Policy on adblock walls

Discussion in 'Missed Ads' started by avatar, Oct 16, 2017.

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  1. avatar

    avatar Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Hi guys, I have some news (not very good) about AG filters policy.

    There are multiple websites that opt to detect ad blockers and prevent people from using the website unless ad blocking is disabled. Our policy on that was always simple -- if an adblock wall messes with the way people use the website, it should be removed by the main filters. This approach is "pro-user", but it has a serious flaw. Publishers have a right to talk to their visitors and to establish their rules on who can or cannot access their content. Unblocking it "by default" without user consent is a controversial solution. From now on, most of the "anti-adblock walls" rules (if a wall allows to proceed to the content) will be added to the Annoyances filter (enabling this filter counts as a "user consent"). If a wall does not provide any alternative at all, it should still be added to the English filter. Comparing to the original "remove if limit or interfere" policy this is not a serious change.

    Now to some really bad news. There is another type of walls -- "adblockwall+paywall" like the one used on bild.de. Bad news about it is that blocking such a wall might be illegal and it imposes additional restrictions on us. Unfortunately, I don't feel that we can fight this battle on a legal field at the moment, given that it was already lost once. I'd like to emphasize that these restrictions apply to AdGuard filters due to us being a legal company. It does not mean that you should follow, you still can set AG up to override any of these restrictions (by adding a third party filter or adding a rule to the user filter). Why changing it now? There're two reasons. First of all, AG became popular enough to attract attention and second, we're now an EU company and should take EU courts decisions very seriously.

    What's my personal opinion on this? I am okay with the first part (actually, this is fully my decision). Circumventing "walls" is not a solution, it simply leads to more complicated walls. To solve this, we should let publishers know that we do not accept this kind of limitations by not visiting these websites. And the policy change is just a first step on the path.

    Regarding the second part, I hate it. Applying the copyright law to an ad blocking case is completely illogical, and I want to return to this once we have enough resources to fight it alone on a legal field, or once we find allies to back us up on this.

    This is not a final solution. Stay tuned, we will have a bigger announcement later.

    UPDATE: affected websites
    bild.de
    faz.net
    tweaktown.com
    accuweather.com
    ondemandkorea.com
    easybib.com
    zentralplus.ch
    blick.ch
    heatworld.com
    mercurynews.com
    globalsecurity.org
    cincinnati.com
    postandcourier.com
    bismarcktribune.com
    doodle.com

    EDIT: This will help English speakers to understand this: http://transblawg.eu/2012/04/22/liability-of-googleyoutubestorerhaftung/
     
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  2. Blaz

    Blaz Moderator & Translator Moderator

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    bild.de is having different adblockwall and paywall. Adblockwall should still be circumvented on bild.de.
    Paywall aka bild+ not.

    Maybe I misunderstood you.

    Does this mean you removed relevant bild.de filters?
     
  3. avatar

    avatar Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    While I agree with you, this is a huge risk. Please read the details here.

    Do you mean that even if I pay for BILDSmart, they will still block me from using their website with an ad blocker enabled?
     
  4. If only the modifiers were fully and correctly supported, I would have dumped the filter lists right away.
     
  5. Blaz

    Blaz Moderator & Translator Moderator

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    No, they don't block you.

    I meant there are articles which require their BILDSmart to read fully and there are free articles which can be read and which should be available to adblock users.

    BTW Landgericht Hamburg is known for stupid decisions. If another entity would have taken the case, it would have been denied.


    So we shouldn't post rules/filterlists on this forum for bild.de anymore?
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  6. avatar

    avatar Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Yep, just checked it.

    The decision is stupid indeed but fighting it will cost us more than we can afford at the moment. That's the point:(
     
  7. avatar

    avatar Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Hm, that's a good question. The rules aren't posted by AG employees, so I suppose it's okay.
     
  8. Blaz

    Blaz Moderator & Translator Moderator

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    So it would be OK to post the javascript rule again if someone reports it? On my Windows I don't get the adblock detection with my usual filters, but on Extension I get it (without javascript rule) - only with unblocked urls and an elemhide I don't see it.
     
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  9. avatar

    avatar Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Yeah, you're free to post whatever you want of course.
     
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  10. J_Fabio

    J_Fabio New Member

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  11. avatar

    avatar Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Functionalclam.com is in the AG filters already and I am not really afraid of the Admiral claims. The situation with bild is quite different.
     
  12. Blaz

    Blaz Moderator & Translator Moderator

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    At that courtyard in Hamburg it seems there are only juristic people who don't know the IT matter at all.

    They are saying there would be a software encryption on their site - there is none at all. Else you wouldn't see the start page for a few seconds. If it would be a software encryption, the user would have been redirected instantly without seeing any content.

    And as they are too lazy to implement a software encryption which loads a html page which only serves ads and adblock detection script and if ads are successfully loaded, it "decrypts" aka loads the normal content.
     
  13. avatar

    avatar Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    That's what makes me angry about the attempts to use copyright laws to regulate ad blocking, it simply is not applicable here.
     
  14. Blaz

    Blaz Moderator & Translator Moderator

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    Could you post a link in the first post to a list of currently affected site, so user would know, thank you.
     
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  15. avatar

    avatar Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Done
     
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  16. UMX

    UMX Member

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    <9gag mode>that's where you're wrong (mislead), kiddo</9gag mode>
    They correctly state "Die Programmcodes sind Vorrichtungen zur Umgehung wirksamer technischer Schutzmaßnahmen im Sinne des § 95a Abs. 3 UrhG. Sie dienen ausschließlich der Umgehung der Ad-Blocker-Erkennungssoftware der Antragstellerin.".

    @All: Please also consider legal risks/obligations resulting from "Störerhaftung". At least this forum should *not* contain/maintain/publish those rules. As Avatar mentioned: "it will cost us more than we can afford at the moment" to fight the resulting Abmahnung.
     
  17. jeriko

    jeriko New Member

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    Can anyone give me a tip, where i can find some custom filters for bild...

    I dont know where to search for it :/

    best regards
     
  18. wert33

    wert33 Member

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  19. Boo Berry

    Boo Berry Moderator + Beta Tester Moderator

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    That particular userscript/filter works best in the latest AdGuard for Windows 6.2 build.
     
  20. jeriko

    jeriko New Member

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    Im using adguard browser extension for chrome, unfortunately does not work. Is there any workaround yet? :)

    best regards