Hopefully, the “internet-woke” among us have by now learned why using adblocking software may be a good idea – or indeed, a bad one. But awareness of any kind does imply putting in some work.
The “ready-made, no effort” narrative has been this: if you like content produced by a website/media outlet, you will surely want to support them with either your attention span and your computing resources (i.e., allowing their ads to run free on your device of choice draining it of nothing worse than your battery) – or pay for the content with your subscription money.
The last point, of course, must be made ever mindful of what we have recently learned – namely that supporting a website with your money to view it ad-free may not in fact remove the tracking and data harvesting activities going on under the hood.
That’s a lot for an average user to take in, and keep in mind. And that may be precisely why some of the biggest online and traditional publishers in Europe are so comfortable lagging behind the times that they seem to think AdBlock Plus is the relevant software they should be targeting as their ad-revenue-suppressing foe.
To put things in perspective: Adblock Plus has long been ruled out by the more “savvy” web users, not least for its practice of “whitelisting acceptable ads.” But Axel Springer, TorrentFreak is reporting, has moved against none other than AdBlock Plus.
For even more European perspective: while the term “behemoth” may be overused – Axel Springer is indeed a veritable behemoth in the online publishing industry. Hardly a country is spared from the reach of its subsidiary or joint venture tentacles. So when Axel Springer speaks – the media in Europe tend to prick up their ears.
And now Eyeo GmbH, the company behind Adblock Plus, is fighting back Axel Springer’s latest flimsy claim against it: a “copyright infringement.” Previously, AdBlock had been sued unsuccessfully in Germany as “undermining Axel Springer’s business model” – only for this be thrown out by the country’s courts.