DMCA removes domain from popular adblocking list

Easylist is a popular adblocking list that is used by browser extensions to block advertisement on websites visited in the browser.

As the name suggests already, EasyList is just a list of domain names that websites are blocked from making connections to. So, instead of contacting an ad server to download an ad from it, the connection is blocked.

EasyList is hosted on GitHub, and as such all of the lists that are maintained by the project are accessible by anyone.

A recent commit to the list saw the removal of a domain from it. The reason given was "removed due to DMCA takedown request", and the line in question that was removed was ||functionalclam.com^$third-party.

easylist removed

The commit did not reveal more information, but a blog post on Adguard shed some light on the issue. According to the article there, the domain was added 25 days ago to Easylist.

The domain in question belongs to a startup called Admiral. Admiral offers anti-adblocking solutions that include analytics and revenue recovery services.

The DMCA notice states that "The code in question attempts to circumvent copyright access controls to copyrighted content on the site" (that is functionalclam.com).



The notice is therefore about circumvention of a publisher's paywall, and not about the use of the domain name in the list as some sites reported.

Admiral published a blog post that explains the company's reasoning. It comes down to the following points:

  • The domain in question is not an ad server.
  • The domain is used by Admiral to prevent the circumvention of paywalls.
  • The company believes that circumvention is not the primary mission of adblockers, and that it is not an "ok" thing to do.
  • Admiral asked the list maintainers to remove the content when it was added.
Read also:  Pale Moon 27 changes announced

The EasyList maintainers complied with the request as it feared that failure to do so would put "the Easylist repo in jeopardy". They appear to agree with the removal of the filter from the list, as they state.

If it is a Circumvention/Adblock-Warning adhost, it should be removed from Easylist even without the need for a DMCA request.

The response was overwhelmingly against the removal of the domain from the list. Other lists have added Admiral domains, and a user created a browser extension called BarbBlock that blocks domains that were removed from adblocking lists based on DMCA notices.

A good read on the topic of adblockers potentially violating DMCA can be found here.

Now You: What's your take on this?

Summary
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DMCA removes domain from popular adblocking list
Description
A recent commit to the list saw the removal of a domain from it. The reason given was "removed due to DMCA takedown request".
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Responses to DMCA removes domain from popular adblocking list

  1. Anonymous August 13, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

    So we could just include "||functionalclam.com^$third-party" in ublock Origin's My filters tab to block this domain, right?

    • Martin Brinkmann August 13, 2017 at 7:03 pm #

      uBlock is blocking this already, try opening the domain ;)

      • Jojo August 13, 2017 at 7:28 pm #

        Not blocking for me. The webpage puts up an image file with three sections: About this domain; Requests to this domain; and Security;

      • Martin Brinkmann August 13, 2017 at 7:33 pm #

        My Chrome uBlock Origin does. I'm not sure if I enabled more lists though. Peter Lowe's list blocks this, you can enable it in the Settings.

      • Anonymous August 13, 2017 at 9:11 pm #

        Yeah mine wasn't blocking it even after adding Peter Lowe's list.
        I enabled "hpHosts’ Ad and tracking servers" and now it blocks the domain.

      • Richard Allen August 13, 2017 at 9:40 pm #

        Chrome Dev, Chrome stable, Vivaldi, Pale Moon and Nightly, all using uBlock, all connected to functionalclam until I manually forced an update specifically on Peter Lowe's list. With FF stable I had added [* functionalclam.com * block] to My Rules yesterday or the day before. Because I've been mostly using FF, Peter Lowe's list ended up already being updated. Every once in a while I will backup My Rules and My Filters and import them into the other browsers.

        I'm using the default lists in uBO, which I think includes Peter Lowe's list. I've added the Malvertising filter list by Disconnect, Fanboy's annoyance list and small lists for YT and FB.

        This game of hide and seek will never end.

    • Tom Hawack August 13, 2017 at 9:33 pm #

      If you're using uBlock origin you can add the dedicated BarbBlock filter list {https://ssl.bblck.me/BarbBlock.txt]
      in uBlockO / Dashboard / Custom -> "One URL per line [...]

      The Admiral took a dangerous decision for his fleet.

      Nice article, Martin. All the essential info is there, I discovered BarbBlock because many lists are available on the Web, having one central repository is helpful, hoping the list is as complete as possible and updated if/when applicable.

      • Richard Allen August 13, 2017 at 9:54 pm #

        Thanks Tom.

      • steve August 13, 2017 at 10:57 pm #

        Just add to Adguard. Thanks

      • Anonymous August 14, 2017 at 1:28 am #

        First time I have done that, thanks

      • Mark Hazard August 14, 2017 at 1:51 am #

        Thanks Tom ( and Martin).

    • D August 14, 2017 at 4:22 am #

      I concur with Martin. Peter Lowe's list is still blocking functionalclam's site at time of writing.

