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Advertising Privacy Software The Courts The Media

German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal 286

An anonymous reader writes: Following a four-month trial, a German court in Hamburg has ruled that the practice of blocking advertising is perfectly legitimate. Germany-based Eyeo, the company that owns Adblock Plus, has won a case against German publishers Zeit Online and Handelsblatt. These companies operate Zeit.de, Handelsblatt.com, and Wiwo.de. Their lawsuit, filed on December 3, charged that Adblock Plus should not be allowed to block ads on their websites. While the decision is undoubtedly a big win for users today, it could also set a precedent for future lawsuits against Adblock Plus and any other tool that offers similar functions. The German court has essentially declared that users are legally allowed to control what happens on their screens and on their computers while they browse the Web.
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German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

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  • by invictusvoyd ( 3546069 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @09:00AM (#49526821)
    To understand that !
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @09:06AM (#49526879)

      Yup, that's how the law works. Science also doesn't go by, "It's obvious so we don't need to test it," and we're better off for it.

      The only problem is - at least in the US - the cost of such actions to the smaller party. In this case it doesn't matter so much as you have one bunch of scrounging old media cunts in one corner and a bunch of dishonest pricks who take money from Google to whitelist their ads in the other. But the judgment is valuable nevertheless.

      • "dishonest *** who take money from Google to whitelist their ads"

        CEOs should accept that I use an ad blocker. If I didn't have an ad blocker, I would be more aware of their ads and would probably be successful in getting some of the CEOs fired for dishonesty and incompetence.

        Adblock Edge is a fork of the Adblock Plus(R) version 2.1.2 extension for blocking advertisements on the web. Adblock Edge [mozilla.org] was primarily branched off from Adblock Plus(R) 2.1.2 source code package "https://adblockplus.org/downloads/adblockplus-2.1.2-source.tgz" created by Wladimir Palant.

        Adblock Edge will be discontinued in June 2015 in favor of uBlock [mozilla.org] , a general purpose blocker that not only outperforms Adblock Edge but is also available on other browsers and, of course, without "Acceptable Ads Whitelist".***

        Pale Moon x64 [palemoon.org] is Firefox with adult supervision. With Pale Moon, use AdBlock Latitude. [palemoon.org]

        Firefox is becoming less and less stable. It's so unstable that it often doesn't report crashes, so the crash reports aren't reliable, they show far fewer crashes [mozilla.com] than actually occurred. The underlying problem is that Mozilla Foundation needs better management. At present, Mozilla Foundation management is sometimes excellent and sometimes very unreliable.
        • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @10:58AM (#49527941)

          Firefox is becoming less and less stable.

          What the hell are you talking about? Firefox has become more stable; I abandoned FF several years ago because it crashed so often, and switched to Chromium; in the last year, I've switched back because Chromium is such a memory hog and crashes so much, and Firefox isn't and doesn't. FF is better with memory, and rarely crashes (esp. compared to Chromium). It's not perfect by any means, but it's a lot better than it used to be.

          When was the last time you used Firefox?

          That said, I also switched from AdBlock Plus to uBlock, and that's helped a lot too. ABP is a hog. (But I switched back to FF well before I dumped ABP.)

          • by jbssm ( 961115 )

            He is right though. Firefox crashes frequently lately. Try to open the GitHub pages of the Atom editor packages and you see what I mean.

            Kind of sad the mess that Firefox has become.

            • by vyvepe ( 809573 )

              He is right though. Firefox crashes frequently lately. Try to open the GitHub pages of the Atom editor packages and you see what I mean.

              Is that limited to windows version? Because I did not noticed any crashes in linux version lately.

        • by vyvepe ( 809573 )

          Firefox is becoming less and less stable.

          I do not even remember when my Firefox crashed the last time. As far as I can tell, it is extremely stable.

        • I've been waiting for uBlock to be fully published before installing. I've been waiting a long time. It seems forever stuck in "preliminarily reviewed".

          Is there any particular reason Mozilla has not fully released it?

        • by Coren22 ( 1625475 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @01:12PM (#49529263) Journal

          APK, did you finally create an account?

