German Supreme Court rules Adblock Plus practices legal in final decision

German Supreme Court rules Adblock Plus practices legal in final decision”

Today, we are extremely pleased with the ruling from Germany's Supreme Court in favor of Adblock Plus/eyeo and against the German media publishing company Axel Springer.

The lawsuit began three years ago, and was started by German publishing giant Axel Springer.

Axel Springer, meanwhile, described ad blocking as "an attack on the heart of the free media" and said it would appeal to the country's Constitutional Court. Users across the world have downloaded Adblock Plus over 500 million times, and it has remained the most downloaded and the most used extension nearly continuously since November 2006.

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Fortunately for Adblock Plus and its legions of fans, Reuters reports the court today threw out the case, effectively overturning a lower court's ruling that "operating a white list was tantamount to unfair competition".

Other German media firms that also launched related legal action said the simple blocking of adverts was a violation of local laws created to promote competition. It also singled out Eyeo's "white listing" business model, which allows websites to pay a fee so that their so-called "non-aggressive" advertisements can bypass AdBlock Pro's filters. The owners of some websites (those reliant upon third-party hosted online advertising to fund the hosting of their websites) have long argued that the use of ad-blocking software presents a risk to their revenue stream.

The Supreme Court disagreed with Springer's allegations and said no laws were being broken because it was up to individual users whether they used the software. This ruling confirms - just as the regional courts in Munich and Hamburg stated previously - that people have the right in Germany to block ads.

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