  2. ams August 13, 2017 at 7:20 pm #

    FYI, a related discussion at reddit:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/uBlockOrigin/comments/6swfvi/ad_domain_taken_down_from_easylist_due_to_dmca/

    Another related discussion at ycombinator:
    https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14981733

    a related project:
    https://gitlab.com/xuhaiyang1234/AAK-Cont#anti-adblock-killer-continued

    ==========
    "The response was overwhelmingly against the removal of the domain from the list. Other lists have added Admiral domains"

    We can expect the reaction to functionalclam's aggression will further escalate. Their action has essentially painted a crosshairs on any/all domains owned by, or affiliated with, their "known-to-be-adversarial" brand.

  3. JSB August 13, 2017 at 7:21 pm #

    My take on this? Pffft. Any company that I discover trying to pull this type of cr...MANEUVER...will instantly be added to my lists manually. Let 'em try to DMCA that.

    In fact, I'd welcome a new adblocking list that specifically tracks websites that issue DMCA takedown requests to other adblocking lists!

    If you publish something on the web, it's there for me to see unless you password protect it. It's also there for me to see in any way I want. If I want to see it upside down, in different colors, or with a filter to remove certain content like ads, that's my option. Think you can force me to do otherwise? Hah! Think I should only be able to view your website in it's original colors? I'll put on green tinted glasses! Only right side up? I'll turn my monitor upside down! Ads on the right hand side of the screen? I'll put my hand up over that side of the screen!

    • Anonymous August 14, 2017 at 1:39 am #

      Because this is Sparta, I think.

    • Foogle of skies August 14, 2017 at 8:54 am #

      As Martin already said, there actually is an add-on/filter list that does exactly what you want: https://github.com/paulgb/BarbBlock

      • Nico August 14, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

        I have seen this list of domains on several places on the net (and I will add it to my hosts file),
        but it seems incomplete...
        There are many more!

        See: https://github.com/paulgb/BarbBlock/issues/4/#issuecomment-322018147
        and:
        https://github.com/reek/anti-adblock-killer/pull/2502#issuecomment-277863986

      • Tom Hawack August 14, 2017 at 4:48 pm #

        @Nico, good you point out the fact a list, and BarbBlock's, may not be complete. Indeed many domain lists exist, IP lists as well, all aiming to "blocks requests to sites which have used legal threats to remove themselves from other blacklists" ... or more than that only? Always tough to determine was accurately corresponds to a quest ("blocks requests to sites which have used legal threats to remove themselves from other blacklists") without risking to miss nor to get off the track of the initial condition.

        totof's comment on the linked-page you provide is most interesting.
        Whatever, seems this blocking quest is a work in progress. So many sites resume to the famous page first discovered with functionalclam.com, the exact same page, that I get to wonder how many sites share this. Phenomenal. I'd consider IP ranges, but on what criteria, with what valid sources, one needs top-level information for that, right now looks like one domain added after another, with the risk of mistakes. What a pain.

  4. CHEF-KOCH August 13, 2017 at 8:09 pm #

    I build the lists for uBlock/uMatrix/ScriptSafe,... user here to avoid installing another addon:
    https://github.com/CHEF-KOCH/BarbBlock-filter-list

    • Martin Brinkmann August 13, 2017 at 9:05 pm #

      Thanks!

    • Tom Hawack August 13, 2017 at 9:36 pm #

      The original is [https://ssl.bblck.me/BarbBlock.txt] of course.

      • David August 14, 2017 at 6:18 am #

        Thank you!

    • Paul(us) August 13, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

      First of all, Thanks for the work Chef-Koch to build a clean list.
      The question from me to you concerns the Ublock list.
      Would you be so kind to explain to me where the directories are installed where I have to install or overwrite in main Firefox 57 - and also Google Chrome dictionaries and do you also know the location and names of those directories?

    • JSB August 13, 2017 at 11:54 pm #

      Cool! Thanks!

    • Tony August 14, 2017 at 3:24 am #

      Added all their domains to my host file list.

  5. Nebulus August 13, 2017 at 8:30 pm #

    Every one of these stunts convinces me that blocking ads and fighting against online advertising in general is the right choice.

    • JV August 15, 2017 at 3:50 am #

      Agree- the slimy tactics of these companies make me appreciate adblockers even more now, not less.
      This benefits no one since it's not like we were ever going to click on their ads in the first place.
      Their attempts at trying to force users to see their ads is only going to backfire.

  6. Bobzer August 13, 2017 at 8:44 pm #

    Added this to my hosts file, thanks.

  7. Ross Presser August 13, 2017 at 8:46 pm #

    I'm for ad blocking. It makes my browsing far more comfortable.

    I'm okay with anti-adblocking. If I see a message saying "you can't view this content unless you turn off adblock" ... I throw up my hands and don't view the content. I haven't lost anything -- I didn't see any ads. They haven't lost any revenue from me either. Bye now.