        • by CrashNBrn ( 1143981 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @01:48PM (#49529675)
          Unfortunately, I haven't seen the other fork, uMatrix for FireFox. While RequestPolicy (continued) is good, I don't think enough people are involved in its development which has slowed down quite significantly, since the few months after it's fork from Request Policy 0.5.x. The management of RP rules is a complete mess, and RequestPolicy doesn't give anywhere near the level of control nor information that uMatrix (or uBlock) do. uMatrix is potentially more efficient (less resources; faster) than uBlock.

          As much as I hate FF for its Memory issues (refusing to release RAM when tabs and windows are closed). It certainly doesn't crash with any regularity, and FF Nightly (x64, Windows) is the browser I use 75%+ of the time.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MPBoulton ( 3865641 )

        Yup, that's how the law works. Science also doesn't go by, "It's obvious so we don't need to test it," and we're better off for it.

        The only problem is - at least in the US - the cost of such actions to the smaller party. In this case it doesn't matter so much as you have one bunch of scrounging old media cunts in one corner and a bunch of dishonest pricks who take money from Google to whitelist their ads in the other. But the judgment is valuable nevertheless.

        I have only recently become aware of the risks advertising poses through injected malware etc. and so am a very new user of Ad Block Plus, but you can just turn off their white listed adverts as well can't you? (or did I misunderstand that option when I installed?).

        Do you object that the default is to allow these whitelisted Google adverts?

    • Apparently, and the other thing that they don't seem to understand is that if I am the type of person who would take the time and effort to install an ad blocker, I am probably not going to look at or click on their ads anyway even if I could not block them, so in essence I am doing them a favor and saving them bandwidth.
      If they don't want me seeing their content without also seeing their ads, then they can just block my ad blocking browser and I will go elsewhere.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @03:31PM (#49530615)

      Indeed. It is fascinating how incapable of dealing with reality and how generally devoid of common sense the law has gotten. For example, if this had been declared not legal, would any user browsing with a text-only browser like Lynx have done something illegal? Or would what I do for the worst offenders (dedicated firewall rule) have been illegal?

      These are my pixels on my screen and I can damn well put into the screen frame-buffer what I like!

  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @09:06AM (#49526877)

    ...to change the definition of "own".

    If you the consumer currently control your screen today, then tomorrow you won't own the screen.

    They will, and they'll advertise what they damn well please.

    And you will accept this behavior with a smile on your face because you paid only $99 instead of $999 for that screen.

    • by Binky The Oracle ( 567747 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @09:22AM (#49526989)
      I suspect the vendor response will be more along the lines of, "We've detected Ad Block on your computer. You will be unable to view content on this site while this is active." The legal decision is, IMO, the correct one. We're not in Oceania (yet) and we're still allowed to turn off our TVs or change the channel. That doesn't mean, though, that the provider of the content is required to show it to us if we choose not to pay for it in some way. Ad Block is probably going to have to get a little craftier about running in stealth mode in the future.
      • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @09:27AM (#49527021)

        I suspect the vendor response will be more along the lines of, "We've detected Ad Block on your computer. You will be unable to view content on this site while this is active."

        Some already do this.

        My response is always "fuck you, I'll go elsewhere then."

        And the "elsewhere" where they don't do that is typically better.

        I also run the EFF's Privacy Badger.

        --
        BMO

        • by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @09:40AM (#49527165)

          My response is right-click -> inspect element -> backspace.

      • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @09:44AM (#49527203) Homepage

        I suspect the vendor response will be more along the lines of, "We've detected Ad Block on your computer. You will be unable to view content on this site while this is active."

        Fine. And the last thing they'll see of me is the back button.

        Companies have two choices ... paywall the heck out of it, or accept that some fraction of people will block your ads. If you want to reach a broader audience, go with the latter. Otherwise, go with the former.

        But don't expect us to go all "boo hoo" because you think we should be participating in your ads. I'll continue to block anything which isn't the actual site I visited -- everything else is just parasites.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          no, there are good options in the middle, like the NY Times, which has a soft paywall.

        • Same here, except after a point I'd go further and discourage others from visiting advertisement abusive sites. If they already do scummy things like that, then the site can not be trusted to not serve up malware or similar in the future.

          Case in point, the other day I happened to notice that the old Dilbert.com web site is now serving up abusive pop-under window advertisements. Yes, the current Adblock catches this, but this tells me that this site can no longer be trusted. So I have removed various links t

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Media companies don't give a shit about "reaching a broader audience" if they can't show that audience ads. They don't care if you leave, in fact they welcome it. Why would they want to provide you with content for free that they normally "charge" for by including ads?

