Axel Springer-Verlag: constitutional complaint against Adblocker rejected

The Axel Springer publishing house failed with a constitutional complaint against the permission of Adblockern. The complaint against a ruling of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) from April 2018 had not been adopted by the Federal Constitutional Court for a decision, informed the defendant Adblock Plus manufacturer Eyeo on Monday. The verdict is clear "that forced ads do not fall under the freedom of the press", it was said. That was the legal dispute "finally finished",

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  1. IQTIG – Institute for Quality Assurance and Transparency in Health Care, Berlin
  2. BWI GmbH, Nuremberg, Munich, Rheinbach

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) had seen in the offer of adblock Adblock Plus of the Cologne-based provider Eyeo no unfair competition and no unlawful aggressive business practice. "The use of the program lies in the autonomous decision of Internet users", the judges had justified their decision. The indirect impairment of the offer of the Axel Springer publishing house, which had complained against Eyeo, was not unfair.

The publishing lawyers had subsequently announced that they would file a constitutional complaint for encroaching on the fundamental right to press freedom. This complaint was dismissed by the Karlsruhe judges with a decision of 22 August 2019 without providing a justification (Ref .: 1 BvR 921/19).

However, the Axel Springer publishing house has already filed another lawsuit against Eyeo. He wants users to take the opportunity to influence the retrieval of website elements via their browser. The publisher sees in such a functioning of adblockers a violation of copyright and therefore filed in the spring of 2019 before the Hamburg district court a complaint. The procedure should serve "to clarify the basic technical features of ad blockers and their copyright intrusiveness", So far, this has not happened in any of the main proceedings regarding the ad blocker issue.