New copyrights tactics threaten to completely block ad-blockers
General | Aug 18, 2017 | Master3395
May be a serious blow to the industry.
Ad blockers, or ad-blockers, have been seriously affected by this week, because an anti-blocking company used US copyright to remove a domain from them.
Uses public lists for blockages
Ad Blockers use public lists to retrieve information about which advertisements and domains they want to block, but this new tactic can render these unusable.
This came true when Easylist, one of the most popular such online lists, received a so-called DMCA request to remove a domain from their list.
DCMA, or the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, is a U.S. law that was created as a result of the propagation of copyrighted material on the Internet - and it works because the proprietors of this copyrighted material may first require it to be removed from a website, And this can be done if this is not followed.
Be careful about what they add
The warning sent to the Easylist, driven by volunteers and having no particularly deep pockets, made them no choice but to remove the domain from the list to avoid legal action - and they have now become very careful about adding To new domains:
- The number of filters that have been added recently to Easylist has become very limited due to events like this. As list managers, we must be careful about what we add, writes Easylist at github.
Are domain names protected by copyright?
The question now is whether domain names are copyrighted so that other domains that are on such lists can use the same law to get them removed.
However, according to US Copyright.gov, domain names are not protected by copyright, as these are managed and distributed by ICANN.
The domain is used by anti-ad blockers
The domain mentioned is functionalclam.com, which contains a text that is used for copy protection and the code of anti-ad blocking company Admiral.
Admiral claims that the inclusion of their domain in Easylist is a method of "circumventing a technological method" to protect copyrighted material.
It is not clear what they mean by this or whether the actual inclusion of a domain name in a list may constitute a circumvention of a copy barrier - or if they claim that the domain name itself is protected, but it may set a precedent for other advertising domains in the future .
Therefore, among others, EFF has offered to assist Easylist with legal counsel in the matter.
It remains to be seen whether other advertising domains will use the same tactics.
Keywords: adblock, ads, copyright
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