          Funny you should call ads "parasites", because that's basically what you are. You want the content, you don't want to pay. That's a fair position to take, but don't get all upset when they decline to agree to your terms.

          • Funny you should call ads "parasites", because that's basically what you are. You want the content, you don't want to pay. That's a fair position to take, but don't get all upset when they decline to agree to your terms.

            I don't actually give a flying fuck if they "agree to my terms" or not.

            They can either paywall themselves so far that I can't get in, or they can find a way to block me, or they can live with it. No individual websites content is so important to me that I care if they put it behind a firewa

      • I wonder if the ad blockers could be set up to provide the scripts in the ads with convincing feedback without exposing the end user to the risk or the content. After all, this is just another form of self-reporting.
    • I've been to websites likes CBS and CWTV that detect the advertising is blocked and tell me I can't use their services unless I turn off my adblocker. At this point I have a choice and so do they, since they have chosen not to let me use the service with adblocker, then my choices are I can turn of my adblocker to watch the latest episode of Flash or I can go away. This is a far better arrangement then trying to make an ad blocker illegal.

  • by ledow ( 319597 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @09:07AM (#49526881) Homepage

    If the software is running on the user's computer, at their express request, to do something - at the user's express request, then I can't see how you could rule any other way.

    If we were talking about an online-only service that "proxies" the web for you and removes ads, then you may have more of a case, however.

    And spyware that does it against or without user's consent (replacing other's adverts with your own, eh, Lenovo?) then that's a huge other matter entirely.

    But it's like ruling that if the user WANTS to look at a plain-text version of a particular webpage then that's up to them. So long as the viewer is the one choosing to change the content and knows that, why would you ever think differently.

    The alternative just doesn't bear thinking about. Websites DEMANDING that nothing interferes in the process of displaying their page as they intended. Unskippable ads, etc. like on DVD's. DRM for the web, effectively. No thanks.

    • Unfortunately, the general lack of DRM(wouldn't even have to be effective DRM, just going through the motions) is pretty much the only thing that keeps a DVD-like arrangment from enjoying force of law anywhere with a DMCA-style law on the books.

      Copyright tends to be a little awkward around computers; because there is so much copying that has to occur internally just to display something; but the analogy between running adblock and taking scissors to a magazine is a pretty easy one, and the right of the e
    • Re:Common sense (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @09:27AM (#49527023) Journal

      Websites DEMANDING that nothing interferes in the process of displaying their page as they intended.

      It's those ads that most often interfere with "displaying the page as intended" in the first place. If a page doesn't load or hangs or whatever, it's usually due to a failed ad script.

  • by Sooner Boomer ( 96864 ) <sooner.boomr@gmailCHEETAH.com minus cat> on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @09:14AM (#49526931) Journal
    ABP does not block advertisement on your web site. It blocks advertisements coming FROM your web site onto a computer I own. I own the computer, not the web site. I have the freedom (so far!) to control what I see on my computer when I decide to visit* a web site.

    *People misuse the term "log-in" to a web site when they actually mean "visit the URL", but that's another rant...

    • Can you apply the same reasoning to a Blu ray or DVD you bought and own? I didn't think so.
      • Can you apply the same reasoning to a Blu ray or DVD you bought and own? I didn't think so.

        No, well yes, well most times. With most dvd players you can hit stop>stop>play to jump straight to the feature, they just don't tell you that. You could also skip adverts from vhs with fast forward. You can skip ads in the cinema by going in ~20 minutes after the time on the ticket. Don't know about Blu-ray, I don't bother with it.

      • How about some common sense?

        * Insert Blu Ray
        * Ads / Trailers come up
        * Can't skip the ads so I press *mute* on my AVR
        * Can't skip the ads so I go to the bathroom until they are done
        * 5 minutes later, finally at the main menu. Unmute, and I can do what I originally set out to do. Watch the freaking movie.

        There is NO legal obligation that I _must_ watch the ads.

        What, are you going to ban closing your eyes next??? /Oblg. DVD pirate experience

        * http://farm5.static.flickr.com... [flickr.com]

  • by Needs2BeSaid ( 4062029 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @09:15AM (#49526939) Homepage
    Ad companies would love to make it illegal for you to get up and go to the bathroom while commercials play. The technology is already here that will tell our televisions when we look away. Just think of the possibilities for advertisers if they could get that data.
    • by swb ( 14022 )

      That was covered in a Black Mirror episode where you were punished for not watching advertisements.