    I don't want to see adblock/antiadblock turn into an arms race, but that's the way it's starting to look. I'm sad about that.

    FWIW, I use Adblock, not Adblock Plus. I'm not positive but I don't think it makes use of Easylist at all.

    • Richard Allen August 14, 2017 at 12:59 am #

      @Ross Presser
      "I'm not positive but I don't think it makes use of Easylist at all." It does. It also, by default, opts you into the Acceptable Ads program. I didn't want to install it in Firefox so I installed it in Chrome. Way back when, I used AdBlock in Chrome and ABP in FF. I installed it because I couldn't remember for sure ALL of the lists it included. I started using uBO in everything when it first became available on github for Firefox.

      Every ad/content blocker that I've looked at uses more cpu and memory than uBlock, which is One of the reasons so many use it. Then, after you factor in it's additional capabilities it's an unfair comparison. Since I had just installed AdBlock in Chrome I took the opportunity to compare memory use. I enabled one, disabled the other, did a browser restart, loaded five tabs. I'm thinking I made the right choice back when. Just saying. Peace! ;)
      https://s4.postimg.org/cdgpzo74t/Suggested_Ad_Block_Config.png
      https://s17.postimg.org/g2h0bol6n/Ad_Block_Memory_Usage.png
      https://s2.postimg.org/gye5e4kjt/u_Block_Memory_Usage.png

    • gorhill August 16, 2017 at 8:39 pm #

      AdBlock does make use of EasyList.

      Also, little known fact: AdBlock filtering engine is actually Adblock Plus' filtering engine.

  8. Anonymous August 13, 2017 at 8:49 pm #

    Admiral, another company pretending to be Zorro just playing Sergent Garcia. Be courageous people on Easylist, long live to you! For ages with some other lists you are my only anti-adware, anti-bloatware, anti-malware, anti-virus, anti-sites wanting to see me naked etc.

  9. Yuliya August 13, 2017 at 9:15 pm #

    >Now You: What's your take on this?
    0.0.0.0 functionalclam.com
    And a big FU to every company trying this kind of things on people. I hope MVPS will include this domain by default in the next release.

  10. Tom Hawack August 13, 2017 at 11:12 pm #

    While we're in the scope of ad-blocking, perhaps this may interest some of us:

    1- Revealed: The naughty tricks used by web ads to bypass blockers
    [https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/08/11/ad_blocker_bypass_code/]

    The article mentions new techniques used by anti-adblocker companies to circumvent ad-blockers, and mentions a most naughty one which happens to concern more particularly Chromium-based browsers. The article mentions an extra tool brought to Chromium users by uBlock Origin ...

    2- uBO-Extra: A companion extension to uBlock Origin

    "The extension is useful only for Chromium-based browsers. There is no need for such an extension so far on Firefox, and thus there is no version for Firefox." at [https://github.com/gorhill/uBO-Extra]

    When will this rumba end?

    • Richard Allen August 14, 2017 at 12:54 am #

      Good find Tom! I've been using uBO Extra for some time now in Chromium browsers, because of what is mentioned in the article., WebSocket connections.

      • Tom Hawack August 14, 2017 at 1:20 am #

        You may know that there is a Firefox add-on called 'WebSocket Disabler' at [https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/websocket-disabler/] which allows disabling Websockets :

        "As of Firefox 35+, the ability to disable WebSockets through about:config has been removed. This add-on restores the ability to disable WebSockets by removing the WebSocket constructor from the window object. An item is added to the Web Developer menu to toggle this feature."

        AMO blocks its install for browsers detected as incompatible ('WebSocket Disabler' stated to work with Firefox 29.0 - 39.* ) but I can tell you that it runs fine here on FF-ESR-52.3. AMO lets itself easily tricked by a modified User-Agent, which can be done with the 'Configuration Mania' add-on / Browser / User-Agent. I use "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:37.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/37.0" because I like that number, lol!

        Glad to know uBO-Extra runs fine and... hum ... we Firefox users don't need it (yet?) !!

      • Derreck August 14, 2017 at 1:42 am #

        "Yet ?"

        WebSockets can be controlled by WebExtensions, according to Gorhill no functionality will be lost after Firefox 57 vs legacy uBlock Origin :)

      • Pants August 14, 2017 at 2:00 am #

        @Tom

        Have you tested and played with values for
        - network.websocket.max-connections
        - network.websocket.max-message-size
        - and even timeout prefs

        Note: this will not affect service workers

        Do you have a test website

      • Richard Allen August 14, 2017 at 3:39 am #

        Correction...WebSocket connections AND WebRTC connections. SMH

        FF doesn't need uBO Extra.

