Ad-blocking software comes under fire
I read an article today on CNET stating that ad-blocking software may be illegal ... yeah right! The article goes on to make a mis-leading analogy to removing/avoiding TV ads from taped programs. For it to be illegal (to block Internet content) there would have to be some law that made blocking of ads an illegal act. Is there any such law?
Although Mozilla Adblock Plus was primarily mentioned you can see that ad-blocking software in general is the focus.
There was a statement from a lawyer stating: "The second argument claims that a Web site's terms of service are a "browsewrap" or "clickwrap" agreement that are legally binding. To apply, the notice must be "conspicuous enough to the visitor, so they they're aware that their visit is governed by these terms,"
Ok, I'll buy that ... however you must place a "Terms of Service" click-able agreement prior to allowing each visitor access to your site. Think that will fly? ... certainly not. Ever look at a typical web sites TOS? It is worded in such a way as you are required to hold them harmless for any damage, even from 3rd parties (Trojans, viruses, etc.) that may occur from visiting their site. Well if you can't guarantee that, then I have a right to protect myself by whatever means necessary.
Just recently I blogged about visitors that were attacked by Trojan infested banners from RightMedia/Yahoo being displayed at MySpace and other sites. I could cite many more examples ... but I have a few more thoughts ...
How about if my browser blocks pop-up ads ... is that illegal? Well according to the whiners you are "essentially engaged in theft of resources" ... oh please! Or how about this one ... suppose I have my browser set to block all 3rd party Cookies, to protect my privacy am I impacting the host site’s revenue model?
Are you going to sue every major 3rd party Firewall vendor because they offer ad-blocking features? You'd better have some deep pockets if you are ... Why do you think there are so many programs that offer these ad-blocking features? It's because that's what people want! The biggest reason is, the Internet has been trashed by mainly these "commercial" sites that have the false impression that more ads = more revenue. Wake up ... your visitors are tired of being bombarded with Flash ads, banners and an untold amount of other bandwidth hogging advertising junk.
Hopefully (soon) the nay-sayers will realize that they have the "opportunity" to make $$$ ... not the right.