  • by jetkust ( 596906 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @09:18AM (#49526961)
    I don't mind ads. But when it gets to the point where the ads start rendering the web unusable what else can you do? And when you're getting charged an excessive amount of money for data on your mobile plan you kinda don't want to be paying for stuff you don't even want to see.
  • ads (Score:4, Interesting)

    by beefoot ( 2250164 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @09:19AM (#49526965)
    Pictures ad or text ad on website usually host on different servers than the content provider. If I use my old fashion telnet to get the content, I would have to make an extra effort to download these ads. What I am saying is one would argue ads are not part of the "content" from the content provider.
  • by Rik Sweeney ( 471717 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @09:23AM (#49526993) Homepage

    I've been to a few websites recently that detect AdBlock and redirect me to a page telling me to turn it off. What's really annoying is that we have WebSense at work, which blocks adverts, and then I get redirected to the switch off AdBlock page.

    This is further compounded by some websites sticking up a dialog box telling me to register or "Like" them on Facebook if I want to continue browsing their content.

    I suspect we'll be seeing more of this in future, meaning that I'll soon have to re-install NoScript just to browse without being nagged.

    • by Kardos ( 1348077 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @09:25AM (#49527013)

      > This is further compounded by some websites sticking up a dialog box telling me to register or "Like" them on Facebook if I want to continue browsing their content.

      No loss there. It's a safe bet that it's not content of any quality if users have to be coerced into announcing that they "like" it before they see it.

    • by armanox ( 826486 )
      Careful, or they might start putting all the content in JS....
    • This is further compounded by some websites sticking up a dialog box telling me to register or "Like" them on Facebook if I want to continue browsing their content.

      Fuck Facebook with a big splintery wooden dildo. Up the ass both ways until their eyes pop out.

      There, had to be said. :)

      I suspect we'll be seeing more of this in future, meaning that I'll soon have to re-install NoScript just to browse without being nagged.

      Recently I've noticed an increase in the number of sites that use scripting to load their c

    • That is interesting. I wonder how the 'you are using ad blocker' detection works? Our proxy doesn't block ads (i.e. does not return a 403 status) but it replaces the content with a blank HTML document. We did this to avoid any ugly block messages and such. But I have never gotten the 'you are using an ad blocker' message. Maybe there is something in the detection that triggers on the 403 status returns from your proxy and not the 200 status returns from mine. (Assuming your proxy returns 403 which could be
  • by MeNeXT ( 200840 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @09:24AM (#49527007)

    Serve them form your own domain. With your own cookies. Do not make them offensive in any way (Pop under, Popup, loud, require click through or interaction, ...) and most of all take responsibility when they contain malware and pay for the damage to my computer and my time.

    I understand you need to make money that doesn't mean you have to treat me like dirt.

    • In other words, go back to the way ads used to work in the paper era. Publishers vetted the ads and printed them themselves. If the sites did this the ad blockers probably wouldn't even work. I wonder why they don't pursue that option instead of trying to use the government to force people to do something they do not want?
  • Even if we ignore the main use of Adblock Plus, which is blocking advertisements, and looking at the broader functionality of "users are legally allowed to control what happens on their screens and on their computers while they browse the Web", then it would be quite detrimental if users were force to render content on web pages. I personally don't use Adblock Plus, as I like to support the sites I visit, and most of the sites I frequent have only a moderate number of ads. However I do use stuff like Flash
    • Re:As it should be (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @09:46AM (#49527227)

      Even if we ignore the main use of Adblock Plus, which is blocking advertisements, and looking at the broader functionality of "users are legally allowed to control what happens on their screens and on their computers while they browse the Web", then it would be quite detrimental if users were force to render content on web pages. I personally don't use Adblock Plus, as I like to support the sites I visit, and most of the sites I frequent have only a moderate number of ads. However I do use stuff like Flashblock to stop things like autoplaying movies and animations. I also don't like running Flash by default as there are a lot of exploits. Not allowing users to run what they want, and being required by law to run whatever script the webpage sends at them is a recipe for disaster.

