German Publisher Axel Springer Just Can't Stop Suing Ad Blockers, And Attacking Its Own Readers
from the why-would-you-do-that?!? dept
As you hopefully already know, we take a bit of a different view of ad blockers around here on Techdirt, recognizing that many people have very good reasons for using them, and we have no problem if you make use of them. In fact, we give you the option of turning off the ads on Techdirt separately, whether or not you use an ad blocker. And we try to make sure that the ads on Techdirt are not horrible, annoying or dangerous (and sometimes, hopefully, they’re even useful). Most publications, however, continue to take a very antagonistic view towards their very own communities and readers, and have attacked ad blockers, sometimes blocking users from reading content if they have an ad blocker. Perhaps no publication has fought harder against ad blockers than German publishing giant Axel Springer, the same company that frequently blames Google for its own failure to adapt.
Axel Springer has been suing the makers of various ad blockers. So far, those cases have failed miserably, making Axel Springer look like a whiny, out-of-touch publication that refuses to get with the times. But, instead, it just keeps on suing. From TechCrunch:
German media giant Axel Springer, which operates top European newspapers like Bild and Die Welt, and who recently bought a controlling stake in Business Insider for $343 million, has a history of fighting back against ad-blocking software that threatens its publications? business models. Now, it?s taking that fight to mobile ad blockers, too. According to the makers of the iOS content blocker dubbed ?Blockr,? which is one of several new iOS 9 applications that allow users to block ads and other content that slows down web browsing, Axel Springer?s WELTN24 subsidiary took them to court in an attempt to stop the development and distribution of the Blockr software.
Specifically, explains the law firm representing Blockr, Axel Springer wanted to prohibit Blockr?s developers from being able to ?offer, advertise, maintain and distribute the service? which can be used today to block ads on http://www.welt.de, including the website?s mobile version.
Isn’t that nice. Rather than recognize that people don’t like your ads, you try to sue the companies serving an actual consumer need so that you can continue to piss off your readers. It’s the dinosaur strategy — rather than innovate, you sue to try to stave off the inevitable decline.