While its popularity soars and it gains ground on Microsoft’s dominating Internet Explorer, the open source browser Firefox is now facing a battle on an entirely different front as a website rebellion is staged to protest its ad blocking capabilities.
Whyfirefoxisblocked.com has come out against the open source browser claiming that the Mozilla Foundation and its Commercial arm the Mozilla Corporation’s support of Ad Block Plus equates to theft.
Ad Block Plus is a plug-in for Firefox that blocks advertisements on web sites. Because of this, the site claims that the software is an infringement of the rights of web site owners and developers as they cannot fund their content using the ads-for-content model that other services (such as television) use to do business.
“Numerous web sites exist in order to provide quality content in exchange for displaying ads,” claims the site. “Accessing the content while blocking the ads, therefore would be no less than stealing.”
To stop this so called theft, the site offers webmasters code to block Firefox’s ability to display their pages, referring those blocked to its own homepage for an explanation.
While it may have a small point about lost advertising revenues the site does seem to contradict its own assertions. In one breath it claims that “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”, while in the next it proclaims “ending resource theft has tremendous financial rewards for honest, hard-working website owners and developers.”