      What we are seeing is a fundamental collision between the old and new concepts of control. It used to be we could not control ads, such as on TV, all we could do is use them to as a break to do something else. Then came the VCR with timeshiftimg and fast forward and control switched from the content provider to the end user; which set off a fight over that ability. We are seeing that in the online world now as technology allows users more control over how content is presented and delivered; and the content providers are seeking ways, either via technology or courts, to limit the transfer of control. Some try to use the old model digitally, such as magazines that provide an online edition via a "reader" that flips pages and shows add pages just as you would with the print edition. I suspect we'll see new ways of delivering adds, especially as the box in our home gets more adept at recognizing who, and how many, are in the room and paying attention. Content providers will move from the, in the US at least, model of Intro, Add, Title, add, 8 minutes of action, ad, etc. to a way to more fluidly place commercials. Who knows, maybe part of the show will have a blue screen so adds could be individually tailored during the show, much as MLB does with ads behind home plate.

    • by Sloppy ( 14984 )

      it would be quite detrimental if users were force to render content on web pages.

      Not to mention: Difficult!

      Think about what all is involved in creating a new "modern" browser, especially if you have to start from scratch instead of basing it on Webkit or Gecko. "Oops, I have a bug in how word-break works, and it just got me fined. Worse, someone found out that I hadn't really disabled the load-images option, and that I had simply removed it from the preferences page. I'm still working on my court case over

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @09:29AM (#49527049) Homepage

    It's my damned screen, and my damned internet connection.

    To rule that I have some legal obligation to load and view your ads would be idiotic.

    Of course, this was idiotic from the beginning and just some asshole publishers trying to entrench their ad revenue in law.

    Since ad companies violate both my privacy and potentially my security, I simply do not care about your ads. Unless you paywall your site, in which case I'll ignore you, don't bloody act like I am required to see your ads.

    Not my problem.

    • It's either paywall, adds or a mostly empty internet.

      Having said that: I block adds to block malware, because add networks seem to be too stupid to check what they serve for malware.

    • It's my damned screen, and my damned internet connection.

      Right on - If I watch their ads, can I bill them for the bandwidth and my time at <Going rate for legal advice>?. I am quite willing to forward them said legal advice for an additional fee. (But for those of you unwilling to pay, here is the secret legal advice on our hidden laser screen, spoken by a mystery voice: sod off.

    • Re:Good ... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@worl d 3 . net> on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @10:33AM (#49527711) Homepage

      don't bloody act like I am required to see your ads.

      That wasn't their argument. Their argument was that a commercial company, the one that makes ABP, was altering their content and providing it to their users for profit, thus violating their copyright. Their argument was that it was akin to them taking a (free) magazine, cutting out all the adverts and then giving it to users, while accepting fees from advertisers to avoid being cut.

      The court didn't buy it, which is good, but don't mis-characterise their position just to make the look foolish. Their case has a strong basis in law, which is why it took so long to resolve.

  • This is a plus for the consumer, definitely.
    Personally, I install some kind of ad blocking software on every computer I build for friends and family. This is mainly because, while I might trust a particular web site I most certainly do not extend that trust to whatever 3rd party ad host is used, and there have been enough instances of ad servers hosting malware for me to block the whole lot on principle.
    However, the next step from the advertisement-laden internet sites is going to be to refuse access to any

  • by Trachman ( 3499895 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @09:39AM (#49527151) Journal

    Ad money is how many of the websites finance themselves, pay their bills. From that point of view the AdBlock hating sites only want to show you the contents ONLY if you see the advertisements.

    Expect further development of Ad pushing technologies, because the websites will need to get paid or they will go out of business.

    I think industry should consider the example of Netflix: for a cost of one movie one can watch dozens a movies at the convenience of their homes. Last time I have heard Netflix is not a loss making company.

    • by BVis ( 267028 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @10:27AM (#49527671)

      Ad money is how many of the websites finance themselves, pay their bills.

      Tough shit. The user has indicated that they do not want to see ads. Give the user what they want or go out of business. Find a different business model.

      From that point of view the AdBlock hating sites only want to show you the contents ONLY if you see the advertisements.

      Tough shit. I don't care what they want. If they don't give me what I want, I go somewhere else. That's the free market.

      Expect further development of Ad pushing technologies, because the websites will need to get paid or they will go out of business.

