German media conglomerate Axel Springer goes to court against iOS ad blocker

Posted:
in iPhone edited December 2015
Germany's Axel Springer -- which owns newspapers like Bild and Die Welt -- is pursuing legal action against the developers of Blockr, an ad blocker for iOS 9, reports said on Monday.




Axel Springer subsidiary WeltN24 is specifcally looking to halt both the development and distrubtion of the app, TechCrunch noted. Blockr strips ads from both the desktop and mobile renderings of Die Welt's website, among others.

In a hearing on Nov. 19, lawyers for Blockr argued that their software is legal and optional, a view the court reportedly backed. The court suggested moreover that Axel Springer has alternate ways of fighting ad blockers, such as halting access to a site when the software is detected -- something Axel Springer has previously employed.

A final ruling on the matter is scheduled for Dec. 10.

Many websites and publishers have become concerned about ad blockers since, in many cases, the bulk of their revenue stems from advertising. The issue only intensified this fall thanks to Apple's support for third-party blockers with Safari View Controller in iOS 9.

Supporters of blockers note that many ads have become increasingly intrusive, even harming device performance, and that the software can help combat adware and malware.
«13456

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 115
    Ad blockers don't block ads, people do.
  • Reply 2 of 115
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,077member
    The German conglomerate threatened Google with a lawsuit a couple years ago for not paying them everytime they showed up in a search result. Now this.

    At least they have a plan for replacing the lost revenue from print subscriptions. :rolleyes:
  • Reply 3 of 115
    Ads are becoming worse than intrusive. One site had three ads on the screen at the same time. They would not clear until repeated attempts were made. Then, they popped up a video ad, then another ad. Use bandwidth I pay for, wastes time and irritating.
  • Reply 4 of 115
    Tough. If their websites weren't so shitty and littered everywhere with ads I might be more sympathetic but as of right now I block all ads and do so happily sans remorse.
  • Reply 5 of 115
    This effort to shutdown an ad blocker gives more exposure to ad blockers. As people become more annoyed with intrusive ads, they will turn to solutions that empower them to get rid of the intrusions. Publishers will one day learn they need readers more than readers need them.
  • Reply 6 of 115
    noivadnoivad Posts: 186member
    People should counter with a class action lawsuit claiming web sites advertising on mobile is using data on limited plans consumers pay for without consent or compensation. It is akin to mailing people advertising with postage due and forcing them to pay it. (I know it’s a silly idea, but it’s as silly as his suit.)

    He could put the money he’s paying in lawyer fees to better use by paying for development of an iOS app so he can control the UX & embed ads in it, and then redirect people with Ad Blockers on to his app store app. Problem solved.
  • Reply 7 of 115
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,077member
    The answer from a number of sites has been simply to deny access to users with an ad-blocker enabled. Certainly fair enough IMO. Suing the makers of apps that enable ad blocking is going too far.

    EDIT: AI's source, TechCrunch, includes this in the last paragraph:

    [I]"Axel Springer is not the only publisher that’s taking a confrontational approach to dealing with ad blockers, The FT recently reported. U.K. newspaper City AM banned ad blockers from its website; U.K. broadcasters ITV and Channel 4 have now done the same; and the Washington Post redirects readers to a subscription page, or asks them to sign up to newsletters, or disable their ad-blocking software. Even Yahoo has gotten in on the action, blocking users from their email when they have AdBlock running."[/I]

    and a bit further up in the article:
    "[I]In October, Axel Springer forced visitors to Bild to turn off their ad blockers or pay a monthly fee to continue using the site. Earlier this month, the publisher reported the success of this measure, saying that the proportion of readers using ad blockers dropped from 23% to the single digits when faced with the choice to turn off the software or pay.

    “The results are beyond our expectations,” said Springer chief exec Mathias Döpfner at the time. “Over two-thirds of the users concerned switched off their adblocker.” He also noted that the Bild.de website received an additional 3 million visits from users who could now see the ads in the first two weeks of the experiment going live.[/I]"
  • Reply 8 of 115

    I don't get why these people keep suing. They always lose and will continue to lose. 

  • Reply 9 of 115

    Perhaps the web is about to change?

     

    This seems like an act of desperation by a content provider that's locked itself into earning money only through adverts so it needs somehow to force people to see them (whether they read what they see is another issue). We also read elsewhere that some large percentage (pick your number but one third seems popular) of clicks on ads are by programs employed to earn revenue for advertisers, ie completing the wasteful loop.

     

    Creating good quality content costs money, why are providers only trying to recoup their investment through adverts? Magazines and newspapers never did, ads were/are just a supplement to their revenue. So perhaps we're on the cusp of again having to pay for content, and if that means no ads then I'm all for it.

     

    What we need is a web-wide agency that offers users an account that pays content-providers (all of them, at the point of use) for viewing their pages (without ads). So every time I access a page, the agency pays the provider 0.1p (or 0.15 cents, or whatever) to provide me with an ad-free, or ad-reduced, page. Every month the agency sends me a bill for the pages I've accessed. The content-provider gets paid in a way that does not waste my bandwidth nor annoy me, I get ad-free access and transparent access (except for the bill, of course).

     

    All we need is an agency with access/monitoring of every page on the web. Doesn't Google already have all that in its advertising infrastructure? It would be neat if Apple spotted it first and took the initiative as they did with music downloads and the iTunes Store. As Steve Jobs allegedly said to those content providers when they asked why they needed Apple as a central agency: "Because you'd just f*ck it up"; sounds like Axel Springer might be doing exactly that.

  • Reply 10 of 115

    Internet ads are theft.

     

    Ads on the TV and billboards are one thing  - I've paid for the TV subscription, billboards are free.  But someone downloading their advertising content on my personal ISP contract is sucking my bandwidth and making me pay out of my pocket.

     

     

    Thoughts?

  • Reply 11 of 115
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,931member
    Ridiculous lawsuit. The precedent for a successful suit here would be disturbing. Would DVR makers no longer be allowed to have ways to skip commercials? They are able to block access for those with the software. Problem solved.

    By the way, I'm on the side of those saying ads have become more than intrusive. They are ridiculous. They make mobile pages unusable at times, with multiple ads and banners. I like the idea of suing them for using my data without my consent. Have a reasonable amount of ads that don't hose my web experience and I wouldn't need an ad blocker.
  • Reply 12 of 115
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,015member
    sdw2001 wrote: »
    Ridiculous lawsuit. The precedent for a successful suit here would be disturbing. Would DVR makers no longer be allowed to have ways to skip commercials? They are able to block access for those with the software. Problem solved.

    By the way, I'm on the side of those saying ads have become more than intrusive. They are ridiculous. They make mobile pages unusable at times, with multiple ads and banners. I like the idea of suing them for using my data without my consent. Have a reasonable amount of ads that don't hose my web experience and I wouldn't need an ad blocker.

    I agree totally, I had given up using the iPad for web use till AdBlocker came out.
  • Reply 13 of 115

    Oh, cool. That’s the one I use. Guess I’ll keep it around. I’ll visit a few German sites for good measure.

  • Reply 14 of 115
    gatorguy wrote: »
    and a bit further up in the article:
    "In October, Axel Springer forced visitors to Bild to turn off their ad blockers or pay a monthly fee to continue using the site. Earlier this month, the publisher reported the success of this measure, saying that the proportion of readers using ad blockers dropped from 23% to the single digits when faced with the choice to turn off the software or pay.

    “The results are beyond our expectations,” said Springer chief exec Mathias Döpfner at the time. “Over two-thirds of the users concerned switched off their adblocker.” He also noted that the Bild.de website received an additional 3 million visits from users who could now see the ads in the first two weeks of the experiment going live.
    "

    I believe the Latin term for that is: shakedown.
  • Reply 15 of 115



    Hey TS.

     

    Can you be more specific - what post were you actually referring to?  You seem to be all over the map these days - your cartography tag seems to be failing you.

     

    ;-)

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

    Oh, cool. That’s the one I use. Guess I’ll keep it around. I’ll visit a few German sites for good measure.


  • Reply 16 of 115
    Originally Posted by Sumergo View Post

    Can you be more specific - what post were you actually referring to?


     

    Which post? I’m confused.

     
    You seem to be all over the map these days

     

    8/10; got a chuckle. 

     

    your cartography tag seems to be failing you.


     

    Ah, that’s just my memory in general.

  • Reply 17 of 115
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

    Oh, cool. That’s the one I use. Guess I’ll keep it around. I’ll visit a few German sites for good measure.




    I use Blockr as well, I love that I can fine tune each site with a whitelist, and can block media content as well as ads, saves me a ton of data. I rarely even go over 1GB of my plan these days (I have 2GB data).

  • Reply 18 of 115
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,095member
    command_f wrote: »
    Perhaps the web is about to change?

    This seems like an act of desperation by a content provider that's locked itself into earning money only through adverts.
    Let's hope it does. Ad supported content delivery is seriously hindering next generation TV. Reverting to a user pays model means networks can concentrate on quality of content and leave the delivery to the likes of Apple.
  • Reply 19 of 115
    Just bought the app.
  • Reply 20 of 115
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Command_F View Post

     

    Perhaps the web is about to change?

     

    This seems like an act of desperation by a content provider that's locked itself into earning money only through adverts so it needs somehow to force people to see them (whether they read what they see is another issue). We also read elsewhere that some large percentage (pick your number but one third seems popular) of clicks on ads are by programs employed to earn revenue for advertisers, ie completing the wasteful loop.

     

    Creating good quality content costs money, why are providers only trying to recoup their investment through adverts? Magazines and newspapers never did, ads were/are just a supplement to their revenue. So perhaps we're on the cusp of again having to pay for content, and if that means no ads then I'm all for it.

     

    What we need is a web-wide agency that offers users an account that pays content-providers (all of them, at the point of use) for viewing their pages (without ads). So every time I access a page, the agency pays the provider 0.1p (or 0.15 cents, or whatever) to provide me with an ad-free, or ad-reduced, page. Every month the agency sends me a bill for the pages I've accessed. The content-provider gets paid in a way that does not waste my bandwidth nor annoy me, I get ad-free access and transparent access (except for the bill, of course).

     

    All we need is an agency with access/monitoring of every page on the web. Doesn't Google already have all that in its advertising infrastructure? It would be neat if Apple spotted it first and took the initiative as they did with music downloads and the iTunes Store. As Steve Jobs allegedly said to those content providers when they asked why they needed Apple as a central agency: "Because you'd just f*ck it up"; sounds like Axel Springer might be doing exactly that.


     

    Springer already produces high quality content. If they can't make it through their content, nobody can.

    IT's more people don't want to pay ANYTHING EVER... And then bitch if the only way to get it is through subscription (because otherwise the company doesn't get paid).

Sign In or Register to comment.