SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot PaulT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    140
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My Question is one of a strange nature, and will be difficult to word correctly.

    Basically, in some circumstances can ad-blocking programs be considered illegal?

    If, in a web-site's user policy they state that ad-blocking programs are not allowed on their site, is it therefore true that they can be illegal?

    For example, in effect, every time a user visits your site they are paying for the privelige (by a CPM ad-campaign). So, if they block those ads, they are therefore not paying for the privelidge, and are using the site for free, so in effect they are "stealing". And by using the ad-blocking programs they are carrying out this action.

    It's a strange sort of point i've made, but I believe it holds some validity in it? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.
    Paul Tomlinson
    SimRacingWorld Network - http://www.simracingworld.com
    SimRacingWorld - Advertise

  2. #2
    Bimbo With A Brain! silver trophy Saz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Kent, United Kingdom
    Posts
    5,275
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well I would say it's illegal to run an ad blocker program if you're using a 'free' site whereby the hosts require you to run their ads for them.

    Basically, the reason they are able to offer free webspace is because other companies pay to have their advertising banners on their sites.
    Saz: Naturally Blonde, Naturally Dizzy!
    No longer Editor of the Community Crier.

    Don't mind me, I'm having a BLONDE moment!

  3. #3
    Not Bad, eh? Justin Sampson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    N.S., Canada
    Posts
    487
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I never thoguth of it that way.

    Like Saz249 said, if you block a free ISP banners it's illegal, I don't see what the differnce was long as you put a link to your TOS stating that you are not aloud to brows the site with one.

    Good point there

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot PaulT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    140
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah, it was just a thought which crossed my mind...

  5. #5
    Idea Developer
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Bethlehem, PA
    Posts
    521
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think they are legal, its like ripping comercials out of a magazine, who cares.

  6. #6
    Bimbo With A Brain! silver trophy Saz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Kent, United Kingdom
    Posts
    5,275
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think you'll find that the hosts care!

    If all the people who use them to host their sites suddenly started running ad-blocking programs, they'd find themselves in big time trouble with the companies who had paid to advertise.

    Basically, if you want to run a site without banner ads all over the place, do what the rest of us do and pay!!
    Saz: Naturally Blonde, Naturally Dizzy!
    No longer Editor of the Community Crier.

    Don't mind me, I'm having a BLONDE moment!

  7. #7
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Halmstad, Sweden
    Posts
    7,400
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    And here we go again.

    There was, once upon a time, a webmaster who called himself GiantSausage83. He owned a website which was pretty popular. As time went on, GiantSausage83 needed more advertising to "survive", and thus implemented the new IAB banner standards, the 240x400 version. He also added a popup window. This banner covered up 30% of most of his visitors screens, some simply stopped visiting his site, but some people, heaven forbid, started blocking them.

    GiantSausage83 was furious - How COULD THEY! But as GiantSausage83 was a very cunning webmaster, he made a small link at the bottom of his website, saying that the visitors were breaking the law by using an ad blocker.

    He didn't realize that his ad banners were becoming obtusive enough to disturb visitors seriously, and make them download ad blockers. It was he, not the evil visitors that caused ad-blocking in the first place.

    What did he do?
    Did he adapt and choose adverts that were more less obtrusive and more informative and targeted? No.

    He did what every sane webmaster would have done when his revenues drop - he started sending visitors to jail. As visitors found out, they stopped visiting, of course, and went to other sources of information.

    </story> The Internet is about information. In Civilization II: Call to Power, it is decribed as "a collection of humankinds knowledge", which it will probably become, in time. If everyone starts to charge money for what they know, I'm getting off the Internet for good. Do I need to tell the story about Mother Earth, who started to charge for oxygen? "It was hers, after all!"

