French publishers are reportedly planning to sue Eyeo, the makers of AdBlock Plus, over the upstart's practice of charging money to allow online adverts to pass through its filter software.
According to L'Echos, the lawsuit is being considered by the French Internet Advertising Bureau and GESTE, a French publishers and content creators group. GESTE said in a statement that it will "continue its legal consultations on the subject; no action is determined to date."
The crux of the problem doesn’t seem to be the AdBlock web browser plugin's abilities to zap adverts from appearing on pages, more the practice of pay for play. Adblock, and some other blocking software, will allow adverts to be shown in the browser for a fee, if they are deemed to be unobtrusive.
"We are one of the few blockers to offer a practical solution for publishers," said Ben Williams, spokesman for Adblock Plus. "It is a compromise that deserves to exist and we are always open to dialogue."
Software to block irritating (and thanks to Adobe Flash, insecure) advertising is undeniably popular with netizens, but is just as unpopular with those who depend on advertising revenues to survive. As soon as a new advertising mechanism is created, such as Facebook's Atlas, the advertising blockers adapt to block it.
Whether or not the French courts will side with advertisers remains to be seen, but it's clear the forces of advertising are getting increasingly peeved with those who interfere with their business model. ®