German court rules that consumers have the right to use AdBlock Plus and similar software

AdBlock Plus, a web extension which blocks online adverts, has been judged a lawful tool for consumers use despite its capability to the earning power of websites reliant upon web advertising revenue.

German newspapers Die Zeit and Handelsblatt filed an action against Eyeo GmbH, the company which owns the app, accusing it of being anti-competitive and threatening their ability to make money, according to the BBC.

A Hamburg court however ruled in favour of the app and its users on the conclusion of the four month trial.

AdBlock Plus's project manager, Ben Williams, said: “Reasonable heads prevailed as the regional court in Hamburg ruled in our favor by declaring that ad blocking is, in fact, perfectly legal.

“The Hamburg court decision is an important one because it sets a precedent that may help us avoid additional lawsuits and expenses defending what we feel is an obvious consumer right: giving people the ability to control their own screens by letting them block annoying ads and protect their privacy.”

Williams concluded: “We want to reach out to other publishers and advertisers and content creators and encourage them to work with Adblock Plus rather than against us… let’s develop new forms of nonintrusive ads that are actually useful and welcomed by users.”

This follows the news that emerged in February that Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Taboola are among firms which have entered 'whitelist' agreements with Adblock Plus allowing ads on their sites through the software.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.