim they were asked to pay a certain percentage of increased advertising revenues. As you can read in the article AdBlock Plus says most publishers don’t have to pay anything to get their ads white listed.

From the article:

The creator of software that stops adverts from appearing on websites has defeated two news publishers that want to prevent its tech being used on their pages.

The owners of Germany’s Die Zeit and Handelsblatt had claimed that AdBlock Plus’s product was anti-competitive and threatened their ability to make money.

But a court in Hamburg ruled that users do have the right to use the plug-in.

The judgement has implications for other disputes involving the tool.

“The Hamburg court decision is an important one because it sets a precedent that may help us avoid additional lawsuits and expenses defending what we feel is an obvious consumer right: giving people the ability to control their own screens by letting them block annoying ads and protect their privacy,” wrote AdBlock Plus’s project manager, Ben Williams, on its blog.

Read the full story on

In other ad blocking related news, Ad Age wrote an article on Google’s paid ad blocking service. They say that most ads are not blocked even though a reader is paying not to see the ads. The pricing is in three tiers ranging from $2 to $10.

From the article:

However, as the pricing tiers describe, people who pay Contributor’s monthly fee will still see ads on participating publishers’ sites. A Google spokeswoman didn’t respond to an emailed question asking why not all ads would be blocked.

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