German Publishing Giant Claims Blocking Ads Is Copyright Infringement, In Yet Another Lawsuit Against The Industry Leader

from the actually,-no,-it-doesn't dept

For over a decade, some Web sites have been moaning about adblockers. The German publishing giant Axel Springer hates them. It has been pursuing Eyeo, the company behind Adblock Plus, through the courts in Germany for years, accusing it of unfair competition. Here's how that turned out for the publisher, as reported by Eyeo on its blog:

Axel Springer publishing house has been trying to get ad blocking declared illegal. We beat them in the regional courts, we beat them in the appeals court, so they took us to the supreme court in Germany to try their luck a third time.

A year ago, Axel Springer lost at Germany's supreme court.

Of course, big publishers don't let little things like losing court cases at every level of the legal system stop them from pursuing their attack. As the Heise Online site explains (original in German), Axel Springer is suing Eyeo yet again, this time for alleged copyright infringement (via Google Translate):

"Advertising blockers change the programming code of websites and thus directly access the legally protected offerings of publishers," explains Claas-Hendrik Soehring, Head of Media Law at Axel Springer. "In the long run, they will not only damage a central financing basis for digital journalism but will also jeopardize open access to opinion-forming information on the Internet "

As Eyeo's company spokesperson pointed out to Heise Online, this claim is ridiculous. Adblocking software operates within a person's browser; it simply changes what appears on the screen by omitting the ads. It's no different from resizing a browser window, or modifying a Web page's appearance using one of the hundreds of other browser plugins that are available. It's completely under the control of the user, and doesn't touch anything on the server side. The fact that Axel Springer is making such a technically illiterate argument shows that it is now desperately scraping the barrel of legal arguments. Maybe it's time for the German publisher to accept that users have the right to format the Web pages they view in any way they like -- and that adblocking software is perfectly legal.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter, Diaspora, or Mastodon.

Filed Under: ad blocking, adblock, copyright, germany
Companies: adblock, axel springer, eyeo


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 10:47am

    "Advertising blockers change the programming code of websites and thus directly access the legally protected offerings of publishers," explains Claas-Hendrik Soehring

    Some explanation he's got there. I would expect an "explanation" to actually include some level of detail, what they have there is a statement not an explanation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Paul Brinker, 10 Apr 2019 @ 11:15am

      Re:

      "legally protected offerings of publishers"

      When was this Legally protected in such a way? The information comes to me in its totality, I choose to ignore it when rendering it on my screen.

      Assuming im not blocking your AD server, in which case the information never gets to me.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 11:32am

      Re:

      Because ad content is served via links/embeds in the html sent by the server ad blockers work by preventing your browser from loading content from the servers in those links. They don't modify the content, they prevent the web site from consuming your bandwidth from loading ad content you don't wish to see. Not unlike blocking phone numbers from sending data to your fax machine and consuming your paper and ink resources, if such a thing were possible.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Mason Wheeler (profile), 10 Apr 2019 @ 11:35am

        Re: Re:

        I wonder how much successful adblocking you could do simply by creating a rule that says "never allow an iframe nested inside another iframe to load". Because it seems like all the ad networks do that these days, and I don't think I've ever seen legitimate content do it, so the false-positive rate would be pretty low...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 12:18pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's one of the rules I've got set in my browsers, and it works really well :) Every once in a while I get a site I have to disable the rule on, but rarely.

          However, there's still lots of popunder code being served up by ad servers as well... and non-iframe script-based ads abound as well.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 12:31pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Some sites circumvent the adblockers by proxying all the ad content through their own servers. You can't block the ads from acme.com if all the ads and content are served from acme.com.

          But you can block behaviors like iframes (as you point out), popups, video embeds, animated graphics, etc.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 2:01pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "You can't block the ads from acme.com if all the ads and content are served from acme.com."

            I can turn off javascript

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 2:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You can't block the ads from acme.com if all the ads and content are served from acme.com.

            Sure you can, because you can filter more specifically than just a whole site. If all the ads are inside a nice little acme.com/something/ads/... directory (and they usually are), you can simply filter out that subdirectory: none of the ads, all of the content. Most (if not all) adblockers already do this.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 10:48am

    Isn't that kind of like forcing someone to go on a date with someone they don't like?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 12:13pm

      Re:

      Considering that most ads are somewhere on the spectrum between obnoxious and dangerous, this like forcing someone to go to second base on that unwanted date, with a 10% chance the other person is a rapist.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 10:59am

    "Advertising blockers change the programming code of websites and thus directly access the legally protected offerings of publishers,"

    So do scissors and a scrap book for printed offerings.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 10 Apr 2019 @ 11:05am

    Various sites want to try and force you to unblock ads, I wonder why none of them are willing to assume liability for any viruses or malware rogue ads might deliver to users, or help pay for the user's bandwidth wasted by the ads.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Matthew Cline (profile), 10 Apr 2019 @ 11:15am

      Re:

      ... assume liability for any viruses or malware rogue ads might deliver to users ...

