Adblocking Does Not Constitute Copyright Infringement, Court Rules

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Axel Springer has lost its copyright infringement lawsuit against Eyeo GmbH, the company behind Adblock Plus. The German publishing house, which owns the Bild and Die Welt brands, among others, claimed that adblockers interfere with the presentation of websites in browsers, thus breaching copyright. In a victory for Eyeo, the Hamburg District Court has dismissed the case.

In a statement published this morning, Eyeo says that it has repeatedly defended the rights of internet users, software developers and publishers and is happy that the decision represents a win for a free and secure internet.

“The Hamburg Regional Court sets an important precedent here: No company has the right to prohibit users from setting their own browser settings. The ruling also gives many companies the legal certainty they need to continue developing applications that change users’ lives for the better,” says Eyeo CEO Till Faida.

While the case is now dismissed, Axel Springer has already announced its intention to appeal the decision. That will take place before the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court which previously ruled on the Playstation Portable cheating case.