Adblocking Declared 100 Percent Legal By German Courts

German courts have declared the use of adblocking, the art of using tools in your web browser to block advertising on websites, 100 percent legal following a four-month trial.

It was two German companies, Zeit Online GmbH and Handelsblatt GmbH, who brought the case against adblock vendor Adblock Plus (ABP) in Hamburg. The lawsuit charged that Adblock Plus and its parent company Eyeo should not be allowed to block ads on websites owned by the plaintiffs. Adblock Plus said the accusers sought an “injunctive relief”, called “Unterlassungsanspruch” in German.


The Hamburg judge ruled against the plaintiffs and in favor of Adblock Plus. Adblock Plus said that the decision aids in “upholding the right of Adblock Plus users everywhere to continue to block annoying ads and protect their privacy”.

Adblock’s software was already legal, but the decision by the German courts will likely set a precedent on future cases brought against Adblock Plus and its rivals.

In a statement, Adblock Plus said: “We are extremely happy with the decision reached today by the Hamburg regional court. This is a victory for every single Internet user because it confirms each individual’s right to block annoying ads, protect their privacy and, by extension, determine his or her own Internet experience. It is living proof of the unalienable right of every user to enjoy online self-determination.”

In February, ABP was accused of receiving payments from the likes of Google, Microsoft and Amazon to allow adverts to slip through Adblock’s software.

Internet giants Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Taboola have reportedly paid AdBlock Plus to allow their ads to pass through its filter software. A source told the Financial Times that Adblock has been pocketing up to 30 percent of the ad revenues for ads that it filters through its software from the web companies.

Take our Google quiz here!

Ben Sullivan

Ben covers web and technology giants such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft and their impact on the cloud computing industry, whilst also writing about data centre players and their increasing importance in Europe. He also covers future technologies such as drones, aerospace, science, and the effect of technology on the environment.

Recent Posts

Hackers ‘Publish Walt Disney Internal Slack Data’

Hackers reportedly publish data from thousands of Disney internal Slack communications, including data on strategy…

10 hours ago

Apple Shares Reach All-Time High On AI Optimism

Apple shares surge after Morgan Stanley rates company 'top pick' over AI plans and says…

11 hours ago

Musk Confirms Robotaxi Delay For Design Change

Elon Musk confirms delay of Tesla robotaxi launch as company's shares surge after he publicly…

11 hours ago

Silicon UK In Focus Podcast: The Value of Data

Discover the transformative power of data in our latest podcast. Learn how leveraging data can…

12 hours ago

Smartphone Market Recovery Heading For ‘Slow, Steady Growth’

Global smartphone market shows growth for third consecutive quarter as it recovers from weakest year…

12 hours ago

Huawei Completes Massive $1.4bn R&D Campus With ‘100 Cafes’

Huawei Technologies completes work on massive centralised R&D campus as it seeks to develop domestic…

12 hours ago