Ad blocking is causing some controversy once again it seems, this time thanks to Brave’s ad-blocking browser. Just in case you’re not familiar with this browser, you should know that it takes a slightly different approach when it comes to ad-blocking, as it doesn’t necessarily remove these ads altogether like Opera does. Brave actually replaces some advertisements with ads from its own network, which apparently load a lot quicker and “protect data sovereignty [and] anonymity.” As you can probably imagine, some publishers have expressed their discontent with the product, especially the Newspaper Association of America.
Seventeen members of this association have issued a “cease and desist letter” that stated the following:
“Your apparent plan to permit your customers to make Bitcoin ‘donations’ to us, and for you to donate to us some unspecified percentage of revenue you receive from the sale of your ads on our sites, cannot begin to compensate us for the loss of our ability to fund our work by displaying our own advertising.”
The letter refers to Brave’s business plan, which awards users who choose to see the special ads with around 15 percent of the gross profits in Bitcoin, and then allows them to donate that sum to publishers. The profit is further shared with Brave by another 15 percent, while ad partners receive the same amount. In the end, 55 percent of the revenues go directly to the publishers, which seems like a sound plan, at least on paper. The companies that issued the letter have described the model as “blatantly illegal,” but Brave’s representatives have stated that NAA members have “fundamentally misunderstood” their intentions. Apparently, the system would encourage users to stop using ad blockers, and it’s quite hard to argue with that logic.