      My Windows laptop once got bricked by malware served up through a compromised ad network on a blog I frequent. The first thing I did once I got my laptop reimaged was install an ad blocker.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 11:34am

        Re: Re:

        ^^ this ^^

        First thing I do after installing a browser on a new machine is install an ad blocker. No more brickage for me. Of course I whitelist certain sites to support them but I'll block them again at the first sign of a malicious or even annoying ad (like those animated ones that flash to grab your attention).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Mason Wheeler (profile), 10 Apr 2019 @ 11:37am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Flashing?

          You've got more tolerance than me. If it moves or changes in any way, I kill it dead on the spot. Any ad designer who can't communicate their message adequately in a single, static image needs to be fired and replaced by someone more competent who can, because going beyond that annoys users.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 11:40am

        Re: Re:

        That's a big problem right there. Even ignoring the irritation factor of advertising, I do not trust the advertisers not to install malware.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 11:56am

      Re:

      That's bad enough, but apparently some of these sites allow the advertising company, via a link, to load their javascript directly to your browser completely devoid of any review. Seems that might be negligent. How are they not held responsible?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 12:53pm

        Re: Re:

        Because intermediate liability only applies to the evil internet companies...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rekrul, 12 Apr 2019 @ 8:24pm

        Re: Re:

        That's bad enough, but apparently some of these sites allow the advertising company, via a link, to load their javascript directly to your browser completely devoid of any review. Seems that might be negligent. How are they not held responsible?

        Because someone, somewhere along the way, decided that if a company produces or hosts any kind of computer code, they can completely absolve themselves of all liability simply by including a disclaimer in the EULA/Terms of Service, even though this would never be accepted for any kind of physical product.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 2:47pm

      Re:

      Under article 13, websites absolutely are responsible for malware hosted on their site.

      Maybe time to point this out to German publishers?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John85851 (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 10:37am

      Re:

      A number of years ago, I got hit with adware served via a banner ad in Yahoo Mail. Obviously Yahoo claimed it wasn't their fault, but how did they let malware into their advertising network?
      Luckily, I was able to do a system restore and I didn't lose anything, but it was still scary to think I could lose everything on my computer because of a banner ad at Yahoo!

      I immediately switched to Firefox with an ad blocker and I block 99% of ads. No more Yahoo Mail ads, no more GMail ads (even if they were relevant), and no more Facebook ads (even if some of those are relevant also). I also block ads at art sites like DeviantArt and ArtStation because I'm that distrustful of ads.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 15 Apr 2019 @ 8:37am

        Re: Re:

        it was still scary to think I could lose everything on my computer because of a banner ad at Yahoo!

        If you have regular backups, it's not all that scary. Disk drives are incredibly cheap - protect yourself!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 10 Apr 2019 @ 11:13am

    Who has the most rights here?

    The publishers right to broadcast an ad, or the users right to ignore them?

    I (and many of us) are totally sick of ads 247. Particularly on "news" sites that have a forced-play 1 minute ad between each of their 15 second news clips. And many times it is the same damn ad. that* really makes me want to visit their site more often. (/s for the humor impaired)

    Until they can "close the loop" and stop showing ads after a purchase has been made - they are wasting every cent of advertising money showing those ads.

    And with so many stories of malware laden ads, why the hell would I want them on my screen?

    Clean up that part, close the loop, and maybe I'll stop blocking. And if you want to force me to watch ads between every news story - well guess what- one of your competitors will have the story without your ads.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 11:36am

      Re: Who has the most rights here?

      Who has the most rights here?
      The publishers right to broadcast an ad, or the users right to ignore them?

      Both, equally.

      Publishers can broadcast all they like but nothing says I have to consume all of their content.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 11:58am

        Re: Re: Who has the most rights here?

        That's right.

        And going to the bathroom during the ads is not illegal, it is not theft and those spy devices counting people in the room are not going to be tolerated.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 12:15pm

      Re: Who has the most rights here?

      "Until they can "close the loop" and stop showing ads after a purchase has been made - they are wasting every cent of advertising money showing those ads."

      Nah, To the advertisers you have shown that you are willing to purchase from an ad, so in there thinking you need more ads not less.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 11:16am

    “Legally protected offerings”
    Oh you want to legalese bro?

    Unfortunately mien Lieb you are merely RENTING space on a DIGTAL space so your “offerings” are not offered the same protections they would be in a RL space to use copylogic.

    Read the fine print.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    norahc, 10 Apr 2019 @ 11:43am

    Great....now we're going to get another EU copyright directive dealing with ad blockers.

    Somebody please find the cable going to the EU and unplug it before they fuck it up for everyone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 11:45am

    ludicrous thing here is that probably every one of these complainers has an ad blocker on his browser at home.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 11:47am

    Classic felony interfere with a business model

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 12:33pm

      Re: Classic felony interfere with a business model

      lolwut?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Thad (profile), 10 Apr 2019 @ 12:48pm

        Re: Re: Classic felony interfere with a business model

        "Felony interference with a business model" is a sarcastic phrase used to indicate that the subject of a lawsuit is not actually illegal but that the company behind the suit is mad about (perceived) loss of (potential) revenue.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 1:01pm

          Re: Re: Re: Classic felony interfere with a business model

          And considering they are this bloodthirsty they are not going to stop.
          Only thing that stops conglomerates like springer are when you out legal them to where they lose more then they could ever gain back.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 10 Apr 2019 @ 11:48am

    When a site.

    When A site Wont let me wonder their data, I send them a note.

    Yes I use adblock, and for reasons that you Already know..
    But...
    I do not block 1st party adverts, FROM YOUR SITE..
    If you post on your front page that YOU will be liable for ANYTHING that gets inserted onto my computer by the adverts you send to me.. I will allow them. But remember, you are LIABLE for trackers, malware, bots, and any crap that I receive..

    And since you would be the FIRST site to do this, its going to be REAL hard NOT to prove anything on my computer WASNT delivered by your site.

    We went thru this years ago. The virus, bots, trackers, malware, System corruption, and So forth.. At this time, I know PORN sites safer then most of the internet.

    Here is a hint...MAKE YOUR OWN ADVERTS FOR the companies you like, and post them. THEN you have control of the CRAP in them. AND you will know they are written properly, and then you can COUNT all the redirects yourself, AND GET PAID MORE, then having a 3rd party get all the money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 12:32pm

    If advertisers don't want me to install adblock/noscript on every computer I'm going to be using for a decent length of time then they shouldn't have made annoying flash/video advertisements that autoplay with sound and used them practically everywhere. I'm afraid that the animals have long since fled that barn which later caught fire, suffered a couple tsunamis and what was left became the new latrine.

    Should your website attempt to force me to whitelist you, I just question how much I really need to visit your website. The answer has always been the same.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Matthew Cline (profile), 10 Apr 2019 @ 12:39pm

      Re:

      If you're mainly concerned with the autoplayed sounds and you're using Chrome you can use the mute tabs by URL extension, switch it to whitelist mode, then whitelist the sites where you actually want to be able to play sounds.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 2:22pm

      Re:

      Should your website attempt to force me to whitelist you

      You can get around most of those by deleting the element from the page that contains the "glass" and interrupt notice. You need to know a little bit about HTML to do that but it's not hard and works on most such interrupts. When it doesn't work I just browse elsewhere; Not a problem.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Gary (profile), 10 Apr 2019 @ 12:43pm

    Paid Adverts

    With the new business model in the US broadband enforcing data caps and bandwidth throttling, advertisers should be paying for the extra data they use up.

    Quick check of articles, seems like adverts take up 20-50% of the data on the desktop, and up to 70% on mobile devices.

    Advertisers have to change their thinking in a world of data caps. They are free-riding on our limited data allowance and costing the viewers money. Ads are theft!! :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 2:06pm

      Re: Paid Adverts

      Theft of service

      fwiw, ianal

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 4:12pm

      Re: Paid Adverts

      You agree to the ads when you view the site.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 6:05pm

        Re: Re: Paid Adverts

        I do not recall ever agreeing with anything on a site prior its rendering, and even after the page loads ... there is no agree button.

