Adblock Plus Offers Its First Viewing Of Micropayments System, Whitelists Ads

Adblock Plus offered the first viewing of its micropayments system. What’s not immediately apparent though is how the site plans to fund the system. The company has been less than public about how the system will be funded.

Real-Time Daily reported that Adblock Plus hasn’t named the source of the funding for the system. It may come from redirecting revenues from companies that have paid to get white listed by Adblock Plus. In return, the company won’t block the ads of the white listed companies.

Adblock Plus spokesman Ben Williams said that the company had begun reaching out to publishers worldwide so that they could open their sites to receive the funds. Adblock Plus hasn’t disclosed how users will fund payments, but Williams alluded to using the site Flattr so that it can disperse the funds to content creators. Flattr already offers a platform for consumers to pay publishers directly through Flattr Plus.

The Financial Times reported that news websites are moving to prevent users from using ad blockers on their websites. The New York Times greeted visitors with the message, “the best things in life aren’t free.” They explained in the message that the advertising is used to fund journalism and offered two options to visitors: disable their ad blocking software or pay for a subscription.

Angry internet users took to Reddit and Twitter to express their frustration. One user said that the ads weren’t okay.

“It’s not OK to show me ads that detract from your website design and make it ugly.”

In spite of user complaints, many newspaper sites are pushing ahead to prevent ad blockers like Adblock Plus from working on their sites. For many years, news sites were powerless to stop the ad blockers because ads were served from third party sites. Since then, these sites have determined that by serving both ads and content from the same server, it prevents their visitors from blocking the ads.

Computer World India reported that German publisher Axel Springer won its court battle against ad blocking services like Adblock Plus. Axel Springer had been working to get ad blocking software like Adblock Plus ruled in the courts as being illegal. The move by the publisher was the result of being fed up with having its ads blocked and users to the site getting a free ride. Axel Springer’s efforts were largely unsuccessful against software company Eyeo until the Higher Regional Court of Cologne ruled that Eyeo couldn’t charge Axel Springer when its ads were whitelisted.

Eyeo’s Ben Williams said that because of the size of Axel Springer, normally the company would have to pay to have its ads whitelisted. He also said that certain ads could be whitelisted for free.

“If Springer brings us ads to whitelist, and these fit our criteria, we’ll whitelist them for free just like the other 90 percent of the companies on our whitelist.”

Claas-Hendrik Soehring, head of content and commercial law for Axel Springer, said that it sends a clear message to companies like Eyeo and Adblock Plus.

“The court decision sends a clear signal to ad blockers. We will not accept illegal interferences with our constitutionally guaranteed freedom in designing media products — in particular, the ‘cutting out’ of ads from our digital media offerings.”

No word has been given yet as to how ad blockers like Adblock Plus will respond to the changes in ad blocking. Axel Springer plans to take it to the German Supreme Court if necessary to stop the use of ad blockers on its sites.

[Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images]