Adblocking Year in Review:
- The most major event will have to be the EasyList DMCA one. An advertising company, Admiral, sent a DMCA notice to the EasyList authors via GitHub to remove their anti-adblock domain from the filter list and the notice was complied with. They claimed that blocking it circumvented their protection measures but many others argued that domain names don't fall under DMCA and it was a false/invalid notice.
Even the EFF were ready to support the EasyList authors fight against the notice. Though nothing followed and the domain is still removed from the list. It remains to be seen how this issue will evolve. (viewtopic.php?f=106&t=37797)
Many not so legal websites are the major ones using them (torrents, online streaming sites, etc.) but instances of legitimate websites using them have also emerged (such as the UFC website). Adblock filter lists were created to block these JS miners in response and uBlock has its own list that blocks them turned on by default now. (viewtopic.php?f=106&t=38230)
- Google announced plans to turn on adblocking by default in Chrome but it will only block advertisements that don't comply with the Coalition for Better Ads standards such as popups, full page ads etc. It will be rolled out next year. This is being seen as a major move in the advertising industry and many are up in arms about it, Chrome commands more than 50% of browser market share.
- Eyeo the company behind Adblock Plus once again won a case against adblocking and Adblock Plus brought out by media companies in Germany. It was, as in the previous cases, ruled that it is completely legal to block ads. In a similar case in the previous year this same ruling was upheld though it was ruled that Eyeo charging Axel Springer for whitelisting it was illegal. In contrast, the ruling this year held that the whitelisting is legal as well.
It was also held that anti adblocking by publishers was legal. Eyeo said that they "respect the publishers' settings and their decision" and that they do not circumvent paywalls. Possibly implying that they won't actively counter anti-adblocking walls. (
- Facebook's anti adblock actions earned it around $700 million by forcing ads on adblock users.(viewtopic.php?f=106&t=38969)
- Flattr an online donation/micropayments company was bought out by Eyeo.
- uBlock crossed 10 million users on Chrome (Chrome webstore does not show user numbers beyond that). It has around 4 million users on Firefox.
I believe this covers most of the adblocking events. I hope I didn't miss anything.