      • Tom Hawack August 14, 2017 at 12:49 pm #

        @Pants, I haven't tested with the values you mention. Do you mean that modifying them could disable Websockets all the same as the 'WebSocket Disabler' add-on I mentioned, such as:
        - network.websocket.max-connections -> set to 0 ?
        - network.websocket.max-message-size -> set to 0 ?

        I could do that and try, indeed, but not being an expert I admit relying in this case on the add-on.

        A test website? One dedicated to Websockets for instance, Websocket.org :

        Firefox-ESR-52.3.0 with the 'WebSocket Disabler' 0.1.3 add-on,
        Test performed : Websocket.org Echo Test at [https://www.websocket.org/echo.html]

        Websockets-disabled : [http://hpics.li/abea556]
        Websockets-enabled : [http://hpics.li/49eabfc]

        As you can see, the add-on is efficient. Now, as I said I'm no expert so please don't ask me to elaborate on Webextensions and on this test. I'm only trying as always to join my ignorance to savvy efficiency.

      • I see dead people August 14, 2017 at 4:51 pm #

        @Tom

        Your customization makes it hard to recognize it is a browser at first glance, fun! Which add-on(s) is (are) responsible for this appearance ?

        I don't understand the need to disable Websocket on Firefox but that doesn't matter, my curiosity is elsewhere!

      • Tom Hawack August 14, 2017 at 5:39 pm #

        @I see dead people,
        "Which add-on(s) is (are) responsible for this appearance [my "thing" which happens to be a browser, Firefox, yeah!] ?

        A blend of two add-ons, 'Classic Theme Restorer' and 'Hide Caption Titlebar Plus" with styles, simple CSS managed here with the 'Stylish' add-on.

        The general idea is to combine quick access to often used buttons with a maximum free screen space. I have about 70 add-ons, also several 'Custom Buttons", I want quick and visible access, I redesign many of the buttons' icons because with a non excellent view I fatigue to find them (given their amount!). I dislike icons crafted as a piece of art, nice with at least a 64pixel resolution, hardly visible other than a dark or white mess in 16px.

        Anyway, you've understood I like to have things (at least those I use a lot, i.e. a browser) fit to my wishes and needs. But I agree, for the non-initiated, the GUI is a mystery at first sight and an unidentified computing object when used ... my neighbor when here on the PC wonders if he hasn't landed on Mars : it definitely is far from what is known of browsers' interface. It's my creation and, like Frankenstein, "it lives" :) LOL

        Many more under-the-hood home-made facilities on this browser, but explaining them all would defeat the most challenging minds!

      • I see dead people August 15, 2017 at 1:57 am #

        I like it, you even got rid of the minimize / maximize / close buttons. This thing lives and it doesn't want to die, I would unplug the computer before going to sleep if I were you... I would also name it Georges, because I'm pretty sure it goes for the throat.

        But seeing this kind of proves me that I can get used to various types of UI. Not all, but not necessarily only mine either.

        I hope you can get yourself something satisfying if you ever update to a Firefox version above 57. We can already use CSS styles to tweak the UI and change button icons and colors. But it sounds like such a custom setup will take some time to approximate, so many things to tweak, not to mention an amount of add-ons I was unable to compute.

  11. Scott August 14, 2017 at 12:22 am #

    Added functionalclam.com and a wild card to both of my DNS servers, Thanks for pointing out this scumbag.

    You also may want to lookup how to stop WebRTC I heard they also use this like other scumbags to bypass blocks

  12. someone August 14, 2017 at 12:43 am #

    Thank you Martin Brinkmann for bringing this to our attention & paulgb for rising up against the tyranny and creating BarbBlock filter list. Fuck the power!

  13. Chryss August 14, 2017 at 1:47 am #

    Sorry to ask this here, but has anyone found a good alternative for self destructing cookies since FF 55 marks its end?

    • Korea August 14, 2017 at 1:58 am #

      Cookie Autodelete. Due to a bug solved in Firefox 57 it cannot access local storage at the moment though.

      I use Cookie Controller, which works in 55 and probably 56. It doesn't auto-delete cookies but it controls local storage just fine in 55.

    • Korea August 14, 2017 at 1:59 am #

      Cookie Autodelete. Due to a bug solved in Firefox 57 it cannot access local storage at the moment though.

      I use Cookie Controller, which works in 55 and probably 56. It doesn't auto-delete cookies but it controls local storage just fine in 55.

    • Rick A. August 14, 2017 at 3:57 am #

      Cookie Deleting Extensions:

      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/cookie-autodelete/ - Web Extension.

      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/cookie-sweep/ - Web Extension.

      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/lowcarb/ - Web Extension.

      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/ecleaner-forget-button/ - Web Extension.

      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/clear-cache-and-data/ - Not a Web Extension but will be made into a Web Extension. i was using this one but it doesn't work in Firefox 55 until he updates it. i'm gonna test the other ones as i know at least 2 or 3 other extensions have cookie delete buttons.

