German Supreme Court Rules That Adblockers Are Legal

Fri, Apr 20, 2018

The German Supreme Court has published a press release (German) which explains the decision in a recent court case about the adblocking software AdBlock Plus. The digital publishing house Axel Springer, in Germany probably most known for its tabloid BILD which likes to publish fake news, sued the adblocking company behind AdBlock Plus, claiming its software is anticompetitive.

Luckily, the court did not see it that way and ruled that providing and using an adblocker is legal. One of those rare and important wins.

On a side note:

The BILD tabloid is a particularly nasty piece of crap made in Germany and its owner Axel Springer has already been sued numerous times for deffamation and the spreading of lies. They particularly like to focus on people that have to defend themselves in court and prejudge them before their case is even close to being ruled on. Even if they win their case, BILD might still keep on printing articles as if they had been found guilty. The most famous case, against the weather presenter Jörg Kachelmann, who was wrongfully accused of rape by his ex-wife (she was convicted herself for false accusations in the end), ended in BILD having to pay (German) 395,000 EUR to Kachelmann in damages. Note to readers from the US: For Germany this is actually quite a lot. We do not have punitive damages in law, only compensatory. Quite often you never get more than a few thousand EUR if you sue for damages. Those 395k are therefore pretty extreme by German court decision standards.