    My point here is:
    Ad blockers are not, and will never become an issue unless ads themselves become an issue.
    Nowadays, ads are really not that annoying - a banner, and perhaps a popup. However, with flash animated 240x400 which cover up 30% of a 800x600 display and almost half of a 640x480 display, people will start to make a stand, and download themselves an adblocker - no doubt about it. You cant keep punching someone in the face! You may get away with a little slap or two, but sooner or later they will hit back.

    At that point, Webmasters likely will divide into two teams - Doers and Whiners. (Like artists do with Napster) The doers will start turning to alternative means of advertising, like CJ, SI and even more innovative systems of revenue. The whiners will be the ANNOYING SUING IDIOTS that takes legal action against the very people that made their website popular in the first place - the visitors. Whatever happened to "Don't bite the hand that feeds you"?

    Oh yeah, the ad blocker people will get sued, of course, but eventually, a free open surce blocker will roam the internet free for everyone to download, alternatively som any commercial versions that you simply can's sue them all.

    Ooops - sorry for the long rant.
    Last edited by M. Johansson; Apr 3, 2001 at 23:35.
    Mattias Johansson
    Short, Swedish, Web Developer

    Buttons and Dog Tags with your custom design:
    FatStatement.com

  8. #8
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    22
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    And then if you only have a single high paying banner and no other ways of afvertising then this banner will be blocked anyway. Life sucks...

  9. #9
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Halmstad, Sweden
    Posts
    7,400
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    yes.

    Originally posted by Tox
    And then if you only have a single high paying banner and no other ways of afvertising then this banner will be blocked anyway. Life sucks...
    Yup - indeed. All webmasters will take the hit, regardless of wheter you use the banners or not. The only alternative is to move away from banners. ...which may be what is the grand meaning with all ad-market going-to-heck business.
    Mattias Johansson
    Short, Swedish, Web Developer

    Buttons and Dog Tags with your custom design:
    FatStatement.com

  10. #10
    Idea Developer
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Bethlehem, PA
    Posts
    521
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by Tox
    And then if you only have a single high paying banner and no other ways of afvertising then this banner will be blocked anyway. Life sucks...
    I think ad blockers are legal, I run an advertising based site, and totally agree with you.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Zealot Podge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Dublin, Ireland
    Posts
    156
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    "Illegal" to me means breaking an actual law. I doubt that violating a websites Terms & Conditions could be considered a crime.

    I'm sure that you could bring a civil suit against violaters but it would be very difficult to prove / win.


    As for advertising, one thing I have learned.

    Have multiple income streams. Don't rely on one banner agency / affiliate or whatever. If they choose not to pay or go bust then you are rightly in the soup.
    Padraic Lavin

    Advertising Free Message Boards $5/mo
    Instant Setup. ForumCo.com

  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast Michael-from-Earth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Springfield, IL
    Posts
    34
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by necrominator
    I think they are legal, its like ripping comercials out of a magazine, who cares.
    Ahh, but you have usually paid for the magazine! You can do whatever you want with it!

    As far as ad blocking in relation to free hosting or free Internet access, I think that is definitely illegal! In those types of situations you *must* agree to their terms when you sign up for the service. Breach of Contract, end of story! Also, as a side note, I don't think it's ethical if you're getting free hosting or Internet access to try to block the ads! Yes they are very annoying, but theses companies are providing a service and the ads are their way of recouping the costs. If you don't like the ads, pay for the services!

    Now, as far as simple browsing of the Internet goes...

    Well, first of all I have never heard of any programs that can block for instance... banner ads on a static HTML page.

    I would say that, if possible, it would be legal. How would web sites enforce such rules limiting this! It would be very hard indeed! And, if you think about it, they would probably still be paid by the advertiser for an impression, so they still get what they want! (of course this doesn't allow for click through based ads)

    The point is, I don't think you are obligated to view ads just to pay for the privilege of surfing a web site.

    Tip: If you don't want to see graphic ads, use a text based browser!

