US Publishers Put Ad Blocking Company on Notice

Seventeen member companies of the Newspaper Association of America have sent a letter to ad blocker Brave Software notifying the company that, in their view, its plan to replace publishers’ ads on the publishers’ own websites and mobile applications with Brave’s own advertising “violates the law” and “publishers intend to fully enforce their rights.”

The signatories of the letter represent more than 1,200 newspapers in the United States.

“Brave’s proposed business model crosses legal and ethical boundaries, and should be viewed as illegal and deceptive by the courts, consumers and those who value the creation of content,” commented NAA chief executive David Chavern.

The publishers’ letter states: “Our sites and mobile applications provide news reporting, photojournalism, video content and feature writing that is researched, reported, edited and produced an extraordinary cost.

“Our industry spends more than $5 billion per year on reporting in the United States alone. We distribute that reporting online for free or at highly subsidized rates, in no small part due to revenue from online ads.”

“Brave should feel free to create its own content on its own platforms,” said Mr Chavern, but it should not “launch its own advertising business on the backs of our journalists, editors, technologists and other staff.”

The letter outlines ways in which the signatories consider the proposed business model would violate publishers’ rights to protect their trademarks and copyrighted content, and the remedies.