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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  1. 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.


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