    Regards,
    Michael

  13. #13
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Halmstad, Sweden
    Posts
    7,400
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well, first of all I have never heard of any programs that can block for instance... banner ads on a static HTML page.
    Whoa - you are ignorant, man! (or ironic) Go and test WebWasher

    It can rip out everything that is ads - flash, applets, banners.. you name it. It can even remove whole frames from a site if they are suspected of being advertising. A fine piece of software, if I may say so myself. Too bad it has the potential of cutting your revenues. Only like 0.000003% use them, however - and it cannot really be considered a threat, unless ads for some reason start to annoy people - like I said in my previous post (read: rant).
    Mattias Johansson
    Short, Swedish, Web Developer

    Buttons and Dog Tags with your custom design:
    FatStatement.com

  14. #14
    SitePoint Enthusiast Michael-from-Earth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Springfield, IL
    Posts
    34
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by truelight
    Whoa - you are ignorant, man! (or ironic)
    I never said they didn't exist. I said I had never heard of them. I have never felt I needed to go out and find a blocking program for things that are so easily ignored!

    One definition of ignorant is: lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified

    Maybe I should have said: I am ignorant of their existance.

    -Michael

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    64
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hey, there is also a discussion here about "ad banner blocking" software.

    It starts off on the third post

  16. #16
    ********* Callithumpian silver trophy freakysid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    3,798
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I propose to you that most web surfers are using ad blocking software. In fact the software itself predates the world wide web and has come pre-installed on all consumer systems for as long as I know of.

    I am talking here of the hardware system that exists between your ears. The software is known to psychiatrists and wifes as "selective attention". Humans sensory perception is designed to discriminate between what is signal (important information) and what is noise. Our perception naturally adapts its noise filters to the environment. Thus people who live near railroads or busy streets don't hear any noise when they sleep.

    The same has happened with banner advertising. People just don't take any notice of banner ads anymore. They sub-consciously ignore them. The CTR rates of the 90s were achieved due to the internet's novelty. The internet was "new media". However, consumers have adapted and banner advertising will never again see the CTRs of the early years.

    This is a contempory problem in advertising in general. Our build environment is so cluttered with advertising that it too is loosing its effectiveness. Advertisers have to look more and more at alternative and more subliminal methods of promotion. This can be seen in the rise of sports sponsorship in the 1990s. Alas, even sport is now losing its cultural meaning, when so many sporting events are just commercially sponsored entertainment events designed to attract an audience to view wall to wall sponsorship placements and mentions.

    Argh, but now I'm ranting...

    Web publishers, as others have already argued need to be far more inventive and plain sensible about how to drive click throughs. People visit web sites in the hope of finding information they need to solve some "problem". The fundamental advantage of the internet as a means of navigating information is its hyper-linked nature. Webmasters need to remember this simple fact which to truely appreciate you need to read this.

    That's my two cents worth
    Last edited by freakysid; Apr 9, 2001 at 08:03.

  17. #17
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Halmstad, Sweden
    Posts
    7,400
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Amen, brother!

    Ads must be more informative, targeted and relevant!

    That's my word, the the first and the last.
    Last edited by M. Johansson; Apr 9, 2001 at 07:43.
    Mattias Johansson
    Short, Swedish, Web Developer

    Buttons and Dog Tags with your custom design:
    FatStatement.com

  18. #18
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    64
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by freakysid
    Webmasters need to remember this simple fact which to truely appreciate you need to read this.
    Hey, that's a blind link!

    Just kidding , I know it was meant for a purpose, but that also brings me to another point. Blind links are another reason the click-through and effectiveness of internet ads have decreased. Users do not trust internet ads as much as they used to because of all the times they were tricked. When you click on an ad, you hope to receive the information advertised. Many times, that does not happen.

    When a user is tricked two times he will not go for it the third time (at least a normal person ), which causes him to completely ignore further internet ads.


    PS - I was really hoping freakysid's link actually did contain some useful information


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •