Monday, September 03, 2007

Firefox blocked

Greg Laden has a post up about a certain web site which blocked all visits from Firefox browsers due to an extension known as Ad Block which is able to filter out the ads on web sites. However, it spews out this little gem:
Demographics have shown that not only are FireFox users a somewhat small percentage of the internet, they actually are even smaller in terms of online spending, therefore blocking FireFox seems to have only minimal financial drawbacks, whereas ending resource theft has tremendous financial rewards for honest, hard-working website owners and developers..
First of all, Firefox users being a small minority is just not true in just about any way you look at it. Greg posts up his stats on his site, and Firefox users are the majority. Of course, as you can guess, my stats are EVEN MORE skewed:

1. 67.66%
2. 23.35%
3. 2.99%
4. 2.40%
5. 2.10%
6. 1.50%

Except for Internet Explorer, all of the top five are open source browsers. This is most certainly not a minority for me. And if I had ads, I most certainly wouldn't want these users to be blocked at all. So, this is not the solution. And this isn't an entirely novel problem. The web site quotes this excerpt from the blog Internet Technology and the Law:
Like free television broadcast content supported financially by advertising, much of the content on the Internet today is distributed free to end-users for an indirect exchange of advertisement revenue. When a user loads an ad-driven copyrighted website, he produces a copy of the work due to the inherent architecture of the Internet. If this user is using Adblock to screen out annoying advertisements, he is creating an unauthorized derivative work analogous to skipping television commercials. By the letter of copyright law, this practice would most likely be seen as an infringing use.
They decide to use TV, I'll counter using TV. Using Adblock is a personal preference. It's analogous to recording a program on TV, then fast forwarding through the commercials. According to this post, people who record should be sued for making unauthorized copies and not watching the commercials. Of course, that's silly. It's the same with Ad-block. The ad-free page is designed for each user of Adblock and that copy is used for personal use only, it isn't going to be archived then distributed as ad-free content. If other people wish to see the content, they will still go to the original ad-full source. Well, that's my $0.02. Why can't the ad companies be more like the spam companies? Instead of complaining, just make it more difficult to detect.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

if you read the actual website, its a load of bull what is being said. one thing that shows how ignorant they are -
"if you are a netscape user, just have your browser identify as IE"
you can do that in FF also. its quite easy.

and btw, this is josh. and i'm responsible for the konquerer/opera hits mostly, i think ;)