      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/clear-console/ - Not a Web Extension and is probably abandoned.

      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/cookies-exterminator/ - Not a Web Extension.

      https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/self-destructing-cookies/ - Not a Web Extension.

      i prefer extensions and add-ons that place a button-(preferably a one click button) on my toolbar to delete all cookies, i currently don't care about whitelists/blacklists.

    • Anonymous August 14, 2017 at 3:59 am #

      try Cookie AutoDelete, seems to be similar

    • owburp August 14, 2017 at 4:07 am #

      Take a look at Cookie AutoDelete. The author says his WebExtension is inspired by Self Destructing Cookies.

    • Pants August 14, 2017 at 4:14 am #

      Note: cookie addons
      - cannot touch Safe Browsing google cookies (they are in a separate jar with any id stuff stripped out, and you can delete them manually - if you block all cookies, like me, you'll never get one) - there is a ticket and debate about this currently - see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1362834
      - cannot touch cookies in Private Browsing mode - by design (it will not change I think - all the more reason to block all cookies by default, you can still set site exceptions)
      - cannot touch cookies with FPI (see below) - discussion on this as well - see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1381197

      ^^ Cookie addons are obsolete now IMO

      - Set FPI (first party isolation on) - this protects your cookies set by one site being read by another, instead it creates another one - i.e 1st Party (the domain in the url) at ascribed as a tag to each cookie and that instance of the cookie can only be read by that domain. Note: FPI currently breaks any add-on accessing cookies. Note also that there are some issues with cross site domain logins (eg think google + you tube)
      - Remove all cookies and any storage so when it gets re-created, it will have the right attributes for FPI
      - Disallow all cookies Options>Privacy>History>Custom Settings> uncheck the box "Accept cookies from sites"
      - For websites you need a cookie (or add manually under Options>Privacy>History>Custom Settings>Exceptions) you can click on the Info icon in the location bar>right arrow>more information>Permissions tab>Set cookies> and untick "use default" and select "Allow" or "Allow for Session"
      - uMatrix - block all cookies by default
      - uMatrix - whitelist cookies on a granular per domain level

      Now you can have cookies finely controlled per domain, and the internal FF settings will determine if they are permanent or deleted on Firefox close.

      You can also allow cookies in FF (Options>Privacy>History>Custom Settings>Accept cookies from sites) as this also controls local dom storage, which a few sites might need. This would eliminate the need to set FF exceptions. I would still suggest that you block 3rd party cookies though (in the same UI section). If you're like me, ATM, I have 8 cookies exceptions - 6 for logins and 2 for site prefs to stick (eg I like the dark theme on DuckDuckGo). That's about all I need really. Almost every site I visit works fine without cookies, but your milage may differ. If you allow 1st party cookies, you STILL have uMatrix to control them (just not as session only). And you STILL have FPI

      If you allow all cookies but control them a bare minium via uMatrix, then it's debatable if you want to delete them on close - but you can do that too. The good thing about clearing cookies on close, is it also clears your local dom storage - note local dom storage is also protected by FPI. So either block all cookies and don't clear on shutdown, and just keep a handful of cookies and local storage if it exists for 1st party sites only - OR ... allow cookies, control them with uMatrix anyway, but clean it all out on close.

      The other item is indexedDB. I'll tell you about that another day :)

      • linuxfan August 14, 2017 at 7:49 pm #

        @Pants:
        > - Disallow all cookies Options>Privacy>History>Custom Settings> uncheck the box "Accept cookies from sites"
        > - For websites you need a cookie (or add manually under Options>Privacy>History>Custom Settings>Exceptions) you can click on the Info icon in the location bar>right arrow>more information>Permissions tab>Set cookies> and untick "use default" and select "Allow" or "Allow for Session"

        Yes, this works. However, this is a VERY tedious strategy as in my experience very many websites require, at least, session cookies in order to work flawlessly. And this is the beauty of cookie managers like Cookie Autodelete: You can allow session cookies as default in FF and be sure that they will deleted after a minute or so (with the exception of specific sites where you allow permanent cookies).

        So let's hope that Mozilla fixes the FPI bug.

      • Tom Hawack August 14, 2017 at 8:10 pm #

        @linuxfan,
        There's n add-on which makes managing cookie exceptions a breeze: 'Permit Cookies'
        [https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/permit-cookies-2/]

      • Pants August 15, 2017 at 10:47 am #

        @linuxfan

        Absolutely - as I said, "mileage may differ". Either default-deny + whitelist (and deal with a small amount of persistent storage) - or allow-all + constantly clean up (either in real time: eg C-AD, SDC) - and combinations of cleaners (on close and/or extensions - eg cookies, local storage, cache, indexeddb, offline storage, service workers cache etc). Lots of combinations between all of these. Whatever works for the individual.

        And yeah, lets hope not just the FPI+cookie issue is resolved soon, but also dom storage access, and maybe indexeddb, and a half dozen other issues so we can have granular control back

        > as in my experience very many websites require, at least, session cookies in order to work flawlessly

        I've never really understood that, but I know why. I clearly do not use the same websites :) I have found only a couple of sites where I needed to allow cookies which in turn allows local dom storage, for that website to be usable. Not saying the website is 100% flawless, but it works for me. That said, it is becoming more prevalent. If it became an issue, I would switch strategies - I would allow-all cookies by default and auto-nuke on demand (eg C-AD) which is what most people seem to like doing, as per yourself. But so far, for the last 4 or 5 years at least - I've been default deny with no real overhead (8 cookies!). I do often flick up a secondary browsers when researching though (I also have JS off, and find it easier to just view the occasional page in Opera or Chrome)

      • linuxfan August 15, 2017 at 12:39 pm #

        @Tom Hawack : `Permit Cookies` is a legacy add-on which will not work for FF57+ unless needed APIs will be available. Hence, it's not really a solution ;-)

      • linuxfan August 15, 2017 at 12:40 pm #

        @Pants : I will try your approach - perhaps it's manageable for me ;-)

  14. Korea August 14, 2017 at 1:55 am #

    Frankly after reading all their points and the take-down notice, it is nothing like the assholes we are used to. They behaved well, and I agree that removing paywalls does not belong to EasyList. Depending on how it works it belongs to either EasyPrivacy, or anti-nuisance lists which are a little more grey and should arguably be opt-in.

    Either way, I blocked them by updating Peter Lowe's list. But I note that they are not being assholes, even though we can't let a DMCA take down win or it would set a bad precedent, so of course I'm all for another list to include that filter.

    • JSB August 14, 2017 at 1:27 pm #

      Good points. But I'd contend that it doesn't matter how nicely someone tells you to go f*ck yourself.

  15. Henk van Setten August 14, 2017 at 3:07 am #

    I am a little surprised that so few commenters here took a moment to reflect on the fundamental issue here. So let me try to add a slightly different point of view.

    To prevent misunderstandings, let me make clear three things in advance:

    (1) I think everone has the right to use ad blocking software. I do use an ad blocker myself every day.

    (2) I feel that content providers should accept that ad blockers are not illegal. No one can ever force people to view ads. So instead of fighting ad blockers, content providers should look for different ways to get paid for their work.

    (3) I think it is wrong for companies to try to put pressure on block list makers to get them to remove any specific items. What's in an ad block list should remain the fully free choice and decision of the people who maintain and offer such lists.

    Having said this, there is one fundamental thing here that I feel deserves a little more attention.

    The specific item here was not an ad server address, but the server address for some script to help people to circumvent paywalls.

    While ad blocking is perfectly legal, sabotaging online paywalls is not. Morally it is fundamentally different because in fact, pure and simple, it amounts to theft. Sure, content providers have no right to force us to view ads. But like everyone, they do have a different right: the right to ask money for their product. If in that situation you still use that product without paying for it, you're a kind of thief.

    It's like when I have a street stall selling homemade jars of honey. I cannot force you to "earn" a pot of honey by looking at some commercial first! But I do have the right to ask money for my honey. If someone then takes a pot of my honey without paying for it, we call that person a thief.

    Countering this with an argument like "well if you don't want us to freely grab your honey, you shouldn't put it in a streetside stall" is evident nonsense. This is what people suggest who say "well then shouldn't put your stuff on internet". If you really mean this, you could just as well say people shouldn't start shops...

    To get back to the point. I still agree that this company here was wrong when they interfered with someone else's ad blocklist. That's simply not their business. It is the reponsibility of the block list maker himself to decide what belongs in his list.

    My point is, that block list maker did a wrong thing here, too. For putting a server adress in a blocklist with the effect of sabotaging someone's paywall, is actually the same as offering tools to sabotage someone's shop cash register. Should an ad blocker list, besides its legitimate function of blocking ads, also assist in thievery?

    For me, this is a bridge too far. I feel that the people who maintain ad blocking lists should take their own moral responsibility, and should take steps themselves to remove such list entries that (when not removed) take the entire block list into very dubious terrain. In the long run, this kind of paywall sabotaging may also damage legitimate ad blocking itself.

    OK. I contributed my opinion here not as some kind of trolling, but because it is my honest and sincere view.

    • okiehsch August 14, 2017 at 7:01 am #

      The thing is, this is not about a paywall, it is about an anti-adblock wall.
      If you go to a site that uses Admiral as their "access control" mechanism with your adblocker enabled, you can not access that site.
      If you go to the same site with your adblocker disabled, you can access that site.
      If you go to the same site and BLOCK the content and ALLOW the ads you can still access that site.
      They do not control access to their copyrighted content, they protect the ads.