        Sounds like a one sided contract where the other party is not even made aware of its existence, how can that be a contract? You know ... by definition.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 10 Apr 2019 @ 8:26pm

        Re: Re: Paid Adverts

        Uh, no, no you do not, any more than someone 'agrees' to have their computer infected with a virus if the site happens to be host to one. The fact that a site may have ads does not mean the visitor is obligated to view or even allow them if they so choose.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 10 Apr 2019 @ 12:52pm

    So he's saying...

    that not making copies of content is now "infringement"?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 12:53pm

    I get 20 gig allowance on 3g data on my phone,
    if i don,t block ads i will use up my battery faster,
    plus i will use up data faster.
    Video , audio ads use my bandwidth and slow down
    page website loading.
    Why should i pay to load ads i will never read or view .
    Why should i pay to load ads.
    Firefox has a reader mode which only shows text,
    no graphics .
    Youtube has the right idea , ads can be skipped after a few seconds or viewed
    ,if the consumer wish,s to see them.
    The most annoying ads are the ones that autoplay video,s with sound
    when you click on a web page .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 10 Apr 2019 @ 12:54pm

    On to step three I see

    When the law is on your side, pound on the law.
    When the facts are on your side, pound on the facts.
    When neither the law nor the facts are on your side, pound on the table.

    That they're found themselves reduced to just making shit up show how desperate and dishonest they are. Maybe before spending huge amounts of money trying to force people to see/listen to/wait to load ads they don't want, spend even a tiny fraction of that figuring out why adblockers are mandatory installs for anyone remotely tech savvy.

    Ads are distracting, they can be noisy, they can eat up someone's data cap(if relevant), eat up system resources, and who can forget they can be vectors of malware. That last reason alone is grounds to install an adblocker and never look back, as all it takes is one particularly nasty bit of malware and someone could find themselves out hundreds to fix/replace their computer, and that's assuming a relatively 'harmless' bit of malware that 'just' bricks someone's computer, rather than scoops up personal data like email/banking information.

    No, if the people pushing ads want to know who to blame for making adblockers mandatory they have but to look in the mirror at the people who made those ads increasingly annoying and dangerous, but refused to take responsibility for them. In their scramble to get as much money and attention as possible they instead made their offerings so toxic that people are going out of their way to block them, and that is entirely on them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 1:25pm

    Advertising and pushing ads is the biggest mental abuse you will combat your entire life. Leave it to german advertizzer to come up with that BULLSHIT CLAIM. Thats as completely as preposterous as pharmaceutical monsters pushing laws for the pseudo science scam of statin drugs which if you study these micotoxin derivitives closely, you will understand why it is the biggest medical scam in the history of the world. Ask me what I know. I'll tell you. Statins are killing me from the prescription I was duped into taking a decade ago.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      T.I.O.E (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 6:12pm

      Re:

      I totally agree with you about statins. It is important for the public to recognize that most of the "scientific" research in favor of cholesterol-lowering statins is flawed and fraudulent (read Dr. Uffe Ravnskov's work).

      The most reliable evidence has long tied statin use with memory problems, muscle disorders, liver damage, cataracts, nerve damage, arterial calcification, pancreatitis, erectile dysfunction, brain dysfunction, diabetes, and with an increased risk of cancer and higher mortality.  There are practically no, or only marginal, benefits from these toxic drugs.

      The physiological mechanisms of how statins do serious damage are also well understood, such as by their impairment of oxidative cell metabolism, the increase in inflammation and cell destruction, the lowering of cholesterol and sex hormone production, the promotion of pancreatic injury, etc. - rather thoroughly explained in this scholarly article by a published author of the Orthomolecular Medicine News organization, on how statins, and a cholesterol-lowering popular diet pill advertised by Dr. Oz, promote diabetes at https://www.supplements-and-health.com/garcinia-cambogia-side-effects.html - look at Figure 7 to see how irrational it is to block the production of cholesterol!

      Also, older people with HIGH cholesterol live longer than those with low cholesterol levels (see above mentioned article for numerous scientific study references confirming this). Because the cholesterol-heart disease theory, or rather medical dogma, is wrong, the use of statins is also wrong by logical extension.

      The real truth is that statins have almost no real benefit in the very vast majority of users. They do more harm than good (read Uffe Ravnskov's "The Cholesterol Myths" and Malcolm Kendrick's "The Great Cholesterol Con"). It's one of many "scientific" scams of the criminal mainstream medical business.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 1:29pm

    I'm still waiting for laws against ads with cryptocurrency mining scripts in them that steal your processor cycles.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 2:28pm

      Re:

      scripts ... that steal your processor cycles

      So do you also believe that piracy = theft? Because if you don't that's some serious cognitive dissonance you're dealing with.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Mason Wheeler (profile), 10 Apr 2019 @ 2:56pm

        Re: Re:

        Not really. Crypto miners aren't making a copy; they're literally stealing the work capacity of your processor by using significant amounts of scarce CPU processing power for purposes other than what you (the owner of the computer) want to be using it for, frequently to the detriment of your capability to utilize the CPU processing power for your own purposes.

