Breaking news time! The German courts which have been debating the AdBlock Plus and adblocking situation in the EU have released an official statement today declaring that adblocking, and thus AdBlock Plus is 100 % legal in the country and across Europe. AdBlock Plus was sued by Zeit Online GmbH and Handelsblatt GmbH on December 3 2014 for blocking their ads on websites, and the case was handled by the German court in Hamburg. Today, the court decided that AdBlock Plus and its users had done nothing against the law nor had they infringed any rights the companies had when it comes to internet advertising.
Europeans are glad to hear the ruling as AdBlock Plus has been receiving enormous support from its users and various international companies for its Acceptable Ads program which we analyzed in-depth together with the company founders in an interview and editorial that you can read here. The official statement released by AdBlock Plus can be read below. The support that users had and still have for AdBlock Plus was emphasized during the proceedings of the court, as even one of the judge’s legal aids commented that the way in which AdBlock Plus works with companies, users and the Acceptable Ads program was clearly explained to them when they installed the extensions.
Today, the ruling of the German court in Hamburg became official, declaring that adblocking in general is completely legal, regardless of who is using it on what website. This is a huge victory for AdBlock Plus and the advertising ecosystem it promotes, as well as for users who advocate correct formatting and structuring of ads on various websites. Users have made it very clear in various surveys that they would not mind seeing ads that are not obtrusive to their viewing experience. As such, companies and websites can apply to be whitelisted and they will most likely be accepted if they conform to the simple criteria that AdBlock Plus sets for acceptable ads.
Official AdBlock Plus statement: “We are extremely happy with the decision reached today by the Hamburg regional court. This is a victory for every single Internet user because it confirms each individual’s right to block annoying ads, protect their privacy and, by extension, determine his or her own Internet experience. It is living proof of the unalienable right of every user to enjoy online self-determination. Adblock Plus will continue to provide users with a tool that helps them control their Internet experience. At the same time we will endeavor to work with publishers, advertisers and content creators to encourage nonintrusive ads, discover new ways to make ads better and push forward to a more sustainable Internet ecosystem.”