      If a site can't make me pay, and doesn't want it's content to be viewed unless I pay, simply don't send me the content.
      If payment is required for access, tell me before I continue to the resource or let me provide proof that I have already paid, e.g. logging in.

      • JSB August 14, 2017 at 1:45 pm #

        Exactly.

        Imagine if someone put up a billboard with instructions on how to do something. On the right hand side, they put an ad. Then they tell you that you aren't allowed to read the billboard without reading the ad. And that if you do, you are robbing them of revenue.

        You say, "That's ridiculous! I'm going to ignore the ad and look at the instructions anyway!"

        But they find a way to make you look at the ad anyway.

        Then, someone comes along and tells you that if you stand in a certain location, a tree or building blocks the ad. The billboard owner cries foul, claims that they are helping people "avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate or impair their scheme to control access to their copyrighted material," blah blah blah.

        Such BS. What's next...suing sunglass manufacturers because they "prevent people from seeing my copyrighted works in their original colors?"

  16. Charger440 August 14, 2017 at 3:55 am #

    Ads have gotten rediculously out of hand. They steal money people on limited accounts, cause swallower computers to bog down and even contribute to scams and viruses. Any pro-ad related website should be blocked regardless of relation.

  17. CHEF-KOCH August 14, 2017 at 3:58 am #

    Forget about Browser adblockers and use my mentioned method here:
    https://github.com/CHEF-KOCH/CK-s-Raspberry-Pi-3-config

  18. TelV August 14, 2017 at 11:15 am #

    Rather amusing that the "Block Adblock" link in the article generates a "Turn off your Adblocker" demand in order to access the content.

    • Tom Hawack August 14, 2017 at 2:08 pm #

      If you are referring to [http://blockadblock.com/adblocking/is-adblock-plus-violating-the-dmca/] it appears that the site uses an anti-adblocker but only on its homepage :
      [http://blockadblock.com/] : anti-adblocker is running
      [http://blockadblock.com/adblocking/*] : no anti-adblocker

      This has been discussed on uBlock Origin's Github pages. Gorhill considers that the anti-adblocker, because used only on the homepage of a site which promotes its anti-adblocking applications BUT not on its article pages, is to be considered as a proof-of-concept rather than as an anti-adblocker intrusion as such. I must say I understand and agree. But I have come to be extra, maybe excessively upset by anti-adblockers, which is why I've added to my uBlockO / My filters :

      blockadblock.com##script:inject(bab-defuser.js)

      Sorry for bothering the POF, which appears by the way to be a proof of nothing, but I've had it perhaps even more with anti-adblockers than with ads themselves.

      • TelV August 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm #

        404 error when you include the * after the forward slash in the URL, but OK without it. Thanks for the tip anyway.

        I'm still using ABP by the way. The reason I haven't switched to uBlock Origin is because it doesn't consider some images such as avatars to be ads and won't block them. ABP doesn't have a problem with that.

      • Tom Hawack August 14, 2017 at 4:00 pm #

        @TelV, the * was meant to symbolize all "sub-pages" ...

        [http://blockadblock.com/] : anti-adblocker is running
        [http://blockadblock.com/adblocking/*] such as [http://blockadblock.com/adblocking/is-adblock-plus-violating-the-dmca/] : no anti-adblocker

        You write,
        "The reason I haven't switched to uBlock Origin is because it doesn't consider some images such as avatars to be ads and won't block them"

        All depends of your filters, of the lists you include or not. Well "fed" as well as with its default configuration, uBlockO does much, much, far more than a whatever AdBlock add-on. You just have to handle it as carefully as a sports car. It's not complicated but does require a minimum of knowledge to check the "I am an advanced user" in uBO's Dashboard / Settings panel (unchecked by default). I'm no specialist as I spend my time repeating it yet I managed to "learn" uBO easily (forget my High High-Q!) : as always a minimum of effort helps and sometimes is required. I'm not saying this for you but let's agree on the fact that many users like "install & forger it" solutions when at the same time to have the freedom of tailoring, tuning accordingly to your preferences... a minimum of self-investment only makes it.

      • gorhill August 16, 2017 at 8:51 pm #

        > The reason I haven't switched to uBlock Origin is because it doesn't consider some images such as avatars to be ads and won't block them. ABP doesn't have a problem with that.

        I don't know what you are talking about re "avatars". uBO will enforce whatever is in the filter lists. It makes use of EasyList, just like ABP. If something is blocked in ABP and not in uBO, it's because you have extra filters in ABP which you did not import or enable in uBO.

        If you could provide specifics (the URL of a page where you say ABP blocks something uBO is not blocking), I would be able to provide a better answer, but this is the bottom line: there is nothing ABP can block which uBO can't -- this is actually quite the opposite since a long time now -- just like you were shown with Block AdBlock.