        That's legit theft under even the strictest standards.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 3:09pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's... not how those miners work. They don't take center stage on your CPU and hog all your cycles. They work in the background and wait for CPU load to drop so they can start using the leftover, otherwise unused cycles. They do this largely to remain undetected.

          And the cycles happen whether you use them or not. If you're not using them then they're wasted, they go unused. The miner malware simply uses those wasted cycles to mine cryptocurrency.

          I'm not saying these miners are a good thing. They're still malware and their writers should suffer multiple STDs simultaneously. But they're not "stealing" anything.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Mason Wheeler (profile), 10 Apr 2019 @ 3:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            OK, I'm going to have to drop a big [citation needed] on that. I've run across crypto miners a few times, and they were very noticeable very quickly by the way they redlined the CPU and made the fan scream. And I'm not aware of any way that it's possible for ad malware to hide in the background and wait for CPU load to drop; this is JavaScript (or possibly WASM these days) code executing inside the browser's sandbox, which deliberately does not provide access to any APIs for CPU monitoring.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 4:37pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Fair enough. This is one of the first links I found in a search. It lists a few methods crypto malware uses to avoid detection. Malware from ads would be more limited in stealthiness than that loaded as part of an exe.

              The linked article does say, "They do steal CPU processing resources.", which I still disagree with in general but for any such malware that is using cycles that you would like to be using then I agree that is theft of resources. Those that only use cycles that would otherwise have gone to waste isn't really theft imo.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Paul Brinker, 10 Apr 2019 @ 10:39pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                CPU costs power, Modern chips idle extra cores or put them in low power mode. This is why your GPU is not melting or throttling on your desktop, same with CPU. So yes, unless some agreement is made, running a javascript crypto miner for the website your on is stealing, both from the results of the miner and from your personal power bill and hardware life span.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 6:41am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "Those that only use cycles that would otherwise have gone to waste isn't really theft imo."

                Why not?
                Whose machine is it?
                Who pays the electric bill?

                Running unseen code from an unknown source on your local machine is a really bad idea.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 3:17pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            They may have difficulties when the internet is no longer connected to breached machine.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Canuck, 10 Apr 2019 @ 7:58pm

            Miners

            "And the cycles happen whether you use them or not. If you're not using them then they're wasted"

            Bullshit. Unused cycles don't happen. CPU cores go to sleep (no cycling) when they're not used. Miners keep those cores awake and consuming extra power. They heat up machines, make fans work overtime, raise your power bill and kill laptop batteries.

            By comparison, if I were to download/copy some IP, like a movie, the IP owner is completely unaffected and doesn't even know if the copying occurred.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 12:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And the cycles happen whether you use them or not.

            So always running at 100%?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 7:36am

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, there's no theft. The web page links to code, and your browser may or may not download and run on your behalf (it being the "user agent"), depending on how you've configured it. Essentially everyone agrees it's a dick move to put mining code into an ad, so let's not resort to lies to express our contempt. Even rendering a normal ad could be called "theft" by that standard.

          Junk postal mail wastes my time too, but I'm not going to argue it's theft if an advertiser prints a maths quiz on the back—even if I can't resist solving such quizzes—or if they ask me to visit their store.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2019 @ 4:02pm

    So they go after pirates for copyright infringement for viewing their stuff for free. Now the going after ad blockers for copyright infringement for not wanting to view their stuff for free?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rocky, 11 Apr 2019 @ 1:13am

      Re:

      Are you surprised?

      Springer feels they are entitled to get paid regardless if it makes sense or not, it's after all the same company that lobbied hard for article 11 and 13.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    frank87 (profile), 11 Apr 2019 @ 5:03am

    It's not about the money,

    It's about absolute control over their customers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Avideogameplayer, 11 Apr 2019 @ 7:28am

    Weren't the Germans complaining about linking to their news articles?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    The Baker, 11 Apr 2019 @ 8:02am

    Forcing external ad content on me makes me afraid ...

    ... and that seems to be the new definition of terrorism. Therefore, under the new European rules, Axel Springer related sites should be removed within 24 hours.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2019 @ 11:57am

    Even if if blockers, theselves, were made illegal, a tech saavy user could block them at the firewall level.

    I block ads at the firewall level, and that would not be illegal, at least in the USA, because both the DMCA and No Electronic Theft Act require that it be for some kind of financial gain, meaning it has to be for the purpose of making money, and putting in the domains or IP addresses of ad severs, on your own firewall, for your own personal use, would not rise to that

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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