Axel Springer goes home empty-handed in unsuccessful lawsuit against users’ rights · 2015-09-29 15:18 by Ben Williams
Earlier this year it was a group of media conglomerates that sued us in Hamburg. Then ProSieben/Sat1 and RTL Interactive both sued us in Munich. Now, the global publishing house known as Axel Springer has sued us right here in our home town of Cologne, Germany. But once again, the courts ruled in favor of Adblock Plus and declared ad blocking to be legal.
Axel Springer** is a multi-billion $$ digital publishing house which owns a majority of the daily newspapers in Germany, and which has operations in more than 40 countries worldwide. They sued Adblock Plus claiming that “it’s the constitutional right of the press to advertise” and that no product should be allowed to block those ads. When the judge threw that out, Axel Springer went even further and attacked our Acceptable Ads initiative, arguing that no ad blocking tool that offers a whitelist like ours should be allowed to exist. Once again, the judge struck them down and Axel Springer went home empty-handed.
The most outrageous argument in the trial came when Axel Springer’s lawyers asserted:
“The core business of the plaintiff is to deliver ads to its visitors. Journalistic content is just a vehicle to get readers to view the ads.”
Wow … I know plenty of journalists who value their craft more than that! In fact, it is because we value the craft that we developed the Acceptable Ads program in the first place. Good content deserves support from respectful and nonintrusive ads.
The Cologne regional court agreed, and ruled that our ad blocking software and our Acceptable Ads are both legal, and they should stay. So we’re once again 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 also continue to work with (reasonable) publishers, advertisers and content creators to encourage nonintrusive ads, to discover new ways to make ads better and to press forward with a more sustainable Internet ecosystem for everyone.
Commenting is closed for this article.