  19. Gerard August 14, 2017 at 2:09 pm #

    The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law and the USA is not the world, although not all Americans seem to be aware of that fact. So why should people outside the USA, i.e. almost all human beings, worry about it?

  20. swamp August 14, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

    adding https://github.com/CHEF-KOCH/BarbBlock-filter-list to 3rd-party filters >'Custom' (either Chrome or FF) didn't work ... pasting the list to 'My Filters' was successful .
    I wonder why?
    Thanks

    • Tom Hawack August 14, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

      - The original BarbBlock filters' list (usable with uBlockO / 3rd-party filters) : [https://ssl.bblck.me/BarbBlock.txt]
      - CHEF-KOCH's bumped list for BarBlock's (usable with uBlockO / 3rd-party filters) :
      [https://raw.githubusercontent.com/CHEF-KOCH/BarbBlock-filter-list/master/uBlock.txt]

      • Tom Hawack August 14, 2017 at 3:31 pm #

        I forgot to mention that CHEF-KOCH states on his Github page [https://github.com/CHEF-KOCH/BarbBlock-filter-list] : "Filter list from BarbBlock, cause you not need another shitty addon", which understates that the original site [https://github.com/paulgb/BarbBlock] from which CHEF-KOCH bumps the files would offer but the FF addon, which is not true. BarbBlock includes a link to a Firefox add-on, a corresponding HOSTS file and our filters list (for uBlockO and others). CHEF-KOCH bumps them. Be it said.

        Bumping is nice as long as it doesn't occult in any way the reality and the merit of its source.

  21. Richard Allen August 14, 2017 at 7:22 pm #

    I was just over on github checking to see if there was an update on the BarbBlock list. Looks to me like there is a reformatted list for uBO to correct an issue: Filter syntax could potentially cause false positives #19.
    https://github.com/paulgb/BarbBlock/issues/19

    https://ssl.bblck.me/BarbBlock.txt - original list being shared
    https://ssl.bblck.me/blacklists/ublock-origin.txt - new reformatted list for uBO

    original format: ||functionalclam.com versus new format: ||functionalclam.com^

    There is also a list for Adblock Plus which looks the same to me but with different comments.
    This is the page to choose the different subscriptions.
    https://ssl.bblck.me/install

    The list provide by CHEF-KOCH has the correct format.

    But then I'm not sure I would worry about any false positives on any of those entries. LOL

    • Tom Hawack August 14, 2017 at 8:07 pm #

      Many thanks for sharing, Richard Allen. Important. Updated here.

    • Pants August 15, 2017 at 2:15 pm #

      Added it the [https://ssl.bblck.me/install] uBo link ( abp:subscribe?location=https://ssl.bblck.me/blacklists/ublock-origin.txt&title=BarbBlock ), but the list says 0 out of 0, viewing the resources shows a blank page, and when I go to update it, it comes up with a network error (symbol next to the custom list). Anyone else having this issue?

      • Richard Allen August 15, 2017 at 3:41 pm #

        Yep, something weird is going on. I removed the list from UBO in Vivaldi then Pale Moon and then Chrome, then tried to install the subscription from the install page. When clicking on the link, only Pale Moon showed the popup to install it but it didn't show up on the 3rd-party filter page. I then tried to paste the address
        https://ssl.bblck.me/blacklists/adblock-plus.txt
        into the Custom box and only Chrome showed it getting installed under "Custom'. So, right now Pale Moon and Vivaldi don't have it installed. I forced a manual update in Firefox earlier today and haven't messed with it since.

      • Richard Allen August 15, 2017 at 4:10 pm #

        My comment hasn't shown up yet!?!? Anyway, I couldn't get the subscription page to install the list and pasting into the box didn't work either. So... I got pissed, annoyed, frustrated, whatever and deleted the ublock0.sqlite file from the extension-data folder in my Pale Moon profile and then... the install page worked. I deleted the sqlite file a second time and pasting the address into the Custom box also worked. WTH?

        My Rules and My filters are always backed up so not a huge deal. I guess. Maybe. ;)

        I just replaced the sqlite file from a backup a few days old so I didn't completely lose the 'since install' count. Whoop whoop! LOL

      • Pants August 15, 2017 at 6:25 pm #

        I did this: https://github.com/ghacksuserjs/ghacks-user.js/issues/210

        I think we had different issues maybe. I was holding out until 57 to start a clean brand new nilla profile. My current one is around 4 years (but pretty immaculate re leftovers in prefs, files etc). I have a sqlite from 8 days ago. I could try that - don't like my uM rule I stuck in place

  22. Richard Allen August 15, 2017 at 2:03 pm #

    I see a relatively big update to the BarbBlock subscription list. Looks like paulgb is wrangling up all the desperados (domains). ;)

    I'll probably force a few updates to that subscription list over the next week. I think most ad/content blockers auto update their lists every 3-4 days.

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