Newspapers try to block Brave browsers ad-substitution business model

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As ad blocking continues to gain traction among users its a growing concern for publishers though not yet an existential threat. The IAB has blasted certain ad blockers as a kind of protection racket.

Echoing which criticism is a Newspaper Association of America (NAA). Signed by representatives of 17 publishers, representing 1,200 newspapers, a NAA issued issued a cease as well as desist letter (embedded below) to ad-blocking browser Brave.

The trade group objected to what it saw as an attempt to use newspaper calm to sell Brave network ads which would then effectively be substituted for a newspaper companies own ads which had been blocked. Heres an excerpt from a NAA letter:

Your plan to use our calm to sell your promotion is indistinguishable from a plan to steal our calm to publish upon your own website. Your public statements demonstrate clearly which you intend to harness as well as exploit a calm of all a publishers upon a Web to sell your own promotion . . .

We stand ready to enforce all legal rights to protect our trademarks as well as copyrighted calm as well as to forestall you from mean action consumers as well as unlawfully appropriating our work in a service of your business. Unauthorized republication of our copyrighted calm to support Braves illegal promotion model violates protected rights of publishers under a Copyright Act as well as other laws.

Brave first launched in January of this year. It was developed by a team led by Brendan Eich, who co-founded Mozilla as well as created JavaScript. Brave has desktop as well as mobile versions for both iOS as well as Android. Braves promotion model is intended, according to a company, to be more privacy friendly as well as secure for consumers.

The NAA letter signatories objected to Braves intended ad-revenue-sharing plan as well as micropayments as token gestures which wont compensate them for a cost of calm creation. Brave responded to a NAA allegations in a post today.

The company makes a point-by-point refutation of a NAA charges. Audaciously, Brave also claims to be a solution, not a problem, for users as well as publishers. We provide speed, privacy, protection from malware, as well as a new, anonymous remuneration model which helps a whole industry as well as publishers in particular, compared to a status quo.

Indeed, a company sees itself as a better ad network rather than a calm pirate. But this is a matter of legal interpretation. And if there is litigation, which I suspect is coming, courts will determine whether ad blocking as well as associated ad-substitution have been a kind copyright or trademark infringement. This is a kind of thorny question which could generate multiple appeals as well as maybe reach a US Supreme Court.

According to a new consumer survey by Global Web Index a top five reasons for consumer ad blocking are:

  • Too many ads have been annoying or irrelevant
  • Ads take up too much space as well as get in a way
  • I think there have been too many ads upon a internet
  • I find online ads intrusive
  • I want to speed up a time it takes for things to load upon my mobile
  • Millennials as well as high-income earners have been a demographic segments most likely to use ad blockers according to comScore. A new survey from Digital Content Next (the former Online Publishers Association) found which 33 percent of US consumers were very likely or somewhat likely to try ad blocking program in a next three months.

    There have been various carrot as well as hang publisher approaches emerging to deal with ad blocking. The IAB outlined them in a new report, which assesses their risks as well as potential efficacy. However theres no one solution for a industry; it will need to employ a range of measures both carrots as well as sticks including creation ads better as well as less disruptive for users.

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