      Tough shit. Expect further development of ad blocking technologies to keep up. Eventually the arms race will lead to the abandonment of ad revenue as a source of support. The advertisers and site owners did this to themselves by ratcheting up the obnoxiousness of their ads to the point where people start blocking them or staying away from their site. No sympathy.

      Advertising is a blight on society. I can hardly go anywhere without someone trying to sell me car insurance, or legal assistance, or boner pills, or something else I don't want or already have. What the advertisers need to understand is that they do not have an inalienable right to shove ads in my eyeballs. If I want to ignore or block advertising, I have the right to do that. If that drives people out of business, that's fine, because other businesses that don't employ such an obnoxious business model will take up their business.

      I hate advertising in all its forms. Don't like that? Go fuck yourself, I don't care what you think.

  • How can it not be MY choice to decide what I DON'T want to see on my screen?!?!

    I understand that content owners control stuff they create and can require me to pay to view or ban me from viewing, or even from replacing one set of ads with another before passing content to a third party, but they can't prevent me from closing my eyes or looking away so why should they think they can prevent me from removing junk from a webpage?

  • by nightfire-unique ( 253895 ) on Wednesday April 22, 2015 @10:27AM (#49527669)

    One thing I never understood is why no one's come up with an ad blocker that still requests ads in the background, but doesn't display them (as an option).

    Quite literally, everyone wins in that scenario. Advertisers get to feel like they're changing the world. Web sites are funded. We don't have to deal with advertisements.

    And manufacturers/service providers are less likely to deal with the wrath of people like me who go out of our way to avoid products with offensive advertising. We won't know any better.

  • There's a lot of people here saying what is essentially, "f*ck you" to the advertisements. But I think a lot of them don't consider what it's like for the creator in this situation. A lot of them don't charge for their content and rely upon the ads, without which they could never keep going. This is especially the case for the smaller guys who run their own channels, and they could never afford to do their hobby otherwise. You have the right to control what's on your screen, yes, but they also have the rig

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by twocows ( 1216842 )
      Then offer a solution where I can donate $5 to permanently disable ads. Unless your web service is something where I'm going to be downloading or uploading a whole lot of data, I'll never be using more than $5 of your resources and $5 is a hell of a lot more than you'd ever make off ads from one person over the course of a lifetime anyway. Some sites already offer this kind of thing and I commonly take advantage of it on sites I like. Other sites just get hit by Adblock. And no, I'm not going to pay a month
  • While the decision is undoubtedly a big win for users today, it could also set a precedent for future lawsuits against Adblock Plus and any other tool that offers similar functions.

    How's that? Surely it does the exact opposite.

    • by neminem ( 561346 )

      Huh? A precedent means that there have been rulings on a subject. Clearly, there have now been rulings on the subject. There being a precedent doesn't say, without further specification, which *way* the precedent went...

      • Perhaps the wording was bad:

        it could also set a precedent for future lawsuits against Adblock Plus

        "For" could be read as "in favour of," but perhaps what was meant was "in relation to."

        • by neminem ( 561346 )

          Oh yeah, that's reasonable. I can see how the sentence could be open to that interpretation - I only saw the "in relation to" parse the first time, but I can see how both would be valid parses (but only one would actually be a true statement :p).

  • If they didn't bombard me and everyone with what seems like the skyline of Las Vegas every time I open their site, I would not feel the need to use an adblock.

    The web became basically unusable without an adblock lately and the content providers only have themselves to blame. If they kept it to 1 or 2 text advertisements per page, most people wouldn't even want to install an adblocker, but the content providers had to go full retard. Never go full retard.

    • As I see it there are two major issues with website ads.. The annoyance factor, and more importantly, the VERY big risk of getting malware embedded with the ads, from a LOT of the sketchy ad-networks. At least if you're on Windows, I'd find the second issue to be FAR FAR more important than the first.. I have a small business doing Windows cleanup and migrating a lot of XP users over to Ubuntu. I've been looking at a program that appears to be a godsend in keeping the crap OFF of Windows, its called "Sandbo

  • It is just a regional court decision and precedents aren't binding in Germany. The ruling is somewhat surprising, though, because the Hamburg regional court is known for a, let's say, quite a pro-big-business attitude when it comes to technology.

  • Fuck you Zeit and Fuck you Handelsblatt for having the audacity of bringing this in front of a court in the first place.

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